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How to Make a Floral Arrangement

Sunday, May 19, 2013

If you're like me, some things just dumbfound you. For example, you look at the beautiful flowers that come from florist shops and wonder how in the world these people get to be so talented. However, I am just curious enough to try and try and try until I have something that I am happy enough with. (Of course, my floral arrangements will never look like a professional made them, but I think they're pretty snazzy, and I thought I'd share these tips and tricks with you to help you get better too.)

Step one is to choose the flowers for your arrangement. I always think that sticking to a color scheme of three works best, but that is just my preference. And, of course, if you are lucky enough to have your own cutting garden, then you might be blessed with an abundance of color, so don't let this recommendation deter you. Work with what you have. Flowers are pretty much available in many locations, including grocery stores, club stores, etc., and as long as they look fresh when you buy them, they will be fine to work with. Remember to choose flowers of varying sizes.

Next, choose your container. I recommend choosing containers that are slightly smaller than you think you would need. Flower arrangements tend to look better if overflowing a smaller container rather than being swallowed up by a large container.
Each bunch of flowers will come enshrouded in plastic wrap and held together with rubber bands. Remove all of that and separate your flowers back into stacks by type.

Each bunch of flowers will also come with a food packet. Collect all of those. Because you are making an arrangement, you will only need one packet per vase to start your project. Fill your vase with warm water and place one packet of food in each vase. Water should be warm but comfortable to the touch (not hot). (Flowers absorb warm water more quickly and readily than cold water.) If for any reason your flowers did not come with food packets, you can substitute 1/2 container of warm water and 1/2 container of room temperature lemon lime soda.

Place the vase near the edge of your work surface. Choose the flowers that you wish to be most prominent in your arrangement. (I say this because you don't want to get to the end of your project and have a few flowers left over and think, "Crap! I didn't use all of the roses!") Hold one of these flowers up near the vase, letting the end extend past the edge of the work surface. When you have decided on a good height for the flower, you will know how much you need to cut off the flower. Using a sharp knife (if you are adventurous) or pruning shears, cut the flower's stem at an angle.

Remove any leaves that would dip below the water's surface and place the flower in the water. Repeat with the other flowers that you determined to be the most prominent in the arrangement. In order for them to be equally represented on all sides of the arrangement, space them equally around the vase.

Continue choosing a flower type, measuring, and spacing equally around the vase. Make sure to keep color in mind while adding to the arrangement. (e.g. don't place all of the pink flowers or all of the Gerbers on one side of the arrangement or it will look visually "lopsided"). When finished adding all flowers to the vase, add a ribbon around the neck of the vase if desired.

And with some practice, your finished product should look something like this:

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