Whether using a vase, planter box, or compote, you’ll need to create a solid base for your floral arrangement. Cut the dry floral foam to fit snugly inside the compote, letting it rise about an inch above the top edge of the dish. Use waterproof floral tape to secure the foam in place. If the tape alone doesn’t keep the foam firmly in the compote, consider using hot glue below the foam for additional stability.
If you’re using flowers with long stems, it’s a good idea to pre-trim all of the pieces you plan to use before beginning the arrangement. Use the depth of the compote as a guide for how short to trim your flowers. Be careful not to trim them too short at this stage as you may need to do additional trimming as you place each flower.
Build the basic structure
Begin by designing the shape and structure of the arrangement. Consider the contours of the dish and the pieces you have chosen for your arrangement, and decide what form would best accentuate their unique beauty. With silk flowers and floral foam, the shapes you can choose are numerous: horizontal, vertical, triangular, oval, crescent-shaped, or s-shaped are just a few. Once you have an idea, use the pieces that naturally provide that fundamental shape; greenery and branches will likely be your best bet.
Add points of focus
Once your base is established, begin placing the main beauties of the arrangement. Positioning your flowers asymmetrically and at varying heights will give you the most natural looking display. Trim each flower as you go and take advantage of the wired stems to bend each piece to exactly where you want it. Don’t fret if you dislike how the arrangement is taking shape; simply re-position the flowers until it looks elegant and pleasing to you.
As you near the completion of the arrangement, make sure to observe it from all angles and consider what may be missing. Use wispy or playful pieces to both fill in any gaps and also to add movement and expression to your arrangement.