Norman A. Plate

How to arrange a festive, 1-bunch bouquet in minutes

Kathleen N. Brenzel,  – August 26, 2004

Fresh, casual, and as colorful as candy, lollipop-shaped arrangements are the perfect way to show off luscious summer blooms. They couldn’t be simpler: You just gather a bunch of sunflowers, gerberas, Oriental lilies, roses, or other favorite flowers, then anchor them in moist florist’s foam in a terra-cotta pot (directions below).

A single type and color of flower is an eye-catcher. For extra punch, paint the pot to match the blooms; patio paints suitable for use on terra-cotta are available at well-stocked nurseries. Or for a country look, mix several types of flowers and leave the pot unpainted. Beautiful ribbons add festive finishing touches.

A single pot can center a small, round patio table; three to five pots–filled with the same flowers–can march in a line down a long, rectangular table.

Use flowers with long, sturdy stems from your own garden or from a florist. Kept moist, flowers can last a week or more (use a spray bottle to moisten the florist’s foam every few days, if needed).

Designs by Jill Slater 

How to make it

TIME: About 15 minutes, plus drying time for paint (optional)

COST: $25-$30 (less if you use your own flowers)


• 4-inch, tapered terra-cotta pot (leave natural or paint with patio paint, sold at nurseries)
• Plastic food bag (to line the pot)
• Scissors, knife to cut florist’s foam, and clippers
• Block of florist’s foam
• 7 to 10 stems of flowers such as China asters, dahlias, gerberas, lilies, roses, or sunflowers
• Rubber band
• Sphagnum moss
• 1 yard of French ribbon (with wired edges) 


1. Line the pot with the plastic food bag; trim excess with scissors.

2.Soak the florist’s foam until thoroughly moistened.

3.Using the knife, cut the foam in half, then round the corners; push the foam into the pot.

4.Gather the flower stems in one hand, holding them just under the bloom while you arrange them in a lollipop shape.

5.Turn the flower stems upside down and secure them with a rubber band, sliding it down the stems to just under the blooms.

6.Cut the stems to the desired length. Holding the bundled stems toward the bottom, insert stem ends into the center of the foam.

7.Cover the florist’s foam with moistened sphagnum moss. Finish with ribbon, covering the rubber band, as shown.