Create your own miniature woodland gardens

Debra Lee Baldwin,  – August 31, 2004

San Diego garden consultant Laurie Connable’s spring bouquets look like woodland gardens in miniature. Her daffodils, irises, and gladiolus appear to rise from a mossy patch of earth instead of a water-filled vase. The smaller blooms and greenery at their base add to the garden look.

The best flowers for woodland arrangements thrust upward, says Connable. “They’re not bush flowers, like roses.” Whether you use cuttings from your garden or blooms from a florist, they make perfect centerpieces for spring tables.


• Shallow oval container, approximately 12 inches long by 3 inches deep

• Florist’s foam, trimmed to fit container and soaked until moist throughout

• 12 (or so) 4-inch pieces of fern and/or small-leafed ivy

• Sphagnum moss

• Flowers: two gladiolus, about 2 feet tall; three irises, about 18 inches tall; three daffodils, about 12 inches tall; 12 (or so) filler flowers such as freesia, narcissus, nemesia, linaria, or stock

• Foliage: several bunches of lemon thyme and/or additional strands of ivy

• Scissors or clipping shears


1.Insert ferns and ivy horizontally into the foam above the container’s rim. Cover the foam top with moist sphagnum moss.

2.Insert gladiolus on one side of the foam block and irises on the other, forming two flower clusters. Trim stems to vary heights as shown, but don’t remove leaves. Add the daffodils near irises, then tuck the smaller blooms, thyme, and additional ivy around each floral grouping. Leave a small gap between the two clusters to suggest a woodland path.