Technically, there’s nothing wrong with a store-bought bouquet. But a lush arrangement like the ones Briana Bosch creates at her Lakewood cutting garden, Blossom and Branch Farm, will score extra praise from your houseguests—or your honey. Here, Bosch offers four techniques she teaches at her flower-arranging workshops so you, too, can nail the floral flourish.

All Natural

In nature, flowers don’t grow in precise rows, so your arrangement doesn’t need to be meticulous, either. Bosch likes some asymmetry, though she repeats certain shapes, like the curve of the ninebark on the left and bidens on the right.

Mix and Match

Choose a variety of flowers but be sure not to cram too many types into one arrangement, which can lead to an overwhelming bouquet. Start with flowers in similar hues, then add a few surprising elements, such as this arrangement’s pop of contrasting color and woodsy stems.

Surprise Inside

The secret to balancing all those buds? Chicken wire. Cut a square twice the size of the vase’s opening, mold it into a loose tangle, place it in the vessel, and secure with tape. Stems woven into the mesh stay put.

Your vase can be any size, but for looser arrangements, Bosch avoids narrow ones. “The stems get crammed together and you can’t see each flower individually,” she says.

Grow Your Own Cutting Garden

Do: Add flowers amidst your vegetables to attract more pollinators. Bosch recommends dwarf sunflowers, zinnias, and feverfew.

Don’t: Limit yourself to one type of plant in each garden. Let them grow spontaneously—you can always edit plants out as the garden grows.

Do: Choose drought-tolerant plants (try yarrow, coneflower, and penstemon).

Don’t: Over-prune. Sparse foliage discourages pollinators.