This past weekend I went with my sister and my sister in law to Boston for a fun handmade bouquet class. It was a beautiful spring day here in New England (finally!) and the florist we worked with at Sunny Florists was so helpful, I can't help but share some of her tips for keeping bouquets beautiful!
We started by going over the flowers we would use to make our bouquets. Included were:
Roses - 2 pink/2 red Peonies (1) Baby White Gerber Daisy (1)
Small white roses (3) Ranunculus (3) Bouvardia (1)
Multi petal dutch tulip (2) Calla lilies (2)
Baby eucalyptus (3) Limonium (3)
Green mini hydrangea (2) Celosia (3)
STEP ONE // Create a Clean Stem to Keep Your Water Clean
Start by removing any low leaves on the stems of the flowers. Low laying leaves can do a few different things to a bouquet: the first is that they can contaminate the water if they touch it, secondly they compete with the actual flower for water, so by leaving them on you may inhibit the life of your bouquet by the flower not getting ample water, and lastly, leaving low laying leaves will distract from the bouquet looking clean cut (both in a hand-tied bouquet and in a vase). Our florist also taught us that the crystal "food" packet that comes with bouquets is not actually food, but a way to clean the water! Clean water keeps a bouquet beautiful and alive.
TWO // Keep your Stems Organized
In order to create a beautiful bouquet, it is important to align the stems in the same direction. In order to do this, our teacher instructed us to hold the first flower in our right hand, tap our left shoulder, then place into our left hand. She said to continuously do this with every flower, in order to always have the stems cross one another. This is essential in the case you want to remove or add a flower into the bouquet, the stems won't be tangled. Furthermore, it looks more beautiful when finished!
THREE // Mix and Match Your Flowers Freely
Don't be afraid to place similar flowers next to one another. Before this class I would have spaced out all the roses onto different sides of the bouquet, but our florist said it works well to group like flowers together to create a cohesive look.
FOUR // Add Texture
Use some of the smaller flowers (limonium & celosia) to create texture and height, while also softening the effects of some of the bigger roses. Using these creates a more country and classic touch to bouquets.
FIVE // Finishing Touches
Once you have your hands full with the bouquet, look at it from a few angles to see what it will look like from both the top and the sides (as if it is on your table and you are in different locations in the room). Feel free to move or adjust the flowers (I made a few last minute changes and switched out two of my ranunculus for two more pink roses!). Once you're satisfied, hold your bouquet up to your vase and cut the stems about two inches longer that the vase. Tie a rubber band around the base, then cut again to fit the vase. Voilà!
SIX // Caring for The Bouquet
I'm guilty of having a beautiful bouquet for a few days, then sadly watching it rot. The biggest part of having a long lasting bouquet (according to our teacher) is to keep the water clean! Keep leaves out of the water and change the water every few days. When you change the water, be sure to clean the glass of the vase and cut off a bit of the stems off. Hydrangeas specifically can be kept alive for a long time, as each individual group of petals will drink water. Simply remove from the bouquet and soak the head of flowers in water for 20-30 minutes until hydrated. Then place back in bouquet.
I had so much fun trying my hand at bouquet making (pun intended). I'm excited to have some basic knowledge of flowers so that I can try in the future to make more bouquets at home, even if it's simply with flowers from my garden. Have any other floral tips I should try?