How To: Using A Flower Frog – The Bowl

Come rain or shine, brighten up your home with a display of flowers that not only look great, but will bring a sense of life and energy into your home thanks to Clare Nolan.

“In this small bowl arrangement, I was aiming for a display where I could position the stems exactly where I wanted and give the flowers a chance to breathe. A flower frog (or pin holder) is ideal for giving the stems support in this situation – or you could use a small piece of chicken wire.”


Without something to support the flower stems it would be almost impossible to display flowers like this in a shallow bowl – they would just splay out and collapse. A flower frog makes it possible. Choose one that fits snuggly in the vessel and secure it in position with florists’ tack. I sometimes use chicken wire taped into place when I don’t have a flower frog that will fit, but the ball of chicken wire can slip and move sometimes – depending on the flowers I’m using.

Flower frog bowl to secure flowers in the bowl


Start by adding the main foliage stems (ninebark and copper beech in this display) to create the backdrop for your flowers – use them to create the overall shape of the display and to cover up the base of the bowl to hide all your mechanics.


Then add your soft or secondary foliage (the coral bells here) and filler – I used some autumnal coloured hydrangea to create a ‘dome’ around the bowl to visually ‘anchor’ the display.

Flower frog to secure flowers inside the bowl


Next, add your focal flowers – I used very little in this display, just one sprig of Hydrangea arborescens ‘Sweet Annabelle’ and a ‘Lady of Shallot’ rose, as this arrangement is really about celebrating the beauty of autumnal foliage rather than the flowers.


To finish off, add any final flourishes – I added a wiry stem of scabious seed pod.


  • Make a thing of the natural movement of the stems and branches you are using – let them guide you.
  • Keep things loose and let the flowers breathe – don’t be tempted to keep everything in a tight dome. It’s ok to have stems that wiggle up and out, heading off in one direction all on their own – that’s all part of the look.
  • Displaying in a bowl like this makes a showcase out of the smallest flowers – I’ll often use up leftovers in this way. This is also a great way to decorate a table – as you can create lots of interest at a low level without obscuring people’s view of one another.
In Bloom by Clare Nolan book cover

Extract taken from In Bloom by Clare Nolan, published by Kyle Books, £26.

For more floral inspiration, learn how to arrange a bunch of flowers in your hand thanks to Clare.

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