10 Tips for Flower Arranging

10 Tips for Flower Arranging

Here are a few tips to help make working flowers easier. These ideas will help your flowers last longer, look better, cost less and most importantly save you time.

1. Forget About the Rules
You can read dozens of books on floral arranging, but you’re the only one who knows what will be pleasing to your eye. If you feel that a specific flower would be wonderful in an arrangement and decide not to use it because "the rules" say it shouldn’t go... you’ll be disappointed.

2. Small Flowers are Just as Nice
Small flowers, particularly in large arrangements tend to get lost. A small bloom will be overwhelmed by larger or more assertive blooms. They are also hard to grab and reposition. By grouping smaller blooms in groups they are easier to handle and make a more distinctive impression. You can cluster flowers loosely by just arranging them close to each other, or tie them together with a pretty ribbon or floral tape.

3. Don't Forget the Frog
Stems can easily break or snap while trying to slide it into floral foam, which can really hurt an arrangement when you are dealing with a limited number of flowers. Foam also makes it difficult to move flowers around and it is possible to completely ruin a block of foam. Many florists also believe that while foam is inexpensive and convenient, it actually impairs the ability of the floral stems to absorb water and nutrients and shortens their life. Floral frogs are reusable and require less waste and less cost over time and therefore are a great investment.

4. One is Enough
Everyone always thinks that bigger is better. However, small arrangements have their place too, especially a single stem. Sometimes a single bloom can be the most elegant and memorable in a room full of other arrangements. They are simple and in the cases of orchids and other expensive flowers, easy on the budget.

5. Think Outside the Vase
Make flower arrangements unique by using something out of the blue. Consider any open container for holding flowers. Even items that won't hold water can be used as vases simply by placing a smaller vase, bottle, or other container inside it.

6. Use a Sharp Knife or Scissors to Cut
A sharp edge is needed to make a sharp even cut that will allow water to enter the flower stems. A ragged edge actually inhibits water and food absorption and will make your flowers fade faster.

7. Keep 'em Cool
Flower arrangements look pretty in a sunny location but it won't last long in such a warm environment. The cooler the location, the longer your flowers will last. Keeping flowers away from direct sunlight, large lights, heating vents, heaters, active fireplaces, stoves, and even appliances will help them last longer. If you just have to keep an arrangement in a warm location change the water frequently using very cold water and even add an ice cube or two to the arrangement every so often and your flowers will last longer.

8. Flowers Do Smell!
You need to keep the scent of flowers in mind when you are making arrangements. You don’t want to have a dinner party where the table centerpiece was so strongly scented that every dish tasted like the flowers. Remember that even pleasantly scented flowers can be problematic in tight quarters, hot rooms, or on the dinner table.

9. Watch the Water
Unfortunately you cannot just make an arrangement, ignore it and expect it to last. Clear glass vases make cloudy water or lack of water more obvious than an opaque vase. Cloudy water is a sign of a bacteria infestation and means that you need to clean your vase and change your water. If using an opaque vase or other container, be sure to check the arrangement frequently.

10. Perfection isn’t the Top Priority
Huge, gorgeous bouquets of perfect flowers that are photographed for the covers of magazines and used in movies use hundreds of flowers and cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When it comes time to make your arrangements it can be almost scary and disappointing. While the extravagant arrangements might be nice for very formal occasions, smaller arrangements can have just as much, if not more, appeal, charm, and beauty.

This article is owned by True Value and was reprinted on this site with their permission.