Water can be a graceful way to elevate flowers in a vase without the heaviness of a ceramic or other material.  Let’s take a look at some ways to work with the element of water without creating an underwater design.

For the gala opening of Longwood Gardens Fountain Garden, we hung glass droplets from a circle of wires attached from the ceiling.  Hundreds of droplets were tied to fishing line to create a wall of water similar to that in the grotto behind the main fountain area.

At the end of the project, all of the droplets were then untied and recounted for the Longwood ornament collection. Did you know that there is a person assigned to the job of keeping track of all of Longwood’s ornaments—not a small task for sure!!

A close-up of the flowers behind the droplets shows a myriad of garden and tropical blooms. The first layer of flowers includes hydrangea, chrysanthemum, carnations and bells of Ireland. 

These more basic blooms are then enhanced with exotic anthurium and extra tall golden oncidium orchids. Tall golden willow stems take the design to a very tall height. 


Two Italian modern mass designs were featured in Longwood’s Italian Water Garden for the American Public Gardens Association event  Blue hydrangea and yellow gloriosa lilies fill the central floral design and are flanked with two tall designs of the same blue hydrangea, purple agapanthus, alstroemeria, and golden eremurus.

The modern mass design uses a large quantity of a limited variety of materials and flowers and foliage are used in groups to create a sculptural effect.

Elevated by water in tall glass vases, aspidistra leaves float with butterfly anthurium and white dendrobium orchids.

Careful wrapping of stems and leaf in this art nouveau design reflect the water. 

Notice the green wire sphere at the bottom of the vase. Water has a magnifying effect on materials and items placed underwater appear larger than they are.

A delicate glass vase makes elegant support for a Victorian inspired bouquet.

Again the glass adds lightness to the solid, rounded form.  

Always a favorite way for me to use water in our home is a series of glass vases.  Flowers love being in fresh water and I love seeing the stems through the glass drinking their fill.

Remember that when working with flowers in fresh water, it will need to be kept fresh so water frequently and change water as soon as it looks cloudy.