TIPS FOR ARRANGING FLOWERS

 
Around springtime I always seem to find myself looking for any excuse to give someone flowers. A lot of people may argue they're a waste of money (my dad being one of them), but most people think they're nice to have around. With that being said, my best friend's birthday was this week, so I figured it would be the perfect time to throw something together.

When it comes to store-bought flowers, the easiest thing is to just toss them in a vase. But...I'm not the type to take the easy route. With a little bit of time and a sharp pair of scissors, you can make grocery store flowers look like a million bucks. Or at least a hundred.
 
First thing to do is choose a vase. I tend to prefer simple cylindrical ones. The one I used for this particular arrangement was actually from the kitchen section at HomeGoods. Pretty sure it's meant for storing flour or sugar or dog treats, but it did the trick. Depending on the vase, It can sometimes help to have a few guides to keep flowers from falling over as you start to build. A couple strips of scotch tape in a grid pattern will work! Don't get too crazy with the tape though. About a quarter to half an inch of overhang is all you need to keep the tape secure. Too much more and you might be able to see the tape after it's all set.

I usually use water that's just below room temperature. If your flowers came with food packets, definitely add that before you get started. Or, do what I did...realize halfway through adding flowers that you forgot and have to squeeze the packets into one side and swirl it around in the already full vase. I put three of the six packets of food I had into this one, but depending on the amount of flowers you can add more or less. In total, this had 24 roses, about 20 ranunculus stems, 4 hydrangea stems, and some greenery.
 
Most people know to cut flowers before putting them in water. You'll want to chop off at least an inch and a half or so. You can, and should, cut them down more if you're working with a shorter vase. I don't have any particular measurement or rule of thumb for how much I cut off, I just go with the guess and check method. Of course remember you can always cut more off, but can't put length back on.

With this arrangement, I started off by cutting down the hydrangea. Because they're bigger, I like to think of them as the "base" and work around them. After cutting all four to the same length, I also removed some of the bigger leaves. That helps to keep things from getting too bulky as you start adding more. I do the same with the other flowers, clipping excess leaves when necessary.
 
I generally add the flowers in by type - all the hydrangea, then all the white roses, then all the pink roses, etc. That helps me make sure I'm distributing them evenly throughout the arrangement. This one was jam packed with flowers, so I ended up adding them a little more sporadically to make sure I was getting some of each type before it got too full.

After all of the flowers are set, I give it final check to see if any of them need to be trimmed a little more to make things even. Very rarely is everything perfect on the first go. A lot of times I end up pulling some out to switch places or make other adjustments.
 
It may take a little more effort, but the end result is a great looking arrangement that's sure to make someone smile. You can customize it to include whatever types of flowers you like. Depending on what you use, the arrangement can continue to look great for up to a week. Smiles for days.


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