Learn about the different types of annuals and perennials, sun and shade. Learn about bulbs, rhizomes, cuttings, and seed plants. Learn flower arranging basics like how to cut flowers, which last the longest, design principles, and best containers and holders. Learn the six basic principles of style.

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Exploring 4-H

Exploring 4-H Floriculture

Spark Activity: Flower Arranging 101

4-H Floriculture is all about flowers - from selecting your favorite flower to plant, nurturing them as they grow, and then enjoying them when they bloom. Gather your supplies to make a beautiful floral arrangement.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Flower vase
  • Assorted flowers
  • Shears / scissors
  • Gloves (if working with thorns)
  1. Study and define the six basic principles of flower arrangement: balance, scale, dominance, rhythm, color and orientation.
  2. Choose a unique re-purposed container.
  3. Select your flower/foliage collection. This may require some travel around your city/town if it’s not peak season in your own garden.
  4. Arrange your flowers in a creative and visually appealing way utilizing the basic principles.
  5. Take a photo of your arrangement and make a social media post, highlighting the ways in which you tried to apply the six basic principles.
  6. Share your arrangement with a mentor or expert to get feedback
4-H Project Levels and Goals
  • Pick out flowers (color/size) to plant in a container garden
  • Learn basic facts about plants and how they grow
  • Grow and maintain a garden
  • Learn basic garden tools
  • Design a garden space using at least six different types of flowers
  • Determine the best flowers that will grow in sun/shade
  • Learn about soil and fertilizer/ plant food
  • Choose containers appropriate for different types of floral arrangements
  • Learn about garden fertilizer and nutrients that plants need
  • Start a compost bin or a rain bin
  • Design and plant a garden space using at least 12 different types of flowers
  • Design and plant container gardens for indoor or outdoor spaces
Put Your Project Into Action

Show Your Skills

  • Display of a flower with all parts identified
  • Exhibit of containers and appropriate types of flowers - for planting or arranging
  • Comparison of shade vs. sun plants

Service and Leadership

  • Plant flowers in a flower pot at your school, park, library or local fairgrounds
  • Adopt a flower bed at a park or nursing home
  • Fill planters on your town’s downtown street
  • Design a wheelchair accessible garden
  • Organize a perennial exchange
  • Start a flower arranging group then take arrangements to the nursing home
  • Teach your club how to identify flowers


  • Start a community garden
  • Design landscape plans
  • Start a nursery
  • Raise and sell flowers at a Farmer’s Market
  • Intern at a flower shop, nursery, or local seed/ fertilizer company

Technology Connection

  • Greenhouse technology
  • Aeroponics
  • Vertical gardening

Connecting with a Mentor

  • Local nursery or flower shop
  • Horticulture teacher
  • Illinois Extension Master Gardeners
  • Local arboretum or botanical garden


  • 4-H workshops and shows
  • County fair floriculture show
  • Flower & garden expos
  • Garden tours
  • Soil Technician
  • Landscaper
  • Event Planner
  • Wedding Planner
  • Florist
  • Interior Decorator
  • Set Designer
  • Flower Farmer
Start a Conversation
  • How did you determine what plants to put in your garden?
  • What was the best place to grow the plants?
  • Did you use plant food and how did you determine the best to use?