When It Comes to Flower Arranging, Don’t Be a Late Bloomer: Six Tips on Making Beautiful Bouquets

Mason Jar ArrangementArmed with good intention, I joined Apartment Therapy’s January Cure, a thirty-day plan to “whip your home into shape, get it clean, organized and under control.” I lasted until Day Eight, when the weekend task was to Clean Your Kitchen and Declutter/Organize as You Go.”  It was just too much for a weekend.

One thing I did pick up during the seven days I participated in the January Cure was the weekly purchase of fresh flowers for my house. According to Apartment Therapy, “As simple as it sounds, the act of buying holds great significance and will heal your home on many levels. They are beautiful, they add life to the space, they help to humidify and cleanse the air.”

While all of these are reasons to buy fresh flowers, there was no “Flower Arranging for Dummies” guide. I winged it, and through a process of trial and error, have created a few really nice arrangements. Recently via Food 52, I saw some great tips on arrange flowers! (Where were these when I needed them?) Because they were such good tips, I thought I’d pick out a few of my favorites. For the full Food 52 article on flower arranging, click here.

  1. Pick a color sequence of no more than three colors. It’s easy to get carried away while browsing a flower shop — but making something beautiful is easier when your flowers match each other.
  2. Big flowers stretch the farthest. If you’re on a budget — or if you’re nervous about making your own arrangement — go for a larger type of flower. They take up more space in a bouquet, so you can buy less of them — and they’re easier to work with while building a bouquet.
  3. If you’re using a round, wide-mouthed vase, make the arrangement in your hand first. Start with the flowers you’d like in the center, and start building around them, rotating the bouquet in your hand. When you’re satisfied, you can cut them all together — and just plop them in your vase!
  4. If you’re using a tall, skinny vase, think about height. Since these vases look beautiful standing against a wall, take advantage of your point of reference. Starting from the front, build your bouquet upwards, so that the tallest flowers stand up in the back. Here’s where your filler flowers come in; use them as your tall backdrop, while letting your colors pop in the front.
  5. Work on symmetry. When you’re starting arrangements, it’s easiest to make things beautiful by working in symmetry. Putting a pink flower on the left? Put another on the right. Is there a big flower towards the front? Try framing the bouquet with them.
  6. Change your water every day. If you have time, wash the vase with soap and water, and add a tiny bit of bleach to each new change of water (this will kill the bacteria). Each time you put your flowers in new water, you should give the stems a fresh cut.

Are you a fan of fresh flowers? What are your favorites? Any great tips for arranging them?


Really Cool Insight

Today, for only about the second time since I started eating healthier, I had a headache.

It is such an unusual occurrence that I mentally went through a checklist of what I might have done differently in the last 24 hours. Ate “normal for me” dinner? Check.  Had my morning coffee? Check. No excess artificially sweetened foods? Check. Worked out? Check.

Then I thought back to what I was doing just before the headache started. I was at the Coca Cola Recycle and Win news conference. Didn’t drink any soft drinks. Didn’t eat anything. AHA! On the way out, they gave me a beautiful bouquet of red and yellow flowers that had been used as a centerpiece. They’d been in the car since about noon, and except for a few stops, I had, too. And flowers often upset my sinuses. The flowers were guilty as charged for the headache.

Before I started eating better – giving up fast food and processed foods – I had headaches so often; it definitely wasn’t a rare occurrence. I never really even tried to figure out the cause; I just knew that I had them and needed meds.

Pretty interesting comparison, if I say so myself.