DiY: How To Arrange Flowers

June 27, 2010

After all this talking about flowers, after having seen truly different kind of production and selling (think about Interflora, Mr. Francesco, or the invisible sellers of roses from Bangladesh), I have thought: “why don’t arrange a bunch of flowers on your own, without the aid of an expert?”

Here we are. Let’s go!

STEP 1: The structure.

First of all, you should consider the structural qualities of individual flowers. Therefore, focus on:

  1. Focal flowers: provide the focal points of an arrangement, and are often the largest and brightest in the arrangement. Typical focal flowers include roses, peonies and hydrangeas.
  2. Line flowers: create the silhouette, providing a sort of visual scaffolding for the arrangement. Typical line flowers include delphiniums, gladiolas and snapdragons.
  3.  Fillers help fill out the silhouette of an arrangement. Baby’s breath, dianthus, and wax flowers often serve as fillers.
  4. Floral arrangements can also contain non-flower elements. For instance, vines, berries, fruit, ferns and other greens provide interest and texture.



STEP 2: Choose the colors

This choice should be really thoughtful, because inevitably the different colors of your flowers work together to create harmony or disharmony. In this extent, you can distinguish warm colors, such as reds, oranges and yellows, that have a different affect than cool colors, such as blues, greens and purples; a monochromatic arrangement, that uses variations of a single color; an arrangement based on analogous colors, which combines colors that lie immediately next to each other on the color wheel; an arrangement of flowers with complementary colors, that makes use of colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel.



STEP 3: Assemble Your Supplies

 If you’re making a simple vase arrangement or informal bouquet, you won’t need much more than your flowers, container and a sharp knife or scissors. However, more complicated or formal arrangements necessitate some other tools. Basically, you need:

  • Scissors
  •  Stem tape and wires

For vase arrangement, you could also use

  • Waterproof floral tape that can form a grid through which to stick flower stems.
  • A knife is a useful tool, in addition to scissors. You can use it to cut floral foam.
  • Anchor pins and prongs also secure foam in place.
  • Candle cups allow you to illuminate your arrangement, providing a safe base to help set candles in foam.



STEP 4: Arrange the Flowers

Once you’ve chosen a form for your arrangement and the particular flowers you will use, you’ve done much of the work. The shape you’ve chosen will decide the placement of the focal and line flowers.

  1. If you plan to place your arrangement in a vase, organize the flowers in your hands first.
  2.  Support the blooms of heavier flowers with floral wire and tape so that they won’t droop.
  3. Your arrangement must have a sense of balance. You don’t want it to feel lopsided in any way. Don’t put all the large, vibrant flowers to one side, or that side will seem heavier.
  4.  Cut the flower stems to the appropriate length for your container. Cut the stems under water to prevent air from closing the stems.
  5. Some types of flower may require special treatment, such as cauterization or mashing of the stems, before they’re placed in a container with other flowers.
  6. Cut off broken and dead material, as well as any leaves that fall below where the water line will be.
  7. Insert the stems of your stationary arrangement into the floral foam you’ve secured in its container.
  8. Insert your line flowers first to outline the overall shape of your design
  9.  Add focal flowers after the line flowers. Place them at the center.
  10. Once the major elements of your design are in place, use filler flowers to flesh out the spaces between the focal and line flowers.



STEP 5: Continue to Care for Your Arrangement

  • Cut flowers need water to thrive. If your arrangement is in a vase or contains wet floral foam, give the flowers fresh water every day.
  • Give blossoms warm water if you want them to open immediately, and cool water to help them live longer. Don’t use water at extreme temperatures, either hot or cold.

The right floral arrangement can bring warmth, freshness, and beauty into a home. Flowers can be used to express love, sympathy, spirit, and much more. While you may still prefer to work with a florist to supply arrangements for special occasions, learning how to create your own works of floral art can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as save you money on less formal occasions and, of course, a way to enjoy yourself.

Don’t you think so? :-)



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