Creating Cut Floral Arrangements with Shrubs and Perennials


From wedding bouquets to dinner table centerpieces, corsages to vases, cut floral arrangements have played an integral role in decor and design for years, and continue to do so, even today. Not only gorgeously elegant, they are simple to create, especially with beautiful shrubs and perennials found in many of our own gardens at home.

Simple Flower Arrangements

If you’re new to the art of floral arrangements, the key concepts to keep in mind are proportion, balance, unity, and rhythm. A basic grasp of these principles will help you assemble beautiful arrangements, regardless of the selection your garden offers.

Ensure that your flowers are harmonious in size, color, and shape, and use rhythm to create a sense of movement in the arrangement - like the gorgeous, flowing look of the asymmetrical bouquets you’ve seen on Pinterest. Then, all you only need is 3-5 varieties of flowers and foliage to create an arrangement akin to that of a professional florist.

perennial sunflower arrangement

Perennial Arrangements

Perennials come in so many shapes and colors, allowing you to get truly creative, whether you’re designing a whimsical, modern floral arrangement or a classically elegant bouquet. Here are our top perennial picks for cut floral arrangements in autumn:

Chrysanthemums are versatile and make beautiful focal points in your arrangements.

Perennial Sunflowers have smaller, more elegant seed heads than their annual counterparts, perfect for featuring in an arrangement.

Oriental Lilies have dramatic blooms that balance arrangements with larger foliage for a powerful presence.

Joe Pye Weed has a lovely whimsical quality and blends well with a wide range of blooms.

Garden Phlox grows in bundles beautiful enough to stand on their own, but it also makes a lovely addition to a more diverse arrangement.

Goldenrod has a warm color that’s perfect for fall and the flow of the plant is perfect for creating a sense of rhythm in an arrangement.

fall winterberry arrangement/decor

Shrub Arrangements

While cut shrubs can make beautiful arrangements on their own, you can also mix them into your perennial arrangements for an even more dimensional work of art. Here are our favorite shrubs to cut and arrange in autumn:

Smokebush takes on a glorious red hue in late autumn and compliments a warm palette.

Sumac makes a lovely addition in arrangements for its elegant foliage and gracefully flowing berry bunches.

Hydrangeas are a beloved classic. They look stunning accompanied by other flowers or entirely on their own.

Winterberry, with its bright red berries and elegant twigs, transitions effortlessly in the holiday season from your Thanksgiving floral arrangements into your Christmas centerpieces.

bouquet workshop arrangement tips

Arrangement Tips

Blend. If you’re not sure how to blend colors, it’s best to stick to colors of the same half of the temperature spectrum. In simplest terms, the shade of your focal point flower should be at the halfway point from your darkest and lightest plants.

Shape. Balance the scale of your arrangements to give the look of movement and depth. Longer cuttings should sit in the background and frame the rest of the arrangement. Small-to-medium sized elements should “fill out” the look and create texture between the focal point and background elements.

Get Creative. While centerpieces and bouquets are lovely, there are so many other ways to use your garden cuttings, as well! One of our favorite ways to arrange them is in a beautiful wreath. Bursting with floral color and life, these wreaths look perfect placed on a door to welcome all your guests for special occasions or just another day.

Creating indoor decor can be stressful enough, but effortless floral arrangements straight from the garden make elevating your indoor space. With just a little time spent taking clippings from your garden, your home can be filled with seasonal beauty that will inspire countless compliments from family and friends that you can be proud to take credit for.