Floral arranging can be fun, but it can also be frustrating if you don’t know how to achieve the look you’re going for. Martha Stewart and the people at Manhattan’s Flower School New York know about arranging flowers to display their best qualities,
while pairing perfectly and accentuating your lovely vase, pot or bowl. You might be surprised to learn how they do it! Here are some professional tips and tricks of the trade to help you make your flower arrangements look like they were put together by a pro.
1. Build a backbone with branches. You don’t need glass marbles, gel, or a block of floral foam for stability when you arrange your flowers in a tall vase, if you have trees in your yard. Branches can help lend strength to your arrangement and help support more delicate flower stems (and they don’t cost a penny!).
2. Give wilting roses a new lease on life by forcing the stems to absorb more water before putting them in your vase. Pour boiling water (yes, boiling) into a bowl and place the rose stems in forcing air out of the stems (you may actually see little bubbles coming from the ends). Let sit in the boiling water for 10-15 seconds then immediately transfer to very cold water. Use brown packaging paper to protect the roses before putting them in the water. This will help your roses blossom beautifully, and live longer in your pot or vase.
3. Here’s one not many have heard of; use cooking spray to give your tropical flowers a shine. Bird of paradise, plumeria, ginger, magnolia, and heliconia (aka “lobster claws”) will last longer with a light spritz of cooking spray, which will seal open pores and keep the blooms from drying out.
4. Dip your Hydrangeas in water, head first. These bulbous beauties absorb water better from their pretty puffy heads than their slender stems. Try placing them face down in room temperature water for 15-20 minutes, then gently shake the water out and pluck off any leaves. Place the thirst quenched flowers in a vase and enjoy their delicate floral scent and bold beauty.
5. Martha Stewart suggests placing long stemmed flowers like crocosmia in a trumpet shaped vase to produce a light and airy, ethereal floral arrangement. Support these vivacious, vibrantly colored flowers with shorter cuttings of pale green fern stems to draw the eye upward. The stems will follow the trumpet shape of the vase and produce a light, delicate aesthetic to brighten any spot in your home with glorious summertime color.
6. For a shorter or smaller floral arrangement, especially if there is no vase to be found around the house, you can easily adapt your favorite bowl or pot to create a tabletop masterpiece. Simply crisscross pieces of cellophane tape to form a grid across the top of the bowl that will support shorter cuttings. Insert one or two flowers in each opening of the grid, and tuck in fern clippings, long stemmed leaves, foliage, or moss to fill in any open spaces.
Including floral arrangements into your everyday life is a fantastic way to bring Mother Nature’s wonderment of colors and textures into our homes. Research shows indoor flowers and plants have a direct link to our well being, which is why we intuitively send flowers to people recovering from illness. They brighten the indoors with brilliant colors and scents.
When planning a patio party, dinner with friends, or family get-togethers, adding the finishing touch of floral arrangements to your décor will make your home look like you’re a professional event planner! If you have access to fresh herbs, try making an edible arrangement that looks and smells as scrumptious as your eats.
Take a stroll through your yard or a drive in the country and look with new eyes at the colors and textures of foliage to incorporate into your arrangements. You may just rediscover a childhood fascination with the delicious clover flower. (Thumper!...) If you take a walk down your street and notice a neighbor has something like a great bush covered in bright orange berries, go ahead and ask if you can take a few cuttings. They might be so grateful you asked, they’ll share a kind conversation and some other cuttings.
We hope these tips and tricks of the floral trade will inspire you to “branch out” and try something new the next time you want to create a pop of color for your table top, brighten a corner of your living room, or wake up to the gentle scent of fresh cut flowers on your bedside table. If you would like to stay in touch with us and receive interesting, helpful articles on all sorts of home décor ideas, take a moment to sign up for our newsletter today.