The Fun of Flower Arranging

How do I make an uncomplicated flower arrangement?
Arranging flowers is a personal experience. Recognizing what appeals to you and how you might like to display or arrange flowers are the first steps to creating stylish floral confidence. Experimenting is the best way to learn. To be intimidated by huge, extravagant flower arrangements could mean missing out on the wonderful pleasure of working with flowers. Besides, a single stem, perfectly placed, can be as exquisite as a million-dollar centerpiece. An idea that will lead to uncomplicated arranging might begin with separating a mixed bouquet. Forgo the single vase and feature individual stems, cut at different heights, in a collection of small bottles, jars or vases that are grouped or staggered. Try using glue dots to attach leaves around the outside of a container, or curl a large leaf or fern stem around the inside of a fish-bowl style container. Snip off the blooms of colorful flowers and float them in a mass in several inches of water. Or look around outside at what’s growing. Clip it and see how creative you quickly become.

How do I choose healthy flowers?
When purchasing flowers, examine bouquets closely. Avoid soft, drooping blossoms and yellowing foliage. Rosebuds should be firm when squeezed and their leaves should be firmly attached to their stems. Lilies are best budded. Open lily blossoms are often bruised and damaged in packaging. One or two bad flowers in a bunch is a good indicator that a bouquet has peaked and the other flowers will fade fast.

How do I prolong the life of flowers?
Proper preparation and careful maintenance extends the life of any cut flower, branch or foliage stem. The practice of preparing flowers or “conditioning” begins with a clean container. Add a floral preservative to warm water in a measured amount according to package directions. Prepare your flowers by removing excess stem and leaves. Make a sharp diagonal cut and place in prepared water for several hours or overnight. Stems should be re-cut before placing in a vase. Remove leaves that will be under water in the arrangement.

Changing the water every few days is the most effective way to keep cut flowers fresh. Don’t just add water to your vase; remove the flowers, clean the vase and replace the water. To keep the bouquet looking fresh, remove any flowers from the mix that have faded or become limp.

What is that little packet of floral food that comes with my flowers?
Floral preservative contains a biocide, an acidifier, and sugar. Adding it to your bucket of fresh-cut flowers or your vase helps to kill bacteria and fungi, preventing rot and keeping flowers from fading. Make your own preservative by adding ¼ teaspoon of household bleach, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to each quart of water.

Unique and artistic, with a passion for flowers define a Designer’s style of work by Kerry Giles, General Manager of farmbasket.

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