The garden is the place to be to enjoy beautiful blooms, sensuous scents and gorgeous greenery, that is until the inevitable spring rain moves in. Then of course, the place to be is snuggled in your home and what better way to turn a house into a home then to have vases of florae adorning every surface. I have to admit, a large expenditure in my home is on flowers, but what I also have to divulge to you is.... I’m not the best at displaying them to their fullest. There are some tricks that I feel everyone should have in their bag, and flower arranging is certainly one of them. So, after looking through my monthly bill and wincing slightly at the amount of trips to the florist, I decided on enrolling on a local flower arranging course to learn the basics and to try and keep my flowers from withering before their time.
WATER WATER EVERYWHERE
I know it sounds incredibly simple, but this especially important. As soon as you come home with your beautiful bunch or your beloved brings them through the door fill your vase, sink or bucket with tepid water and add your flowers and flower preservative. The temperature of your water is also important. Before this course I was giving my darling buds water just from the cold tap, but in actual fact warm water is more preferable. The warm water helps tightly closed flower heads, such as roses, to open fully. If you are arranging them for a centre-piece, the local W.I comp or are going to be using foam, leave the flowers in water for two days before using to get the benefits of beautifully mature and full heads.
Fresh stems help absorb water better and along with that the flower preservative and food. Cut an inch off the stems using a sharp knife, especially if the flowers are sitting a while before you begin arranging. You may cut more off if they don’t fit into your vase, but an inch is the minimum.Don’t get carried when snipping however, you want to make your bouquet taller than its container by about one and a half times and the width of your bouquet should balance with the height. (This was something that took some practise and many poor flowers were snipped too short in the process!) If you have left some time before popping your pretty posies into their new home, have another little snip for freshness. Measure your stem up against the vase and then snip away any leaves that fall under the waterline. Recut stems and add water often though out your bunches lifetime.
Who said vases were the be-all-and-end-all?! Think outside the box and get creative! Mason jars are screaming to be prettified, teacups dancing for attention and ceramic bowls practically jumping at the opportunity to enhance your floral dreams.
An alternative to foam is using sticky tape to create a grid across the top of your bowl or vase. Especially important when working with a wide-mouthed bowl because the flowers will have a tendency to fall over in a rather dramatic fashion.
ALL ABOUT THE ARRANGEMENT
Masked us to put the flowers into the vase as we would at home. I set about my usual snipping, trimming as per my other peers, however my usual plonking in water clearly wasn’t up to snuff. Instead I found that the best way to arrange was to add the larger flowers first turning the arrangement as I worked to ensure even placement on all sides. You then fill in with smaller, lighter blooms. You should leave enough space between the stems so that each individual flower has room to shine and also include flowers of various shapes and stem lengths.
LOCATION IS KEY
You may always place your bouquet in the same place in your home every time you treat yourself, your home every time you treat yourself, however is it for the best? Considering placement is something that I never really thought about but this is truly important to keeping your flowers last longer. Flowers need to be kept away from direct sunlight and heating vents as well as televisions.
AND OF COURSE, REMEMBER TO ENJOY THEM.