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"Flower arrangements don't have to look formal," stylist Karin Lidbeck-Brent says. "They can be inspired by your garden, where nothing is symmetrical and there's no rule or order." Follow these easy steps to create an arrangement, choosing a container with an informal country feeling and placing flowers together loosely for a just-picked look, opposite.

STEP 1:
Set a vase with a wide opening inside a bucket. Fill both vessels with water; both will hold stems in place without a frog or floral foam and help create a loose, airy arrangement.


STEP 2:
When choosing flowers, pick colors that work well with each other and with the container, and pay attention to scale and texture. 'Patience' and 'Juliet' roses are dense with petals and up to 4 inches wide when fully open, so use flowers and leaves that complement their large size. Hydrangea and lady's mantle are ideal companions because they have big heads of small florets that fill space and provide pleasing textural contrast.


STEP 3:
Loosely place stems of hosta and lady's mantle in the bucket and vase, especially the bucket, until you have an airy but full base of greens. There should be just enough greens to allow the roses and other flowers with stiffer stems to stand up when you add them. Step back and look at the arrangement.


STEP 4:
Add six 'Patience' and six 'Juliet' roses, one at a time. Cut each stem to a different length - a little taller or shorter than the greens - just as you are ready to place it. Position roses in both the vase and bucket, setting each rose slightly apart from the rest so it can fully open. In general, put shorter roses in the outer ring and taller ones toward the center. Although the roses star in this composition, you can tuck a couple of shorter-stem roses deep into the greens to give the bouquet a natural look. Accent your design with green hydrangea and white coneflowers.


STEP 5:
You will know you are finished when the bucket looks full and the flowers lightly touch each other with no large gaps or spaces.





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