These past couple of weeks have been incredibly cold and snowy in Cincinnati, and I am ready for spring with beautiful flowers and sunshine. Unfortunately I don't have the ability to change the weather, so instead I spent the snowy weekend bringing a touch of spring into our home with floral arrangements. I started playing with flowers when I moved to Cincinnati and was living alone. It brought a little life into my apartment and it was something I could "splurge" on that seemed to immediately change my mood and make me happy. However I am no expert, but continue to love having them in my home as much as possible and have figured out a few tricks I thought I would share for these gloomy days that don't seem to be going away anytime soon.
- If you are in the florist or event design business you usually have your go to warehouses where you can order any flower at any time for a relatively good price. However, for everyone else that may not be possible, but I have discovered that Kroger has an amazing selection of flowers for great prices. Of course, your options are usually a bit limited depending on the season, but they usually have a great variety and are quite friendly and helpful.
- Buy multiple "bouquets" of flowers! I usually will splurge on a 1 or 2 bouquets and then look for a few supplementary bouquets that I can mix in. This way you can play with a variety of colors, textures and volume. I usually gather multiple bouquets and play right there in the store! Below I bought 4 bouquets - 2 tulips, 1 hyacinth, 1 bouquet of greenery with protea and wax flowers. In total, I spent 15 dollars and ended up with 2 bouquets!
- As I mentioned above, it is important to play with a variety of texture, color, shape, size and quantity. Below, I played with two different arrangements. One I kept very simple and just used the tulips and let them "flop" out of the vase (don't forget your penny though-it seems to keep those tulips standing just a little while longer), while the second arrangement was more about volume, texture and variety.
- Before you buy your flowers, think about where you want to put them in your home. Sometimes a simple bouquet of tulips is perfect, while other locations in your home such as your mantle may need a bolder statement. Of course, you can always change your mind when you get home and start playing, but it is good to have a direction when looking at your flowers.
- Not only play with the flower variation, but try an assortment of vases. I usually pull out multiple vases, comparing them with the flowers on size, shape and how much height I really need for the flowers I chose. Which means, start collecting vases and a vase can be anything that holds water!
- Whether your flowers are already at the perfect length or not, cut the stems at an angle! The angle allows for more surface area on the stem, which allows for more water absorption which is the goal.
- Another tip I learned recently (during all the wedding festivities) is that the water in the vase should not go up past the leaves. So yes, pull of a few leaves from the stems so that all you have in the bottom of the vase is stems! If you leave the leaves in the water, the leaves will begin to rot.
- Start with a few flowers at a time. As you see above, I slowly added a few until it feels right. I usually start with the filler and then add the focal flowers in. If you want it more structured, you can add a tape grid on top of your vase to create a bit more stability. Use cellophane tape for clear vases and waterproof floral tape for hidden grids.
- Don't try too hard! I always prefer those floral arrangements that have a careless look to them, and the easiest way to do that is to let the flowers do their thing. Just get some good textures, color and height and you are usually good to go!
- Don't be afraid to add something weird! It is okay to add an artichoke, kale or anything really that is a bit different, but gives a punch. Try it out, worst that happens is you take it out.
- If you want to explore a bit more, check out one of my favorite flower books, The Flower Recipe. It has some great tips as well as beautiful imagery and inspiration!
- Prune the bushes & trees! This is really the most important tip I can give you. It may be a bit harder now in the winter, but you don't have to buy all your greenery. Greenery can get expensive pretty quick, and there is so much in the natural world. I always keep my eyes open for some good greenery in town that could use a bit of pruning. Of course take precaution, but usually you can find some great texture and color just outside!
So if flowers have felt a bit too daunting in the past, or you just need a touch of spring in your home, try your hand at a floral arrangement. The worst that happens is that it just doesn't "look right," which of course is all subjective anyways. And the best/worst part of it all is that NOTHING in the floral world is too permanent! So enjoy a little life and color on these dreary winter days!