I’ve never been to California but in my mind, it’s a magical place where the weather always cooperates, the backdrops are always picture-perfect, and the people always look trendy no matter what they’re wearing. It’s also apparently a place with more unique produce than I have available here in New York – as proven by this Flower Chef recipe. Read on to see my mishaps with kumquats (or lack thereof) and the beautiful arrangement that somehow still resulted from my bloopers!

What You’ll Need:
  • 1 bunch of yellow stock (4-5 stems)
  • 1 bunch of yellow ranunculus (4-5 stems)
  • 1 bunch of yellow freesia (4-5 stems)
  • 1 bunch of white or green ‘Safari Sunset’ or ‘Safari Goldstrike’ (4-5 stems)
  • 1 bunch of solidaster
  • 1 vine of kumquats (2′-3′ branch)
  • Thick green floral tape/rubber band

Step 1: Spiral

This is one of the last of the spiraling arrangements in The Flower Chef, which I’m kind of sad about! Spiraling has been one of the most helpful floral arranging techniques I’ve ever learned. I’ve even taught family members and friends how to do it with their own flowers at home! It’s a foolproof way to create the perfect shape for your centerpieces or bouquets. If you haven’t tried it by now, head back here and learn the basics to get started!

Okay, back to this arrangement. Spiral your flowers, alternating by type. Be sure to vary the heights of the flowers a bit so you achieve a natural, loose look as you add.

Step 2: Laugh at your shortcomings

You won’t find this step in The Flower Chef and if you’re like me, you also won’t find kumquats at your local grocery store or produce stand. Once I realized I was out of luck for kumquats, I decided to improvise with what I had on hand. And by what I had on hand, I definitely mean I sent my husband out to the store to pick up some mandarin oranges! After sharing a couple with the kids (#momlife), I used some of my leftover flower stems and stabbed the center of the oranges to create a faux vine look.

My intentions were good. The result? Not so much – as evidenced by the mini blooper reel above!

Step 3: Improvise some more

Luckily, I had some peach oranges on hand that worked a bit better than heavy oranges on flower stems. Who would have thought?! 😉  I pulled a few through to give the arrangement the pop of color it needed and thankfully it turned out great!

Step 4: Cut, secure, and place!

When you’re finished creating your California Vintage masterpiece, cut the stems to about 7-8″ long (or as long as needed to fit properly in your vase), fill your container about halfway with water, and admire your work!


For more easy-to-follow recipes and fresh floral ingredients delivered directly to your doorstep, back our BloomsyChef project on Kickstarter! There may or may not be great perks involved. (Spoiler alert: there definitely are!)


Photos c/o Kelsey Rebman Photography | Flowers via WholesaleFlowers.net
Grab your own copy of The Flower Chef here!