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Floral Arranging

Adventures in floral arranging

Floral Arranging
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As I sat down to write this, my phone beeped and I read this text from a friend: “Hiiiiii, do you want to take a flower arranging course with me soon? I’ve always been so interested.” Well, well, well, what IMPECCABLE timing because floral arranging is the very thing I just learned about and am now here to share with you.

Meet Shannon from Euclid Farms, a hardworking, talented urban flower farmer and florist who has been obsessed with flowers since she was a little girl. (She used to spend her allowance on flowers to put on her bedside table!)

Floral Arranging
Shannon’s floral work is bursting with beauty. It’s eye-catching to say the least, having caught my eye numerous times on Instagram. I wanted to watch and learn from her, in person. Like me, she grows most of her flowers from seed but instead of eating her harvest, like I do, she creates stunning floral arrangements bursting with texture, color and pizzazz. (Note: When we filmed this, the flowers we used for these arrangements were not grown by Shannon as per usual during the busy growing season). Working alongside Shannon, here are the steps, tips and tricks that I learned:

Sharp Snips or Scissors Are Important

Snipping any stem, whether flower or foliage, on a sharp angle, is an important step before putting them into the water. In order to do this, you need sharp snips, scissors or even a very sharp knife to get a clean cut.

Floral Arranging Scissors

Greenery and Flowers

Select flowers and greenery that you like, especially if you are creating this piece for yourself. Visualize your final piece… are the colors soft or vibrant? If you’re looking for a very full arrangement using two (or three!) different kinds of greenery and two (or three, or four!) different types of flowers it will achieve that a very robust professional look.

Keep Like With Like

Stay organized while working because it’s going to get messy (especially the floor) by keeping “like with like” i.e. keep the same flowers bunched together and separate from the others.

Pick a Vase

There are so many different glasses, vases, containers you can use. Even mason jars can work! Select a size that is relative to the amount of flowers and foliage that you have to use.

Water & Flower Food

I will be the first to admit, when I get cut flowers, I don’t always mix that little packet of flower food solution into the water. In my vegetable-growing-brain, I always thought it was just “fertilizer” and that perhaps the flowers had had enough feeding by the time they got to me? I was wrong – it’s more than that. Not only is it nutrients and food for the flowers but it will help maintain the pH of the water and minimize any bacteria or fungi that may be lurking around.

Add Water to the Vase First

Add the water and flower food to your vase before you start, not after. Shannon filled our vases quite full, leaving a generous inch or so of space at the top. She explained to me that the stems will also add volume.

Tape A Grid

Clear tape, about a ¼” wide is the ultimate secret-helping-amazing hot tip that I learned from Shannon. I promise if you tape a grid over top of your vase on your next arrangement, it will give you a professional and impressive look that your other arrangements have been lacking! A grid helps to control the flowers and keep them in the position with the angles that you want them in.

Add Greenery First (and more than you think!)

This will add both volume and support to your flowers. Fill around the sides first and a few stems here and there in the middle. I asked Shannon what she does when she doesn’t have any greenery to add, she said that she won’t do an arrangement without it! I now view greenery as the “unsung hero” in arrangements. For a dynamic look, add different types of greenery. Find different weighted stems like woody stems and delicate stems.

Add Flowers

Snip and add one stem at a time and snip each stem on a sharp angle. There is no rhyme or reason to this part, just start. Do what looks good to you. While you are adding, rotate and look at your arrangement from other sides. Where will this arrangement be placed? For example, if it is going to be on a coffee table, you’ll want it to be balanced on all sides.

Balance color too. My arrangement was going to be put against a wall, so I put a lot of height in the back. I had too much orange in the top right, so Shannon suggested that I add some orange to the bottom left. Think about color, texture, height and play around with the placement of each stem.

Floral Arranging

Don’t Overthink It

Have fun! Nothing is permanent in an arrangement. You can always swap, change, rearrange, add or shorten. Actually…. there is one thing that’s permanent, if you cut a stem too short… it’ll always be too short! Start long and cut down until you like the length. But things happen! It’s art. If you do cut down too short, stick it into the front of the arrangement or save it to enjoy in another small vase. I hope this has inspired you to go out and create a dynamic arrangement full of life. Find yourself a vase, some tape, grab different kinds of greenery and different types of flowers and experiment with arranging!
yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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