Biedermeier Flower Arranging: A Tutorial with Fall Flowers

Every day since I first published a tutorial on Biedermeier flower arranging in wet sand a few years ago, someone somewhere in the world reads that post.  That is so cool!  I guess there are a lot of us who still love to play with sand!  Recently,  I created a Biedermeier fall arrangement using that same wet-sand technique on a small china cake stand with a variety of mums and asters for a class I was teaching.   I created a slideshow of the technique.  Take a look:

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In summary, here are the key points of Biedermeier flower arranging:

The Biedermeier era in furniture design, painting, music, literature and interior design originated in Germany and Austria in 1815 and lasted until 1848. It began following the Napoleonitic wars when a period of political stability, growing urbanization, safety and industrialization led to the birth of a new urban middle class with emphasis on home life.  In this period of time, a new style of flower arranging became popular, where by arrangements were created in neat concentric rows of flowers usually on circular pedestal vessels such as cake platters and compotes.

Hallmarks of Biedermeier flower arrangements:
-round or conical in form
-slightly dome-shaped, usually arranged in a compote or in a round pedestal dish such as a cake stand
– flowers are arranged in concentric circles of flowers differing in color, shape or size for each ring; 4 or 5 different types of flowers are needed for each arrangement
-flowers are densely massed to create a pavé effect
-flowers can be mixed with other materials such as foliage, grasses, fruits, vegetables, beads, ornaments, pine cones, berries, shells, Easter eggs to name a few
-stems are completely hidden and cut very short, 2-3″ tall
-choose flowers with similar longevity for your arrangements

Wet-Sand Technique:
-mound dry sand in the desired shape for your arrangement
-create a volcano well in the top of your sand and pour in some water until your sand is moistened uniformly; don’t over water;  you want uniform dampness
-add a bit more sand to close up the well
-create a guide row of the selected flowers to help align your design;  this can be a single row of flowers from the bottom to the center or an “X” guide spanning both sides for larger arrangements
-start arranging the bottom row of flowers first and end with the center; place larger flowers on the bottom, smaller blooms on the top
-every few days, check the moisture level and add water by gently pouring into the top of the arrangement; do not overwater; the sand holds a fair amount of moisture
To see my original Biedermeier flower arranging tutorial, please visit:

To read more about the Biedermeier era, please visit:

I hope you will try this fun method of flower arranging!

23 thoughts on “Biedermeier Flower Arranging: A Tutorial with Fall Flowers

  1. Very pretty. I told LA she could have my footed cake plate so perhaps she’ll try this one day, with or without Charlotte’s help.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • If you choose durable flowers and all the blooms are long lasting like these mums for example, the arrangement will easily last a week. If you mix in roses for example with say mums and dahlias, the roses will fade sooner. I thought the slideshow was most helpful to show how to make this. I love these Biedermeier style arrangements too Jenna!

      Johanne Lamarche


  2. Pingback: Fall Floral Centerpieces from the Garden | French Gardener Dishes

  3. Pingback: Thanksgiving Table Décor Ideas | French Gardener Dishes

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