Top 5 Design Questions – Tips and Tricks That Will Help You Arrange Flowers Like a ProWelcome to our 4th installment in our 5-part series where we answer your questions on how to arrange flowers like a pro. The thought of arranging flowers can unhinge even the most stylish people. The secret to “doing” flowers is not to be intimidated. You are the boss of them! You can whack the long stems off roses so just their flowery heads peek over the vase or cut a flowering plant and turn it into fodder for the vase. You can do whatever you want, and then redo it the next time if it doesn’t work. Sometimes the chicest thing is to just drop a bunch of flowers like some daisies or sweet peas in a mason jar and call it a day.
This Is HowThink about a mixed bouquet as three elements- the filler, the flowers, and the wispy bits. These ingredients build an arrangement.
The FillerThe filler is the foundation: the leafy, branchy stuff that fills the vase and forms the base.
The FlowersThe flowers like daisies, dahlias, tulips, and roses, are the stars, the main attraction.
The Wispy BitsThe wispy bits are the taller, stalkier, grassier things that rise out of the arrangement and loosen it up.
Tip- Cut the stems at an angle. If you cut them flat, the stem will sit flat against the bottom of the vase limiting water uptake.
Tip- Since it is critical for the flowers to take up water after they've been cut, they should be placed in lukewarm water rather than cold water. Who would've thought, right?! Be sure to change the water regularly!
ViewIt’s important to face the arrangement head on. Seated at a table or standing at your kitchen island is ideal for viewing your work at eye level so you can see it all come together and from all different angles.
Anchor ItYou can use chicken wire, rubber bands, or floral tape to anchor your arrangements. Bend the chicken wire to fit inside your container, or wrap the stems in rubber bands, or crisscross the top of the container with clear or green floral tape.
Start With GreensIt’s important to strip the stems of any leaves, especially any leaves that will be in the water. Leaves in the water have a tendency to rot, and will cause the arrangement to die more quickly. Add the greens first to create the initial shape of the arrangement.
Add InterestAdd interest, depth and texture to your arrangement by adding flowers in different colors, sizes, and textures. Start with small buds and filler flowers and then layer in some bold blooms in places where they can make a major impact.
ScaleBe sure to think about the proportion to arrange flowers. Make sure that your arrangement is in proportion to the container or vase you use. Tip- Planning to arrange flowers on your dining room table? To find the appropriate size, place your elbow on the table- the arrangement should be no taller than your fist so that your guests will be able to see one another across the table.
Flared VasesVases that widen at the top are lovely for loose bunches of wildflowers or for flowers like tulips that naturally bend over the vase.
Pinch-top VasesVases that are slightly tighter at the lip, like most pitchers are, seem to magically “gather” the flowers into an arrangement on their own.
CachepotsThese pretty decorative containers may seem a little old-ladyish, but they are wildly useful. You can obscure an ugly plastic pot by simply dropping it right in, hence the French meaning of the word- hide pot.
Bud VasesLove these little guys! You can’t get much simpler than a container that holds only one stem, or three. Odd numbers look more natural.
Flowers On The CheapFancy flower shops? Not necessary. No farmers’ market? No problem. You can get decent flowers from the grocery store year-round, rarely spending more than fifteen dollars every two weeks. Here’s how:
- Before you buy, decide what vase or container the flowers will work best in and where you will put them.
- Flowers are least costly, and most delightful, in their natural flowering season. So tulips in May and peonies in June... not February for instance.
- Buy flowering plants when you can, like hyacinths, paperwhites, and amaryllis, which last much longer than cut flowers, and drop them in a pot and you’re done.
- Go for the impact of scale with few large branches or giant tropical leaves.
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