Creating a Beautiful Flower Arrangement
There is not a more instantaneous way to dress up a room than with fresh seasonal blooms. Flowers have provided endless inspiration to artists, poets, decorators, gardeners and people of all ages since the beginning of time. Children pick the tiniest little buds for their loved ones, boys choose the perfect corsage to match the gown of their prom date, fresh flowers provide cheer to a hospital patient and indoor arrangements are a must for entertaining. We have a desire to bring flowers inside not only for special occasions but for day to day living.
When creating a flower arrangement there are a few basic rules to learn for success, although it is important to never let the rules intimidate you. Just keep it fun, creative and simple! Learn the basic do’s and don’ts and experiment and you will gain the self-confidence to create exquisite arrangements you can be proud to share.
Morning is the best time to cut your flowers because this is when they have a maximum amount of moisture in the stem. They will go limp if picked in the heat of the day. Always use a sharp knife or florist shears for a clean cut and choose flowers at various stages of opening. Look for strong, straight stems. Cut stems at an angle for maximum water absorption and immediately plunge them into a bucket of lukewarm water. Most hard or woody stems, such as Japanese quince, should be slit or gently hammered on the ends before placing into the water. Keep stem ends immersed in water at least two or three hours.
When you are ready to arrange your stems, be sure to cut them, again, on a slant under water. This gets rid of any air bubbles within the stem so they can absorb the water more freely. Be sure no leaves or flower buds are left under water in your arrangement. Foliage tends to rot when in direct contact with water and this will shorten the lives of the remaining flowers. It is preferable to change the water daily in your arrangement, but of course this isn’t always practical. If it isn’t possible to change the water every day, simply use one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of flower water to kill bacteria. Remember to keep the water level full in your container as your flowers will “drink” it everyday!
Containers & Such
With a little imagination, just about anything can become a container for flowers. A few simple stems in an elegant vase can give you an extravagant look or perhaps the tiny stems of pansies or violas placed in a creamer or sugar bowl is more your style. The unexpected can double as a container such as a purse, take out Chinese box or a scooped out pumpkin. Tie asparagus or hosta leaves around a drinking glass with raffia and fill it with daisies for a unique look. When using a basket, box or object that does not hold water insert a plastic container. Cut wet foam oasis to fit your container and soak it with water before you begin. Oasis is great because it lets you place each stem exactly where you want it to stay. Just remember your flowers should complement each other in color, form and scale. Use a single type of flower, flowers in the same color shades or a fanfare of color. Add fragrant flowers to bring aroma into the house. Fresh herbs sniped from the garden and placed into a small glass can be very appealing in the kitchen and bits can be used for cooking… beauty and function!
It is important not to overlook the foliage in your designs. For example, hosta leaves make a wonderful focus for any arrangement. Add more interest and detail with fruits, vegetables, berries and seed pods. There are so many annuals, perennials and shrubs perfect for cutting and creating stunning designs. We at Fairview Garden Center can help you choose the perfect ones to include in your garden. Have fun and remember your possibilities are endless!
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