Friday, February 15

Making Check Out Flowers an Arrangement Tips

My mom has this habit of picking up a random bouquet of flowers from the grocery store check out lane and then asking me to turn it into an arrangement. It's been more then 6 years since I worked in floral with any sort of regularity... but she has faith I can do it (which is more then I have sometimes when I see the group of flowers she has).

Here's the thing, if you get one of those prewrapped bouquets from the grocery store... well you don't really have everything you need to make an arrangement. Unless you get fairly creative with it. For one you have little or no filler. Filler is important in arrangements. It's how you make the arrangement look... well- filled out. Two you don't have a vase (hopefully you have some vases at home), nor a bow (or hundreds of different kinds of ribbon to make one from) or anything else that is at a florists fingertips.

Now I of course mean 'you' in the general sense. You may have ribbon, and you may have vases, and if it's summer you may even have some filler in your own yard (I have picked baby's breathe, clover, and even random green plants before from outside to finish out an arrangement- one of the perks of living in the country).

My mom has a tendency towards the unusual. She loves things like carnival glass (and has a very large collection of it, you really can't go anywhere in her home without seeing at least one carnival glass piece... at the very least). So in true form, she tends to pick very bright or very different colored bouquets. In a room full of beautiful yellow, pink, white and red roses my mom would pick these roses here every time. I haven't decided if I think that makes my job of turning her bouquets into arrangements easier or harder. I suspect easier. If she tended towards classical flowers making an unusual, creative arrangement might actually looks more out of place then making it out of flowers that already fall into the unusual, creative spectrum.

So tip number one, if you know you are going to have to get creative and fun with it, might as well start with creative and fun flowers =)

Tip number two, cutting different lengths is your best friend. You don't have filler really, and you probably only have two or three different kinds of flowers or plants. Cutting stems to different lengths can really help you create a visual effect that hides the fact you had so little to work with. I separated out the roses that were still partially closed up and the one's in full bloom and cut the closed up ones about an inch-inch and a half shorter then the ones in full bloom. I took one look at the greens with their maroonish edging and stems and thought of them looking like a fountain coming up out of the roses. So I cut them only slightly from their original length.

Tip number three, use what you have. If you don't have a vase that's the perfect size, get creative. This bouquet came with a piece of red fabric inside the plastic, I wrapped that around the edge of the vase to help hold the flowers together in the vase the way I wanted them and to keep it from looking like the vase was too big for the flower in it (which it very much is). I had a dark red glass vase to use that I really think added to the effect matching the dark red of the roses themselves; but I think this trick would have looked nice adding the splash of color on the top of a clear vase too. Further on use what you have- no filler means you can't use filler to create the exact look you want. I used some of the leaves I stripped off the roses to create a separation between the roses and the taller plant. Arrangements only last a week or so, the rose leaves will dry up but keep their green fine for that period of time.

Tip number four. HAVE FUN. Be creative, play around. Have fun. Most important tip! If the arrangement makes you smile when it's done then it's perfect. That't the whole point of flowers. They are suppose to make you smile when you look at them =)


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