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How to Arrange Flowers

Jackie Fo By

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Flowers are a universal language.


They say, “I love you,” “I’m sorry,” “I miss you” and a lot more. They brighten up a room, a patio, a front yard—and my personal favorite, a party. In my humble opinion, if you have a $20 budget for party decorations, you should spend it on flowers. It’s like saying, “I love you” to all your guests.

Not sure how to make the flowers look their best? Here are a few tips that will have you arranging flowers like a pro.

1. If you’re going to arrange more than one bouquet in your life, invest in some floral shears. Ever tried to cut a thick flower stem using a pair of 4-year-old kitchen scissors? If so, you know where I am coming from; it’s not a pretty sight. Regular old scissors will not hack it if you’re trimming a decent amount of stems. Use your shears to cut stems on an angle for a long, beautiful flower life.

2. Need help getting those pesky buds to stay put? Floral foam, that green spongy stuff, is your secret weapon. Simply fill up a bowl of water and gently place a block of foam on top of the water. Let it absorb water and sink until it’s fully submerged (this is key, as you don’t want it bobbing around!). Place the wet foam into your vase, and insert each stem carefully into the foam. This way your flowers stay in place, as opposed to flopping around every which way.

how to arrange flowers hydrengeas

3. Hydrangeas are your new best friends. The beautiful, easy-to-arrange flowers are gorgeous enough on their own, but they also serve as a great base for adding additional flowers to the arrangements. Using your floral shears, cut the hydrangea stems so the flowers rest just over the edge of the vase. An average-size vase calls for three hydrangea stems, to create a beautiful, full carpet of blooms. Now it’s time to get creative! Create height and color by sticking smaller buds in the crevices and cracks of the hydrangeas until the arrangement looks full. Vary the heights and types of flowers as you see fit—and check that it looks appealing from all angles!

how to arrange flowers cluster vase

4. Maybe you have a situation where the flowers will be viewed only from one side. Well, in that case, lucky you! Try what I call the “clustering technique”: Group together a bunch of all the same flower in front of a backdrop of greenery. Put the greenery in the back of the vase first, and build your groups of flowers in front of the greenery.

how to arrange flowers single bud vases

5. If you’re daunted by creating a large arrangement for a side table or some other attention-getting spot, start smaller. Unique arrangements for your dinner table are a good place to experiment, as these bouquets should be smaller so as not to block your guests’ view. For an eclectic look, you could just use bud vases in all shapes, sizes and colors, with a single stem in each one.

how to arrange flowers signature piece

6. One last special touch for party flowers: Stick a filled bud vase in the bathroom to continue the party theme! It’s unexpected and cheerful, and something your guests will appreciate.

7.Finally, just remember that practice makes perfect with flower arranging, so keep trying!
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