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How to Save Time and Money with Floral Arranging

Updated on August 4, 2009

Floral Arranging

Here are some tips that I have gathered from home/ garden sources over the years. Some you might already know and some information might be useful to you. I hope you find this helpful.

My store-bought bouquets that I would bring home and arrange myself always appeared lopsided until I learned this useful trick. When you place flowers in a vase and find that they do not sit properly or they tilt to one side, try arranging them in a criss-crossing or intertwining pattern. As you place one stem in the vase at a 45 degree angle, place the next stem to lean against the first from the opposite side. (See the photo of the flower stems as they sit in the vase.) With a bouquet of a dozen flowers, for example, you should end up with a very intertwining pattern where each stem is leaning against another that supports it. As you stand above your vase of flowers that is situated on a sturdy table surface, it should appear very symmetrical. A well arranged vase of flowers makes a lovely centerpiece.

Some other tips to remember are to cut the stems of flowers even if they appear to be freshly cut when you purchase them. Cutting the tips off of the stems will increase freshness and lengthen the life of the flowers. Additionally, if you are not working with a tall vase, cut more length off of the flowers as is appropriate. Ideally, very short (i.e- 4 in.) vases should have stems no taller than 8 inches. An 8 inch tall vase can have 10-12 inch tall stems. The closer that top of the flower is to the top of the vase, the nicer the arrangement tends to appear.

Remember that is is much easier to fill the vase with water first, prior to putting any stems inside. Be sure that the expected weight of all the flowers will not cause the water in the vase to overflow. Three-fourths filled should be sufficient. Keep in mind that if you have the time, changing the water every day is amazing for helping the keep the flowers thriving. If you don't have time, keep adding some water each day to maintain that 3/4 full level as your thirsty flowers use up water each day. Additionally, if you are given one of those free packets of flower food with your purchase, be sure to use it according to the directions. Save some for the next day if you choose the change of water option. Keeping a penny and a sugar cube in your vase also helps to keep the flowers fresh. I have tried this with amazing results. At times, when you don't have sugar on hand, even the penny alone helps.

You can save cash on both flowers and vases by buying them wholesale, at discount stores, neighborhood flower stands, or supermarkets. The bouquet in the photo was shared among three different vases at a cost of less than $9 by purchasing them at a supermarket sale!

Finally as you choose your colors, I suggest seasonal coordination. The burgundy and orange flowers in the photo were chosen during the Thanksgiving holiday. Complementary colors always work beautifully together. It is something to keep in mind no matter the type of flowers- roses, mums, gerbadaisies or others.

In the autumn, my preference is for orange/yellow and burgundy/red tones. One year, in December, while living in a small apartment, I chose a lovely bouquet of all white. Again, this was a great supermarket bargain. The bouquet really caught my eye as the petals had been sprinkled with silver glitter. I was able to arrange it in the vase just right and it was very festive in lieu of other space using holiday decor such as trees.

Enjoy your floral arranging!

Floral Arranging Photos

flower stems in vase
flower stems in vase
burgundy & orange
burgundy & orange
close  up
close up


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      It seems ridiculous that arranging flowers takes a skill but it certainly does. Proper placement makes a big difference.