Friday, May 12, 2017

Flower Arranging Tips for Beginners



Mother's Day is THIS weekend! Last minute bloggers usually post something 2 weeks before a holiday, and here I am 2 days before Mother's Day posting my ideas "man-style" - last minute. Nevertheless, here I am sticking to my goal to be a blogger this year and I'm almost 6 months in.


My sister Erin gave me flowers a few weeks ago, and I took them out of the vase, clipped all the ends 1 inch and stuck them in a vase.  When Erin visited, she actually arranged my flowers for me and they looked SO much better.  Each flower had a varying height and the pretty ones were in the center. Also, they had a frame of flowers around them to add interest.  I was so impressed and knew I wanted to learn from her and share her technique, so I asked her for help with a blog post.

Based on how she arranges flowers, I have come up with 3 things that a true beginner should start with when they want to arrange flowers in their own house, or to make an arrangement for a friend or loved one.

1. Choose Variety - Pick more than one type of flower! My grocery store Harris Teeter sells a small bunch of a single type of flower 3 or 4 for 12 dollars (the extra dollar is if they are on sale or not.) In this bunch, I chose pink carnations, pink tulips, and white mini daisies (I just made that name up since I never checked the label). I also bought a single hydrangea bunch that I didn't end up using. So this particular arrangement cost me 12 dollars.

I chose 2 shades of similar pink for my arrangement, but definitely mix it up.  I have seen beautiful arrangements with shade of dark flowers like deep reds and blues, or go with jewel tones like deep red, purples, and greens.  A bunch of pastels would be so pretty and fresh, and different shades of one color always looks amazing.

Just a last thought on having variety. This is also what often separates cheap from expensive arrangements.  The 30 and 40 dollar arrangements at the grocery store are the ones with 5 + varieties of greenery and florals, lots of short and tall.


2. Height Matters - This really does make all the difference from boring to beautiful - or from what looks like a few small flowers that don't look right in the vase to fitting perfectly in a vase and looking full and professional.

When you cut your flowers, cut them at a 45 degree angle. Why? It's supposed to help them last longer because of the increased surface area to draw up water.

Start by arranging them in your hand.  If you have a lot of flowers, the bigger ones should be all around the outside and shorter, and the taller, thinner ones should be towards the inside.  The middle can be greenery mixed with taller, thinner flowers. Some of the thinner small flower can go shorter and in front of the big ones that are cut short and near the front, but not too many.

If you have few flowers, you may have to have the arrangement facing only one direction, so it won't be pretty from all angles, but will have a definite front and back.  In this case, you can keep the same idea, but put the bigger and cut shorter flowers near the front, and then fill in taller thinner flowers near the back.

Somewhere along the line put the flowers in your vase and start filling in holes.

3. Add Greenery - to fill in holes, use small fillers like greenery or baby's breath, or even the little mini daisies like I did. Also, use greenery and fillers to create a sort of backdrop for the flowers. These elements take an arrangement to a new level.

before
after

If you pick fillers from your own yard - try to pick something a little waxy and sturdy so it will stand the test of time.  Cut them, shake off the bugs and then bring them inside and trim them up.  Pick off the bottom leaves so they have stem.

Voila! Don't worry if it doesn't all come together until the very end.  That's the point, you keep working with it until it looks good.

Don't forget to check out my friend Brooke's post about keeping flowers fresh longer - click here!

I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day, and don't forget to celebrate and remember the women in your life that mean the most to you (including yourself hehehe)!


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