Flower Arrangements: Five Insider Secrets
Learn five secrets to creating flower arrangements that pop and will last longer. These insider tips will help you create professional looking displays that last and last in your own home. Container choice, weight and proportion, and more all matter.
Flower arrangements can make a powerful impact in your home, and a few quick tips will help you create lovely and long-lasting pieces.
- Choose your container with care. First off, make sure the vase won’t crowd the flowers. A square vase allows the most room, while tapered-neck vases provide support for tall stems. Professionals use tricks like a grid of strong cellophane tape in a short, squat vase to support heavy blooms like gerbera daisies. A tall, cylindrical vase is perfect for sturdy branches like pussy willows. Consider unorthodox containers like old fashioned milk jugs or colored glass bottles for flower arrangements with a lot of character and charm.
- Balance weight and proportion. The pros know the importance of proportion. A general rule of thumb is for flowers to stand one-and-a-half times the height of the vase. Place heavy, bold, showy flowers first, then add more demure blooms one by one. Finally, greenery or branches can be used to round out the arrangement. Take time to think about the rooms where your flower arrangements will be placed. Large, open spaces can handle oversized, bold arrangements, while more subdued arrangements that are smaller in size work well in more contained spaces.
- Cut stems on the diagonal to feed thirsty blooms. Place flowers in fresh water as soon as possible, and do what the pros do by cutting the bottoms of each stem on the diagonal to allow the flowers to drink in as much water as possible. Cut at least half an inch from the bottom of each bloom. Refresh flowers every day or two by re-cutting them on the diagonal to allow them to continue to drink.
- Give your water an extra boost for arrangements that last and last. The Temecula Valley’s hard water is rough on cut flowers. For the longest life of special flower arrangements, use demineralized water (sold in the bottled water section of supermarkets). Don’t use water from a water softener, because the salt will also shorten the life of cut arrangements. The University of California Master Gardeners Extension recommends this special recipe to help preserve flowers: 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm (not hot) water.
- Repurpose arrangements to get an extra couple of days out of every bouquet. When your arrangements begin to wilt, remove stems that are past their prime and rearrange what’s left into progressively smaller vases. There is incredible variety in how long flower types last. Chrysanthemums, amazingly, can last almost a month. Alstroemeria, which comes in a variety of colors, can last up to two weeks. The humble carnation can last two to three weeks with proper care.
Image Source: Flickr/liz west