Successful flower arrangement – The Portugal News

I was wondering if anyone had a problem setting up a bouquet or flower arrangement in a vase after receiving them – mine always looked “dipped” in a vase, and never looked so good than when received, beautifully arranged with matching tissue paper.

To set up your display I’ve now read that the best way to preserve the look of a bouquet is to first lay everything flat, remove the paper, then separate the flowers – you have to do with what you’re working with and figure out how many you have for your vase, then decide which will be your stars (larger, prettier flowers) and which will be fillers (smaller, fluffier clusters).

flower food

Trim the leaves from the stems, as those below the waterline of the vase will rot. Check the petals and remove any that are damaged, and finally cut the stems, cutting them all at an angle, which will help them absorb water. Put the stems in a vase or bucket of water (this doesn’t have to be your last container) and add “cut flower food” to the water. If you can’t get it, you can make a substitute yourself – add 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or a crushed aspirin with water, which will prevent bacteria from growing in the water, then mix 2 tbsp. of sugar, which replaces the food that nourishes the flowers, or alternatively substitute 1/4 cup of soda.

Flower arranging techniques depend on the container you put them in. If the flowers don’t have a solid base, they won’t stay in place and your arrangement will eventually fall apart. To make sure the flowers stay in place, create a grid of floral tape over the mouth of the vase. Glue the rods into the holes in the grid to hold them in place. You can also purchase a flower frog, which is a container insert with pins that the stems can be stuck into. You can even tinker with a small section of chicken wire bent into a ball – something I’ve done in the past.

Choose a vase

Choose a vase that is suitable for the flowers if you can – one large enough to take large flowers or wide enough to take the whole bouquet. You may need to split the arrangement into two separate vases or shorten the stems a bit if the container isn’t tall enough to support the display. Tulips generally require the support of a straight-sided vase, for example, while tall or heavy flowers may require a weighted container.

Start filling with the fundamental flowers – the fuller ones that take up more space. If they are in tight bunches, cut the strands to arrange them at different levels. Once you have them in place, add the larger flowers. Group them loosely by color and trim the stems as you place them so the flowers are at different levels. If you can, choose flowers with a curved stem at the corner of the arrangement, to give a flowing shape. Finally, add your flagship flowers, then fill in the gaps with the remaining filler flowers – and “floaters” or delicate flowers like baby’s breath, sedum, or yarrow. Put them last so they don’t get crushed or buried by heavier blooms. Think of the shape of the arrangement as a dome and fill in all the corners of that dome to make it look complete. Combine smaller flowers in groups of three or five to create a grouping, similar to what happens in nature.

color scheme

If you fancy trying it yourself with flowers straight from a florist — or even artificial flowers — decide on a color scheme first, then you know you’re picking colors that go well together. Monochromatic schemes, which feature a variety of different shades of the same color, can also be striking.

If you go for the fresh flower option, select flowers based on what is currently blooming in your garden or what you can find locally. Also, be open-minded, because being too specific in your search can keep you from looking at other great options.

Rosalie M. Dehner