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DIY tutorial on how to create beautiful long and elegant table centrepiece

A step by step guide on low floral arrangement for a table centrepiece perfect for an elegant occasion

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By House & Garden | March 15, 2024 | Diy

In an extract from Catherine Foxwell's new book Floral Evolution we walk through the steps for a long, low floral arrangement for a table centrepiece perfect for summer weddings and parties.

You will need

Flowers and foliage

10 stems of foliage cut from your garden, foraged or purchased from your local florist

  • 5 Stocks, Delphiniums or Snapdragons
  • 3–5 Peonies
  • 5 Roses
  • 5 Gerbera
  • 5 Lisianthus
  • 5 spray Chrysanthemums
  • 5 Carnations

Other items

  • long low trough-style vase around 28 cm (11 in) long, 10 cm (4 in) deep, 9 cm (3½ in) high
  • chicken wire
  • wire cutters
  • florists’ pot tape
  • florists’ scissors or secateurs
A beautiful floral centrepiece, an extract from Catherine Foxwell's new book Floral Evolution, Image: Instagram @floralevolution


Step 1

Prepare the vase with the chicken wire and condition your flowers.

Step 2

Green up your arrangement by placing the foliage in the chicken wire frame, spaced out and in a loose style. Make sure you have some foliage around the base of the vase and some at higher points spread right across the container.

Step 3

Add in your line flowers (Delphinium, Stocks or Snapdragons) mirroring your foliage, and keeping a few taller that the others. These can also be grouped together or spaced throughout the arrangement.

Step 4

Start placing your focal flowers (Peonies and Roses) at varying heights on both sides of the vase. Don’t cut your stems too short in the first instance; it is always better to reduce the stem length gradually – once you’ve made that cut it is final. I like to group a few flowers together at the base of the vase to make a focal point.

A tutorial on how to create apicturesque long and elegant table centrepiece, an extract from Catherine Foxwell's new book Floral Evolution, Image: Instagram @floralevolution

Step 5

At this point have a look at your vase from a distance and check that you are happy with the shape. Do make sure that you dig a few blooms deep in the arrangement. This will give the final arrangement depth and volume.

Step 6

Continue adding in the Roses, Gerberas and Lisianthus by following the same process as in step three. Pay attention to the height, spacing out the flowers and varying the depth of the flowers. With this style of arrangement, I like the faces of the flowers to be seen in full so make sure that when you place your flowers the beauty of them can be fully appreciated.

Step 7

When you have placed all your flowers, add in the spray Chrysanthemums and Carnations.

Step 8

Make a final check from both sides of the arrangement to make sure you are happy with the positioning of your flowers. As this is supported by chicken wire it allows you to move the flowers until you are completely satisfied, but don’t over-think it – creativity comes from the heart and sometimes too much fiddling doesn’t always improve the arrangement.

Step 9

Place your finished arrangement in the middle of the table for you and your guests to admire while enjoying a wonderful meal.


This arrangement will work in different settings. Why not place it on a mantlepiece for an abundant addition to your living space. As the vessel is low and long, after your meal you can place it on a windowsill, or on your favourite cabinet or sideboard.

Tips and tricks

As this arrangement is for a table you do not want to make it higher than around 20 cm (8 in) so people can see over the arrangement. You will be able to have a few higher flowers, but make sure these are spaced out so views aren’t obstructed.

An extract from Catherine Foxwell's new book Floral Evolution, Image: Instagram @floralevolution

Floral Evolution by Catherine Foxwell Photography © Kim Lightbody

Original article appeared on House & Garden UK

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