The ‘recipe’ for flower arrangements

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Planting a beautiful arrangement can be easy, if you know the “recipe.”

“You just need thrillers, fillers and spillers,” said Helen Rose with Terra Cotta in Troy.

Rose and Bryant Smith were guest speakers at Wednesday’s Female Factor luncheon sponsored by Troy Regional Medical Center.

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Rose and Smith brought containers and pretty flowers and plants to the monthly meeting and showed those present how to arrange container plants like a pro.

It’s important to pick a natural colored container if plants are bold colors, Rose explained.

Next, partially fill the container with potting soil. Smith said Terra Cotta uses Farfard Complete Potting Mix.

“From hanging baskets to pots, this is what we use,” Smith said, showing the product bag. “It’s a little bit more on the expensive side, but we have never had any problems with it.”

After a container is prepped, gardeners should then add a “thriller” plant. It should be taller than other plants used and should draw the eye. Rose said to plant the thriller in the center of a container if it will be viewed from all sides, or the center back if the container will be placed against a wall.

Then comes the “filler”. Choose a plant slightly shorter than the thriller in complementary colors. Place several of those plants in a circle around the thriller. After that, add in the “spiller” plants that will grow to fill in gaps and hang over the side of the container.

“There you have your recipe,” Rose said with a smile. “It can be easy, just think about what you like to see.”

If a newbie gardener isn’t sure what plants to pick for the climate or soil conditions, pros at places such as Terra Cotta are glad to assist.

“That’s what we are here for,” Smith said.

Female Factor luncheons are monthly and held at noon at The Studio in downtown Troy.