Receiving a gorgeous bunch of flowers is a wonderful feeling … until you try and arrange them in a vase. Trying to keep your blooms looking brilliant can be difficult to say the least and few of us are trained in the art of flower arranging which makes it even harder.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a whizz with the secateurs to get your bouquets looking their best.
Follow our secret flower arranging tips and arrange flowers like a pro.
The secret flower arranging tips from florists
Lesson 1 – How to treat your stems
First things first! Anything that looks the slightest bit floppy should have its stem seared in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds (if you have a woody stem, give it a bit longer).
To do this, place some boiling water in a mug and put the stems in but only place 10% of the stem in the water. Remember not to leave them in too long as they’ll start cooking and that’s never good.
If your stem is quite short, you should shield the flower from the steam as this will cause it to wilt and die. You can do this by wrapping the flower in a piece of newspaper.
Searing is one of the most important things to learn as 99% of flowers will make a total recovery afterwards.
Lesson 2 – How to cut your flowers
If you can, buy some florist scissors as these have stronger blades than normal scissors and achieve a better finish.
Remember to cut your stems diagonally. This ensures the flower lives as long as possible and can suck up the maximum amount of nutrients from the water. You should also remove any low level leaves that will be hidden in the flower vase to give stems more room.
Lesson 3 – What to put in the water
Adding flower food to your water is essential so never leave this one out! You can get flower food in sachets from shops or make your own.
If you don’t have time to make it to the shop, just add a touch of bleach and sugar to your water. This will prevent bacteria growing and killing your beautiful blooms. Don’t go overboard with the quantities though or you could have the opposite effect!
Lesson 4 – Foolproof arrangements
A simple way of arranging your flowers is to place a single stem flower into narrow neck bottles and scatter few of them on your table or window sill. This creates a great look that’s easy to maintain but it only works with certain flowers.
If you have a range of flowers with delicate heads, why not arrange them in a criss-cross fashion? This looks contemporary but will also support the buds of each flower to give a fuller looked vase.
Turquoise or acid green are great colours for vases. They complement any flowers so why not choose them over more obvious clear glass varieties. It is a simple trick to lift the appearance? If you are planning on using a clear container (whether it is glass or plastic) then add some coloured pebbles to the bottom to enhance the look and will give your flowers a boost.
Another popular way or flower arranging this year is adding large, colourful blooms to a watering can and placing it in your conservatory or window. This looks great if used with hydrangea of some wild flowers.
These personal touches are guaranteed to impress all your guests!
Lesson 5 – Get that vase clean
So many people stick their flowers into the nearest vase to hand without checking it is clean. For your flower arrangement to look absolutely stunning, it’s important that your vase is sparkling clean and that means investing some time at the start.
To remove any stains from your glass vase, use bleach or Milton tablets along with a bottle brush. Make sure you rinse and dry properly to avoid contamination and smudges.
Lesson 6 – The best plants to use for foliage
First thing every florist tells you is to start with the foliage. Don’t go to heavy handed on the foliage, the flowers should be the ones that stand out.
Euphorbia oblongata is a fantastic acid green colour and is often used by florists. It adds a direct contrast and brightness to the arrangement. This is also known to be one of the best foliage arrangements due to its robust nature and strong standing stem. Make sure you wear gloves when handling it though, many people suffer an allergic reaction to its sap.
Another option is bupleurum. It works in the same way as the previous option but is used during winter and so is ideal for Christmas floral arrangements.
With these six lessons learnt, there is absolutely no reason your flower arrangements won’t look completely professional.
Remember to water your plants daily to maximise their life span and keep on top of the amount of flower food you’re giving them. Good luck!