Seven Quick Tips For Mastering Flower Arranging
Ever wondered why your bunch of flower looks a little limp and lifeless? Follow these seven top tips for flower arranging for a beautiful bunch every time!
I am so susceptible to advertising and I’ll be the first to admit it. Catchy jingle on the radio? I’ll be singing it all day. Poster on the tube about a take-away? I’ll be having Chinese for dinner that night. Sponsored post on my Facebook feed? Looks like I’ve just signed up for a flower delivery service called Bloomon! God advertisers are good…
Last week Bloomon appeared on my Facebook feed for the first time. Bloomon describe themselves as ‘Utterly original bouquets. Delivered to your home. On repeat.’ To be honest, I really couldn’t have put it better myself!
Their photos jumped off of the screen because they are truly unique. A carefully curated bunch where no two flowers are the same and they have the effortless look about them as though they were swept up by an innocent child running through a field of wild flowers. They are seriously beautiful.
Jon and I spend a lot of money on fresh flowers. I’ve always believed that they are one of the easiest ways of bringing life and a bit of colour into even the dreariest of rooms. Living in a very cream, rented flat where we couldn’t decorate or pin up any artwork, we use flowers as a way of expressing some creativity. Considering how often we buy fresh flowers the idea of signing up to a flower delivery service seemed perfect for us! But, before I made up my mind I decided to head down to a flower arranging workshop hosted by Bloomon’s head florist Anton who had flown in all the way from the Netherlands!
With a glass of wine in hand, I listened intently to all Anton had to say (in his rather sexy Ducth accent.) If you want to learn how to make beautiful bouquets at home then you need to follow these Seven Quick Tips For Mastering Flower Arranging which I picked up over the course of the evening.
Seven Quick Tips For Mastering Flower Arranging
Choose the right vase
First things first you need to pick a good vase. What does that mean exactly? There are two key things to think about: (1) height; and (2) the width of the mouth of the vase.
It’s important to make sure your vase is tall enough to properly support your flowers. A good guide is to take your tallest flower, and choose a vase that is just less than half the height of the arrangement.
When it comes to the width of the vase you need to make sure that they will not be too tightly held together but not so loosely packed that they splay out and look limp. I loosely bunch the flowers together in my hands until I’m happy with the way they fall. I then use my hands as a guide to the width of the vase. Whilst not a scientific method it works!
Bloomon sell these beautiful hand-blown, recycled glass vases. I definitely prefer glass vases – slightly tinted rather than clear – but the choice is yours! Ideally you want the vase to complement the arrangement. A statement vase might detract from the flowers which is not the desired effect!
Pick your posie carefully
Once you’ve picked the right vase you need to select your flowers. Anton explained how he liked to select just one of each different flower and how he tries to use the least amount of flowers possible to get his desired effect. He employs a ‘less is more’ philosophy, so that each individual flower the chance to ‘breathe’ and ‘shine’.
Start by choosing your colour scheme and go from there. You’ll need flowers of different sizes and heights. Pick a range of tones and shades. And don’t forget a few pieces of foliage. Try to include one or two really statement pieces like the foxtail in the bouquets we put together in the class. I also love the bird of paradise flower which can give height and colour to an arrangement.
One of the most important things to remember is to pick seasonal flowers. Just like food, you will get better quality flowers if you choose a variety that is in season. It also means they will last longer as will be less likely to have been kept in a fridge!
Strip them back
Once you’ve picked your flowers you need to prepare them for arranging. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove about an inch from the flower’s stem at a diagonal. This will allow the flowers to absorb water more easily.
Anton also explained why he likes to strip the stems of much of excess foliage. If you leave too many leaves down the stem it adds unnecessary bulk to the bouquet. By keeping just a few, well placed leaves it helps the flower to stand out. You can always add additional foliage later on.
One top tip I learnt at the Bloomon workshop is that there is absolutely no harm in stripping the thorns off of spikey plants like roses. This will ensure you don’t get any unwelcome cuts or nicks as you arrange your flowers.
Make a frame
You have your vase, the flowers have been chosen and prepped, now it’s time to start arranging. Begin by selecting four flower stems of medium height. Arrange them in the vase so that they criss-cross creating an X shape in the centre of the vase. This will act as a frame on which you can build the rest of your flower display.
Always keep the integrity of your frame in mind as you continue building up the layers. This will give strength to the whole bouquet.
Add the outliers and foliage
Next build on to the frame you’ve just created with foliage and low level flowers that will sit and hang on the outside of the bouquet. Place the stems in between the X shaped frame you’ve created so that they are firmly in position.
If you can do, avoid using the rim of the vase as support. If you rely too heavily on the rim you will end up with a splayed out bunch of flowers and it will be difficult to create fullness and height (see below). Use the support of the frame to enable your flowers to rest roughly a centimetre away from the edge of the vase and let the stems do all the hard work.
Build some height
Once you have the main mass of your bouquet arranged use the tall, statement stems to create height in the centre of the bouquet.
These can be placed vertically in the centre of the frame of stems you’ve created below, or work the stems into the sides of the bouquet by pushing the stems clean up against the sides of the vase. This will ensure they are well supported and hold their position.
Add the most delicate flowers last
Finally, take the smallest, most delicate of flowers and add these to your bouquet at the end. This will ensure they don’t get lost earlier on in the process and won’t be dominated by larger blooms.
With these seven helpful tips you’ll be able to create a beautiful bouquet every time! Whether you sign up for a service like Bloomon or pick up a bunch or two from your local supermarket you’ll have an expertly arranged bouquet of flowers in not time at all.
Bring some sunshine into your home
After the flower arranging workshop both Jon and I commented on how relaxed we felt. We’d both had a really tough day at work and it was lovely to appreciate the flowers and do something creative with our evening (the glass of wine probably helped too…) Anyone can have a go at flower arranging and I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face if you do.
If you don’t already buy fresh flowers I can’t emphasise enough just how much a bouquet brightens up a room. When we move house I think I’ll up our Bloomon delivery to two bunches a month so that we can enjoy fresh flowers throughout the house. With the amount we spend on supermarket flowers at the minute I also think a flower delivery service is well worth it. After seeing the two beautiful (and MASSIVE) bouquets we got to take home from the Bloomon workshop I think Jon is convinced too.
What do you think? Are you going to try your hand at flower arranging? If you’ve got any tips I’d love to hear them in the comments below!