An error that I make which I really need to correct is that I don’t take the time to cut flowers from my garden and display them in my home. Creating a stunning arrangement isn’t as difficult as it may seem and remember that if it looks beautiful to you that is really all that matters anyway! I may be going out on a limb by writing about flower arranging when ”I don’t practice what I preach,” but maybe this article will help encourage you to bring a little piece of your own garden indoors.
Be Prepared - Remember the Boy Scout motto! Before you cut anything you’ll want to clear a work area. The kitchen table or a counter top will do just fine and start by filling your favorite vase or container about 2/3 of the way with water. Now you’re ready to cut your flowers right? Not quite yet! Get a pail or other container and fill it with warm water. Bring it with you when you cut the flowers; I’ll explain why in a moment.
Timing Can Be Everything - The best time to cut flowers is early in the morning or in the evening when they are retaining the most moisture. Whatever flowers you choose to cut you’ll want to look for the most colorful varieties and include some leaves and greenery as well. You’ll also want to look for a mixture of different flower and foliage shapes, sizes and heights and maybe include some buds that haven’t bloomed yet too.
Make the Right Cut - In addition to the timing of your cutting you want to make sure you make the correct cut. Cut the stem with an eye toward leaving enough for a second cut that you will make later. Use sharp scissors or pruners to make the cleanest cut and cut just above a leaf or flower bud and put the stems in the container of warm water I mentioned earlier. Once you’ve finished gathering your flowers you’ll bring them indoors and cut the stem at a 45-degree angle. Some people recommend that you do this with the stem under water to eliminate bubbles that can form in the stem and block the uptake of water, but this step is really up to your personal preference. Some sources also suggest leaving the cut stems in water for several hours before you make your arrangement.
Have Fun Filling the Vase - Now you are ready to fill your vase. Try working from the bottom of the display upward. Some of the greenery you cut can even cascade over the edge of the vase or container. Good choices for this include geranium leaves, mint leaves, chamomile or other plants with interesting foliage. Next, add your larger and taller flowers in the vase and then fill in spaces between them with the smaller flowers or flower buds. Roses are always a treat for any arrangement but you can also use Peonies, Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Zinnias, and Columbine just to name a few. The choice of colors is also up to you, but one tip to keep in mind is that the color white is always a pleasing contrast with other colors you may choose.
How formal you are in this process is really up to you. You can make things look symmetrical or allow the flowers to “go their own way” so to speak. Just be sure to change the water every few days to keep the arrangement fresh and you can enjoy your arrangement for up to a week and maybe even ten days. Why not share pictures of your personal arrangements on Facebook so we can enjoy them with you!