Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flower Arranging 101


I am so thrilled to be able to share the little tricks and tips I've discovered putting together at-home flower arrangements with you today! I love doing beautiful, soft, romantic, monochromatic white flower arrangements and love playing with fun, bold and bright arrangements just as much. So, in honor of Mother's Day, I'm going to show you how to create both to please all of yo mommas out there!

**DISCLAIMER** I have never taken a floral arranging class nor do I claim to be anywhere near a professional level. These are simply tips I've discovered through trial and error for the do it yourselfers.


First, you need to decide what vase or container you're going to use. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned with hot hot water and soapy suds. Be sure to rinse it well.


Secondly, add the flower food that comes with the flowers you purchased.


Fill the (very cold) water 3/4 of the way full. I also like to add ice cubes to ensure the water is super cold. Making sure the H2O is chilly helps keep the blooms tight and closed (lasts longer). Why do you think you see flower arrangements stored in refrigerators? 


On to the arranging! 

For the romantic, white arrangement, I went with white hydrangeas, white spray roses, con bu rice flower (upper left hand corner), and seeded eucalyptus (greenery). While hydrangeas are anywhere between $3.00-$10.00 a stem depending where you get them, they take up a lot of visual space and ends up creating lusher arrangements for less cash money.


Since I'm most comfortable creating tight round arrangements, I always arrange the flowers in my hands rather than cutting them and arranging them in the container.

If I have hydrangeas in the arrangement, I like starting with them since they take up the most visual space. Make sure to strip off all of the leaves and greenery on the stem.


Start grabbing other flowers and begin surrounding the hydrangea.


Keep adding. There's no science to it. Do what looks pretty!


Add your last hydrangea.


Hold the arrangement far away from you so you can observe the shape of the flowers. Adjust them until you're happy with it. I typically try to make them look as rounded off as possible.


Once you're happy with the shape of the blooms, add the seeded eucalyptus to the outside of the arrangement. Make sure you leave a few extra flowers left over to fill in gaps.


Check and make sure your dog is happy with your work.
(even though he needs a hair cut so bad he can't see)


Once he's agreed, hold up the arrangement next to the container to estimate how much you need to trim off the stems.


Snip! Snip! Be sure to cut on a bias. Cutting the stems on a bias allows the blooms to suck up more water.


Plop the flowers in the vase. Notice that big gap in the middle?


Fill it in with those extra blooms you saved.


Ta da! You have yourself a beautiful, romantic arrangement sure to please any momma, g-momma, step momma, auntie momma, and any other momma you see fit.


On to that bold and pow wow arrangement. Again, the hydrangeas add wonderful texture and help fill in a lot of the bouquet space. I've also picked out godetia (those pinky purple blooms), matsumoto aster (those red pops of fun) and gorgeous parrot tulips.

When choosing bold flower arrangements, I usually try to pick 3-4 colors to focus on. I typically always have a green, blue or purple, pink or red, and yellow or orange. I've found that when I stick to that color philosophy, things seem to just click!


A trick to picking out healthy and hearty hydrangeas is to cup your hand and gently push down on the blossom. If the blooms feel firm to the touch, it's a healthy hydrangea. Quick! Snatch it up before someone else does. You'll definitely be able to tell if a hydrangea is soft and unhealthy.


Start with the hydrangea again. Notice hydrangeas have multiple stems. You can GENTLY pull them apart and fit other blooms in between the hydrangea blooms. That way your bouquet ends up looking evenly hydrangea distributed. That's a thing.


Keep adding as you did with the white blooms.


Until you're super thrilled with your skills.


I wanted to cut this arrangement extra short to ensure the arrangement was really tight and fit low in the container.


Boom. Bright blooms to knock anyone's socks off.


A few tips on how to make your arrangement last longer:
  1. Change water every two days to make sure your blooms are getting fresh, clear water.
  2. Hydrangeas are called HYDRAngeas for a reason. They suck up lots of H2O. Be sure to watch your water level.
  3. Flowers do NOT like heat. Don't put them near a sunny window and make sure the A/C is always on when you have fresh blooms in your home.
For all of you Houstonians (even Texans), I purchased all of my flowers at Central Market. Try to focus mostly on the 3 for $12 section. You'll get your best bang for your buck there. Total for each of these arrangements comes out to about $32 each (containers not included). Pretty good for an at home arrangement!


Which is your favorite? Romantic or Bold?


Watson Update: Groomer cancelled AGAIN. Can you believe? He's getting groomed today...or we'll see. I'm tempted to go to Petsmart and buy an electric dog razor. Do you trust me?

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips, Lauren! Both are very beautiful arrangements. I'm lovin' the bold! Wish I could have the romantic arrangement on my coffee table every day though...sigh.

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  2. Are you SURE you didn't take a class on flower arranging? Your vocabulary is very much like that of a florist. And your tricks with the hydrangeas, you had to have learned that somewhereee.
    I'm dying to know what those furry, coral-looking flowers/plants from the last post are? I actually saw those at a flower shop in Dallas last week and couldn't stop touching them (whoops).
    I think I may try to attempt this this weekend for my boyfriends mom. I will report back!

    xo
    Sally

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  3. Thank you ladies!!

    I saw them at Central when I was picking out these flowers and I think the red coral things are bromeliads. Or at least in the bromeliad family.

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  4. Thanks for the great tips! Your arrangements are gorgeous.

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  5. Wow, you did a great job! Your flowers look lovely - they look like they were done by true professionals :) By the way, I just found your blog and you have such a lovely layout...just followed you :)

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  6. loving your flower arrangements, but your living room - omg!!!!!!!!!!!

    it is tooo cute! see more????

    Joni

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