Rafed English

How to Arrange a Bouquet of Flowers

Flowers fresh from the florist frequently come with overlong stems and the greenery bunched to the back. Show off your blooms by arranging them in a vase to take advantage of their colors and placement.
1. Pick your color scheme. You could either select flowers for your bouquet in a range of colors or go with a monochromatic scheme. Look for varying types of flowers as well.

2. Select a vase that will hold all of the flowers without a great deal of open or leftover space. The blooms should be able to fit tightly against one another when arranged, not droop off to the sides alone.

3. Determine the height of the bouquet. This may be dictated by the size of the vase or where the bouquet will be displayed. Smaller vases and spaces may require flowers with their stems cut down, while larger vases and open areas may benefit from longer stems and trailing blossoms.

4. Trim off the ends of the stems. Use gardening shears and remove enough stem so that the flowers fit your vase neatly.

5. Treat the blossoms to help keep them fresh longer.

- Wrap the ends of roses in brown paper and dip them in boiling water to force air from the stems. Leave them in the water until it cools, then trim the stems again.

- Spray cooking spray on tropical flowers to help seal in their moisture.

- Dip the heads of hydrangeas and other large flowers into water to soak for a few minutes before arranging them.

6. Rotate the vase constantly as you place the flowers inside it. This will ensure you don't neglect any one area and give an even hand to the entire bouquet.

7. Place the larger, more vivid blossoms in the vase first, then place the smaller blooms around them.

8. Vary the blossoms in height and color evenly throughout the arrangement. Tuck smaller flowers around the edges and keep longer, trailing plants toward the center and top.

9. Add some support to the bouquet so that it doesn’t lean to one side. Use large, leafy tree branches to hold up more delicate flowers and provide a backdrop for bouquets without a lot of greenery. Wrap a clear hair elastic around the stems of the bouquet right at the waterline to pack the flowers tightly together and force them to support one another.

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