Beautiful Begonia

I recently did a wedding where the bride wanted me to create lush garden arrangements with a unique element. I immediately knew that I wanted to use begonia once I set foot inside our local nursery and saw the variety of begonias oozing with beauty. I know that some of you on Instagram mentioned that begonias don't last in arrangements for you, but somehow I haven't had that problem. Perhaps, it's because I cut directly from the plant and into my arrangement. In any event, I really really love them in all shapes, sizes, and colors - and I would not hesitate to use them whenever I can. Kiana Underwood / | Photography: N.R. Underwood /

Flowers: begonia, magnolia, garden rose, peony, fuscia, snapdragon, bower vine, privet, birch, grapevine Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood / | Photography: N.R. Underwood /

Kiana Underwood / | Photography: N.R. Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N.R. Underwood

Big and Tall - Hotel-style DIY

Sometimes the event or room calls for a big/tall arrangement - something of a statement piece. You will often find these types of arrangements in hotel lobbies and fine dining restaurants, and I thought that it would be fun to put together a DIY to show the steps. I've had the urn below (available from Pottery Barn) for some time, and I love using it for tall pieces due to its weight and stability. Often people feel that large arrangements are complicated to put together, and should only be left to professionals. This is simply not true, and large arrangements are not any more complicated (and sometimes quite a bit easier) than their smaller counterparts. I hope that after looking at the pictures below, you will give it a try.

Kiana Underwood /

Flowers: foxtail lily, larkspur, amaranth, magnolia, dahlia, lisianthus, tree fern, tree branches Kiana Underwood /

Begin by arranging your tree branches (choose a variety that suits your taste) in the urn. You want to build out the volume of your arrangement in this step. Kiana Underwood /

Continue with the tree fern, which adds some body to the center. Kiana Underwood /

Add the amaranth Kiana Underwood /

Some foxtail lily for height Kiana Underwood /

Adding some color - this is lisianthus Kiana Underwood /

And finally dahlia and magnolia. Examine your arrangement, and fill where needed (I added more foxtail lily after this shot) Kiana Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by Angie Cao Tuscan Urn available at Pottery Barn

Sidewalk Magnolia DIY

There is a beautiful Magnolia tree on an empty lot at the end of our street right next to the sidewalk. I've been spying on it as it has progressed from bud to bloom, and finally walked down last week to take a few clippings. The beauty of living in northern California is that Spring tries its best to begin in January. In this DIY, we use the Magnolia branches/flowers as the star, and fill in with some "clipped from my garden" berries and succulents and grocery store Hyacinth. Total cost - about $15 plus a little bit of time. / Kiana Underwood

Our star / Kiana Underwood

What you will need:

  • Floral shears/scissors
  • A large vase or urn
  • Magnolia branches with flowers
  • Hyacinth
  • Succulents (any green variety)
  • Japanese Privet berries (or other blue/purple berries) / Kiana Underwood

Step 1

Trim the Magnolia branches to your desired height and shape, and place them in the vase allowing them to rest in a natural manner. / Kiana Underwood / Kiana Underwood

Step 2

Remove any leaves from the Japanese Privet to highlight the berries and trim the stems to an appropriate length for your vase. / Kiana Underwood / Kiana Underwood

Step 3

Trim the Hyacinth and remove any extra leaves. Again, place them naturally and asymmetrically within the vase. / Kiana Underwood / Kiana Underwood

Step 4

In this final step, we add some succulents for a touch of green and additional texture. Keep in mind that even after the other flowers have died, the succulents can be removed and replanted in the garden where they will continue to grow and thrive. / Kiana Underwood / Kiana Underwood

All photos by N. Underwood for Naked Bouquet