Updated: Mar 8, 2021
Homemake Gardens flower stand at the Tacoma Broadway Farmers Market
In 2018, I hosted a DIY Farmers Market Bouquet workshop at the Seattle Folk Life Festival with the Hmong Association of Washington to help spread awareness about the Hmong Flower Farmers in Washington State. I wanted to share this DIY with you all as well.
After 20 years working at my family flower farm, I've arranged a lot of bouquets. Every year I try to improve and find to new ways to arrange them more efficiently and beautifully. Working at the farmers market is a fast-paced environment, we are always continuously arranging bouquets to keep up with the demand.
Each flower farm florist has their own unique style and technique. I believe there is no wrong way to arrange a farmers market bouquet. My style and technique focuses on balance. For my arrangements, I like to evenly distribute colors, bloom sizes, and textures. This is what I’ve learned over the years and has worked for me.
What you need to arrange a farmers market bouquet are pruning scissors, fresh flowers, news paper, rubber bands, plastic bag, wrapping paper, and water. I'd recommend wearing gloves. We wear gloves at the farmers markets because we are continuously arranging and our hands can get stained from the dirt and debris from the stems.
The first step is creating a base. Gather a few branches of babies' breath to form a round circular shape. Add in some greenery like salal or eucalyptus or both. The goal is to evenly distribute the greenery to enhance the round shape. A tip for holding the stems is trimming them down a bit and rubber banding them together so they won’t fall out of place. They'll be easier to grip and you won't have hold them so tightly because your hands will start to hurt.
Next, is adding a focal flower. This flower usually has larger bulky blooms. It’s placed in the center of the base and is the focal point of the arrangement. It also acts as a guide to work around. Lilies and sunflowers are great examples of focal flowers.
Next is filling in the corners. Imagine a triangle surrounding the focal flower then fill in the corners of that triangle. I often use the same type of flower, color and bloom size to balance out the arrangement. Now, imagine an upside down triangle in the empty spaces of the bouquet and repeat by filling in the corners of that triangle.
Lastly, is to add filler flowers. Filler flowers are usually smaller bloom flowers like sweet williams, godetia, bachelor buttons, daisies, and asters. I like to use different colors and heights to help elevate the arrangement. I place them in the gaps in between the focal flower and blooms in the imaginary triangles.
Finishing the arrangement, remove any excess leaves and foliage at the bottom of them stems and trim them to the same length. Rubber band them together and the farmers market bouquet is done.
What we also like to do at the farmers markets is putting them in a bag of water and wrapping them to help keep the flowers fresh for customers to transport. Using two or three layers of newspaper, wrap it around the bottom of the stems and put them in a plastic bag adding about two cups of water making sure the stems are touching the water.
We cut out a piece of wrapping paper (usually 18 x 20“) and cut an incision roughly 6 inches up the center of the paper creating a Y shape. Then, lay the bouquet in the middle of the paper and grab the bottom corner pulling it toward the stems. The paper will shape around the bouquet and do the same to the other corner. Rubber band the paper to the stems and it's done and ready to be sold.
I hope you enjoyed learning about how I arrange a farmers market bouquet. Let me know if you try arranging one yourself and how’d it turned out!