How to make a flower arrangement for a narrow windowsill

Are you fed up of floppy flowers? So you go to all the effort of putting them in the vase and they just all fall to the sides and flop over the edge, and then there's nothing left in the middle?

Well I'm going to show you a really, really quick and easy way to stop that from happening, using some chicken wire. I got my chicken wire at my local B&M as you can buy it in quite small rolls and it wasn't very expensive.

 

 

If you prefer to read rather than watch then here are the steps to make your flower arrangement for a narrow windowsill.

Vase choice

First things first, vase choice.  The vase i'm using here has got quite a wide open neck, and if you just put the flowers in they would all collapse out to the sides.   In order to use this chicken wire technique you need an opaque vase otherwise you would see your chicken wire through the vase which doesn't look so good.  This is actually an old pickling jar that I picked up at a car boot sale for 50p- god I love a bargain!

Mechanics

You're going to cut your piece of chicken wire using wire cutters into a piece approximately 30 centimetres by 30 centimetres to fit in a vase with a neck diameter of about maybe 10 centimetres across. Fashion the chicken wire into a sausage shape by joining the two open sides.  Then roll the sausage up into a ball shape.  This gives you lots of different holes to stick your flowers stems into, to provide support to your stems right in the middle of the vase.  Very carefully, because the ends of the wire are quite sharp, you are just going to push the chicken wire ball into the vase.  Please make sure you don't spike yourself, consider this your health and safety warning, it is a little bit lethal.

Fill your vase with water and flower food.

old pickling jar as a vase filled with water and a chicken wire ball

Cutting and conditioning your flowers

Everything I'm going to use in this arrangement I have cut from my garden, other than the eucalyptus, and before I start arranging I have conditioned the flowers to make sure they have the longest vase life possible. My blog post 5 tips for cutting and conditioning your homegrown flowers will show you how to do this.

How do you know what you're going to pick from your garden? Now, as I'm writing this it's autumn 2019, we're into October now, so some things in the garden are starting to look a bit tired. But the dahlias are still going strong. Your hydrangeas are probably looking quite good, and they might even be starting to dry on the plant.  This can add a different dimension to your arrangement. Japanese anemones are a brilliant autumn staple too.

When you are wandering in your gardening choosing what to include you want to think about the shape of the individual flowers.

Round- In this arrangement i've got the nice round shape from the dahlias and hydrangea heads.

Umbel shape- Sedum give a lovely flat-topped shape.

Spire shaped- A spire shape can add a bit of a different dimension, I've chosen some wispy gaura to use.

Foliage- I've used some of the wonderfully scented eucalyptus that was left over from my autumnal wreath course.

plastic black bucket on a wooden table filled with home grown flowers and foliage

Foliage first

Starting with your foliage you want to build a base layer. Cut any larger pieces of eucalyptus down so they are the height you want.  This vase is quite small and going to be going on my windowsill so I cut mine to about 30cm in height.  Take off any lower leaves, and start adding a branch at a time trying to make a triangle shape with the branches across your arrangements.

pickling jar used as a vase filled with eucalyptus branches

Focal Flowers 

Once your vase has enough foliage you can start adding your focal flowers.  I started with my hydrangea, just because they're so big.  Ive got three hydrangea so they will form the three points of my triangle.

 pickling jar containing eucalyptus and hydrangea flowers

The next flowers to add are going to be your dahlias which I have five of.  Have you noticed I'm always adding odd numbers of flowers.  This is because odd numbers are more visually appealing as they force your eye to move around more and also an odd number provides a focal point, i.e the odd one out.  Coincidence that most flowers in nature have an odd number of petals?  I think not!

 pickling jar containing eucalyptus, hydrangea and dahlia flowers

The beauty of doing a windowsill arrangement is that it only need to look good from the front, so theres no need to keep turning the arrangement to  see what it looks like from all angles. 

Add some height and drama

Next we're going to put in a little bit of height with the Japanese anemones and some drama with the gaura.

The beauty of this type of arrangement is that you can play around with it and try different things, so if you put the flower in and it doesn't look quite right you just change it.

pickling jar containing eucalyptus, hydrangea, dahlia flowers, japanese anemones and stems of gaura.

Stand back and observe

As you add your flowers occasionally stand back and have a look at your arrangement to make sure you like the look of where it's going.

Fill the gaps with your flat topped flowers

Once you have identified where the gaps are use your flat toped flowers such a sedum to fill the gaps and make the arrangement look lovely and full.   As you get towards adding the last few stems there may be a bit of a fight for space between the chicken wire and the stems of the other flowers. 

Ta, Da

Windowsill flower arrangement containing hydrangea, dahlia, eucalyptus, sedum, gaura and japanese anemone

So there you have it, an easy way to stop floppy flowers in a narrow windowsill arrangement. This chicken wire method will work with any type of arrangement.

I hope I've inspired you to give it a go.

Once you're done, make sure you take a minute with a cuppa and sit and admire what you've achieved. Its really important to celebrate your successes.

If you have any comments or questions come over and find me on Instagram.

Image for Pinterest of flower arrangement on a narrow windowsill