May Flowers

April showers bring May flowers! I love using flowers as part of the decor for my parties. I don’t have any events on the horizon, but that didn’t stop me from  picking up a nice variety of flowers and greenery at Whole Foods to try some flower arranging. I’m usually partial to a bouquet featuring one type of flower so I was excited for something new. I took a floral arranging class last year, and used those tips for this project.

The first step was laying all the flowers and greenery out with my supplies. These two vases are current favorites – I love the texture and copper accent on both. For this project, I selected some basic greens, eucalyptus, peonies, and a burgundy flower/greenery (I’ve asked all the flower experts I know, and they’re stumped. Any clue?!).

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Next, I cleaned off all the leaves of the peonies and greenery that would touch the water. Getting rid of these excess leaves helps your arrangement stay fresher longer, because those leaves can cause mold inside the vase.

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The next step was to cut the flowers to fit the vase. I cut a diagonal, based on a tip I learned long ago from my mom.  I looked it up, and the tip does prove true – a diagonal tip allows more water into the stem, keeping the flower fresher longer. Another trick I learned the hard way is cut less than you think you should at first – you can always cut more later, but you can’t add back. Seems like a no-brainer, right?!

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When arranging flowers, I prefer a tight look, where my flowers sit just above the top of the vase. Some people prefer a looser arrangement – it’s totally based on your preference. The great thing about flower arranging for your home is there’s no wrong answer – do what looks good to you.

When it’s time to start arranging, I use the rule of thirds, placing the first three flowers in the vase forming a triangle. I start with the largest flowers first, and for this arrangement, the peonies.

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Next I added the burgundy flowers, and to keep the arrangement from feeling too symmetrical, I added four of those.

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Finally, I filled the vase out with the greenery. I like my arrangements to have varying heights so I tuck greenery in until I get exactly what I’m looking for. I ended up having enough stems leftover after my two vases to do a third look and I decided to give that one a looser, more open feel. I still prefer the tighter look, but it is pretty and with the abundance of eucalyptus, it smells great.img_0890

Peonies can wilt quickly, so I always like to purchase them when they haven’t opened all the way to make the arrangement last even longer. That, with the greenery which typically stays fresh for a long time, should keep these arrangements lasting at least 10 to 12 days.

Happy May to you! Party on!

JW

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