Tree of Heaven

Tree of heaven has some beautiful and exotic seeds, and when I spotted them at the SF Flower Mart the other day, I knew I had to do a DIY with them. Since they have such tall and beautiful branches they make for a perfect large statement piece while still maintaining simplicity. I decided to mix them up with some lovely viburnum berries for color and texture and hydrangea paniculata for a little delicate touch. The great thing about this floral combination is that they all last quite a long time - at least for cut flowers. I think that the color palette is perfect for a late summer/early fall floral statement! Note: Tree of heaven has quite an interesting history. If you have the time, the wikipedia article is quite fascinating (in Chinese it is called literally 'foul smelling tree').

Kiana Underwood /

Flowers: Tree of heaven (seeds), hydrangea paniculata, and viburnum (berries) Kiana Underwood /

Begin by arranging the tall tree of heaven branches - you can cut them at different lengths to lend a natural display throughout the arrangement. Kiana Underwood /

Add the viburnum where the lovely berries can best show themselves off. Kiana Underwood /

Finally, add the hydrangea - just enough so that their puffiness does not overwhelm the rest of the arrangement! Kiana Underwood /

Kiana Underwood /


Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N. 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