Back to the Basics posts will tackle those basic skills that you can build on. Think mixing the perfect martini, how to pick the right pair of running shoes, or painting a room for the first time. Master these skills and more and you'll be on your way to becoming a athletic mixologist with a pretty sweet apartment. Most likely.
Now that the sun is out and shining, temperatures are spiking for the first time in forever, and flower stands are full of new blooms I'm ready to get my flower on.
I put flowers everywhere - in the living room, in my bedroom, in the bathroom... They bring life to an otherwise static environment. Recently I've invested in some windowsill succulents to spruce up my room, but I love a cut arrangement to change up the feel and color of a room each week Sure, you could buy a bouquet of pre-arranged flowers but that'll end up costing you a pretty penny. Instead, buy, cut and arrange your own.
This week, it's all about the peonies. They're everywhere around the city, and they're finally hitting a price point that makes them affordable versus the $8/stem price tag they were carrying when they first hit stands about a month ago.They're beautiful at any stage of blossoming, and I paid $20 for two bunches to make these arraignments rather than $40 per bouquet for similar arrangements that I saw in flower shops this weekend. Below are 5 key tips that I use whenever I'm arranging flowers at home.
1. Make sure to unwrap your flowers as soon as you get home and put them in water.
Keeping them out of water will only make them wilt. No one likes sad flowers. I keep mine in a tall vase with water while I'm working so that they don't wilt and I have easy access to them.
2. Measure your stems against the side of your vase or glass and cut on a diagonal.
Measure your stems and remove all foliage below where the water will hit your stems. Keeping leaves and other bits out of the water will cut down on potential bacteria growth which could harm your flowers. Cutting on a diagonal allows more surface area for water to enter the stem of the flower, helping them last longer. After I cut I immediately submerge in water or I cut under running water. My mom always told me that air bubbles would get into the stems if you didn't, shortening the life of the stems.
3. For short or widemouthed vases, cups, or bowls, create a grid using floral tape.
A thin roll of floral tape will allow you to use unexpected and wider vessels to arrange your flowers. The grid helps to hold up the stems so they they don't slip into the water or just hang over the side. The grid can also help you fill in the center of your arrangement by holding filler flowers or other stems, something that always helps an arraignment look finished. (Or - just purchase these handy and adorable vases from Kate Spade Saturday!)
4. Use Floral Foam to stabilize short stems and create shaped arrangements.
You can use floral foam to make hanging, shaped, or tightly packed arrangements. I love using them in short square glass vases for a boxy rose arrangement. Make sure you place your floral foam into a dish of water and allow it to soak in your water before you attempt to cut it to size and insert stems. Then after it has soaked, use a sharp exacto knife to cut the foam to the side of your container. If you try to cut before you've soaked the foam will be very fragile and will break apart easily. Post-soak is the best time to cut. Take your diagonally clipped stems and insert them into the foam. If you're putting the foam into a glass you can wrap it in long leaves or fill with pearls or pebbles so that the foam doesn't show!
5. Change your flower's water regularly.
This will help prolong their lifespan. Changing the water helps to keep bacteria at bay that could shorten the life of your cut blossoms. Changing the water and adding new plant food will only help to extend their lifespan and your happiness!
Do you have any tips for floral arrangements at home? What are some of your go-to flowers for simple and easy arragements? Any that don't last long? Let's talk about it in the comments below!
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Photography by Lauren Durden