There are very few things that can create an IMMEDIATE shift in a room or space in the way a bouquet of flowers does. Fresh blooms can obviously add color and beauty, however they do so SO much more. They can add that level of extra elegance to a well set dining table (we will leave this subject for another post…) they enhance a foyer with freshness and a certain “grand” feeling upon entering a house or apartment. Flowers add dimension by changing the textures of a living room, either complementing the tones used around them or in juxtaposition by becoming a “pop of color” hence a new focal point where there wasn’t one before.
While there are plenty of wonderful companies out there effortlessly bringing beautiful bouquets to your front door (hello @thebouqsco, looove you guys!!!) for ME there is something personal and therapeutic in the process of picking and arranging my own flowers. Either for a special occasion or to simply give my house, bedroom, office etc a little bit of a “umph”. And the truth is, having flowers around just makes me oh so happy!
So I’ve decided to use this new-to-me platform to share a few tips for care and arrangement of flowers, either for yourself or to bring as gifts.
Let’s get started with some basic tips:
Any flower of your choice will work, but I tend to stay away from bald supermarket bunches, which most likely have been sitting there for a few days already and have more branches than actual flowers or even leafs. My suggestions for sources vary on location. In NYC I used to LOVE the near- by bodega, it had fresh flower shipments almost daily with a fabulous variety of greens, wilds and mostly a rainbow of enormous roses. Here in Miami I discovered a few locations that get great bunches including the one and only COSTO!!!! (amongst others there is Whole Foods, Trader Joes and a few smaller local markets) I personally love roses, hydrangeas, tulips and all kinds of wild flowers; but living in Miami, tulips and hydrangeas don't last very long because, well, its pretty hot here!
For weekly flower arrangements I like to keep it simple and get one or two bunches of the same kind and color. For special occasions such as dinners I like mixing it up two ways:
-COLOR: Get different types of flowers all in the same color family
-TYPE: Get different types in different colors (this works really nicely with a variety of wild flowers)
Once you’ve collected your bounty, it’s time to get organized.
What is the vase situation? Are you going the rustic way using pitchers or mason jars? Are you being consistent and using several of the same type of vase? Are you using ONE BIG Vase? Or several types similar to each other in shape and varying slightly in height? All of those are perfect and beautiful options! It just depends on the occasion and mood you want to create.
Either way, a few tips for cutting and arranging:
Until you are ready to arrange them keep them in a bucket with ice water in a cool and shaded part of the house.
Cut them always on an angle and with VERY sharp shears or gardening scissors.
Take one flower first, gage the height of the vase and cut the flower to the desired height. Once you have it use it as a guide to cut each of the additional flowers and arrange them in an empty vase as you go.
Make sure there are no leaves in the bottom half of the stalks or that cut leaves escape and en up in the bottom. Once you add water those leaves will make sure your water is murky and yucky super quickly.
To delay blooming fill the vases with ice and water. To make them bloom faster add warm water (you can even use your blow-drier in low to open up closed rose buds!!!)
Change the water on the vases every two days at least!
I tend to like my roses short and close together and my wild flowers longer, softer and with more space between them, but again, that is just MY preference.
For the living room I prefer slightly taller arrangements that will take significant space on a coffee or side table, while on a dining table I usually go for smaller, shorter bunches along the length of the table. This doesn’t disturb the dynamic or conversation during the meal.
Another tip is to make sure you leave a few flowers on the side to add to small vases and place on powder rooms or kitchens and make those places feel extra special for those special occasions.
One last tip. Not every week is flower week. Sometimes there is just not enough time in the week… There are some greens that I use constantly, mainly because they last FOREVER! I actually keep them in tall vases on my dining table almost year round.
My fave are Israeli Ruscus, Spiral Eucaliptus, Myrtle and Italian Ruscus.
Hopefully this helps you bring flowers into your home!!!
Please make sure to send us your flower pics!!