Combining floral ingredients in delicious sorbet hues, Gilberto Espinoza Freihoff creates sumptuous hand-tied bouquet for spring and summer nuptials.

Floral design by Gilberto Espinoza Freihoff, Dogwood & Fir; San Diego, Calif.

Sinuous and sensual, ethereal and flowing, natural and organic are all descriptors applicable to this delectable hand-tied bouquet, designed by Gilberto Espinoza Freihoff, owner of Dogwood & Fir in San Diego, Calif. The pastel palette and free-form styling all contribute to the casual and effortless yet elegant aesthetic of this understated contemporary design—perfect for weddings at the beach, in the vineyard and beyond.


Step 1

Assemble all your materials, and prep them all. Remove the lower-most leaves from all stems.

Step 2

Cut some long lengths of waterproof tape, and place them close to you. As you add botanicals into the bouquet, it can become difficult to hold all the stems together, and taping them at various stages throughout the design process helps keep them together and in the proper placements.

Step 3

Begin building the “skeleton” of the bouquet—the gridwork through which other stems will be placed and that hold them in place. Interlocking the stems is, perhaps, the best way to secure the shape of the bouquet. Begin with foliage; for this bouquet, Pieris japonica is a perfect botanical for building a skeleton because of its bushiness and woody stems.

Step 4

Once the foliage stems are in place, begin adding blooms that will create defined lines to the skeleton, such as the Delphinium used in this bouquet. Delphiniumis also good for adding some filler into the base of the bouquet. Once the Delphinium and Pieris stems are interlocked, add Helleborus and Clematis. The Helleborus will add more body and stability to the bouquet while the Clematis will add a touch of whimsy.

Step 5

Next, add stems of sweet peas. I prefer for them to extend outward from the bouquet, but you can tuck them deeper into the bouquet if that is your preference.

Step 6

Place larger focal blooms—in this case, Japanese garden roses. Place one deep into the center of the bouquet, and layer others atop the first rose, extending out a bit more, to create depth. Once the focal point is defined, add more garden roses and carnations, evenly distributing them throughout the bouquet.

Step 7

Next, arrange the peonies. Place them where they will be the most visually stunning.

Step 8

Now that the bouquet is solid and substantial, it is time to add the delicate and accent flowers, including the Ranunculus, butterfly RanunculusIris and Scabiosa. It is important to add them last because they can be easily damaged when you are working on the first steps of the bouquet.

Finally, arrange the Tweedia by tucking stems between the other blooms, to make them stand out and create an accentuation. Continually look in the mirror to assess the bouquet from all angles.

Step 9

If necessary, bind the stems closely under the blooms with a final wrapping of waterproof tape. Once the stems in the finished bouquet are tight and secure, trim all the stem ends to the same length.

Step 10

Finally, add a tie of ribbon, making sure to completely cover the waterproof tape binding point.



• Delphinium x Belladonna (larkspur)

• Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Caramel Antique’ (carnation)

• Rosa spp. ‘Princess Miyuki’/’First Snow’ (Japanese garden rose)

• Paeonia lactiflora (Chinese peony, garden peony)

• Iris spp. (fleur-de-lis, Dutch Iris)

• Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)

• Ranunculus asiaticus ‘Cloni Success’ series (Persian buttercup, Italian Ranunculus)

• Ranunculus spp. Butterfly series (butterfly buttercup, butterfly crowfoot, butterfly Ranunculus)

• Scabiosa atropurpurea x caucasica ‘Scoop’ series. (pincushion flower, scabious)

• Helleborus orientalis/H. x hybridus (hellebore, Lenten rose)

• Clematis spp. vine (virgin’s bower, leather flower, vase vine)

• Tweedia caerulea/Oxypetalum coeruleum (blue-flowered milkweed, blue milkweed, Southern star)

• Pieris japonica (lily-of-the-valley bush, Japanese andromeda, fetterbush)


• OASIS® Waterproof Tape

• Silk or chiffon ribbon