If you are like me you know nothing about flowers. But I know what is most important, they are gorgeous, smell great and I ADORE getting them. Other than that, my expertise runs out. As I grow into this blog, and share my own tips, I have realized that many people are just like me; lazy and just too busy. They want the best, but don’t always have the time, or patience to achieve results that Martha bequeaths onto us. My motto in life GO BIG OR GO HOME, and keep it SHORT, SIMPLE and STUPID-(all while making it look fabulous) are words that I live by. I demand simplicity and I demand things to be easy and effortless.
But the designer in me still wants Martha results, just without all the work!
Abrahams and Group, NYC
Florals are something I cherish. After my husband and I got married he became good friends with a local florist and I was lucky enough to receive fresh flowers on a weekly basis. I prized their beauty and relished in having a kitchen island adorned with fresh flowers. Once we moved to Las Vegas my days of receiving fresh flowers on a weekly basis stopped and I was forced to live with out them. Still wanting Martha results without all the work I learned how to wing it, and found that florals were not nearly as intimidating as I had thought. And despite not knowing most of their names, my color and design background served me well and allowed me to make fabulous florals.
Keeping one color is a classic practice in floral design and the simplest approach. Group flowers by color and your arrangements will always look amazing; and also be easy! For some added pizzaz, group the flowers with other groups in a row for extra style; this looks chic, expensive, and custom made from the floral shop.
Don’t overlook greenery:
Greenery is plentiful this time of year and easy to find. Ivy, eucalyptus, magnolia leaves, boxwood branches and herbs are plentiful in the fall and winter. When flowers are typically hard to find, use greenery for holiday arrangements, or combine them with your favorite holiday flowers like hypericum berries.
Don’t over look simple points that can add some serious wow factor. While massive arrangements can be stylish, small details often look more elegant and smart. Here are some of our favorite clever details:
Take two calla lilies and wrap around a votive, secure with ribbon.
Simple and oh so WOW!
Add simple ribbon to lavender and use for place settings
Hollow out an artichoke, insert floral foam and decorate with flowers
Take a tall vase and fill it with 1″ of water. Place a large palm leaf or grass and
combine it with an orchid or one of your favorite holiday flowers.
Take a shallow vase, fill with 2″ of water. Wrap long leaves around the
inside perimeter of vase, and gently place Cymbidium orchids or lilies into the vase.
Buy the best you can afford:
Flowers can be purchased from anywhere but your local flower mart will carry the best. I was fortunate enough to meet up with local floral designer Danny Chappell, from Nashville’s Smith and Rogers, to find out some trade secrets. According to Danny, the top holiday florals are:
“Roses, amaryllis, lilies, ranunculus, and hydrangeas, and he adds if budget doesn’t matter, orchids.”
Smith and Rogers is known as the best place in Nashville to shop for loose flowers, but most major cities have a place, or mart that can provide you what you need. If not, Smith and Rodgers ships nationwide.
Smith and Rodgers floral cooler
If the local floral mart is not within your budget, your local grocery store can provide a large array of options. I went to three different stores here in town and found that most arrangements were $12 or less. I suggest buying 2 or 3 bundles of the same floral, or same color and purchase or find greenery from your yard to add in.
The caveat to grocery store flowers is the quality is not the same as your florist. Florals from your local florist are top quality, first picks. Grocery store flowers are two-five days old, and second picks. In a nutshell, the flowers from the grocery store are going to die in about three to five days. Your florist will provide flowers that will last 2 weeks. This is important to remember when entertaining. If you want to make arrangements ahead of time, keep this in mind.
Also keep in mind that roses are THE most competitive and most sold flower on the market. Most floral marts sell a dozen top quality roses for less than $29.99. Smith and Rogers offers a bundle of roses starting at $23.99 and they stand behind their product. If you have any problems or are unhappy with them they will replace them! Your grocery mart will not offer this service.
How to prolong your flowers life:
-Before building your arrangement, prepare the flowers properly. Remove all leaves (they carry bacteria) that will touch water.
-Cut the stems with garden shears instead of scissors. Scissors do not cut the stems properly and often damage the stem and harm the flowers capillaries (ouchy). Use the proper tools, and cut on an angle so the flower can absorb more water
– Water has a lot of minerals in it so don’t use water immediately out of the tap. Let the water sit for an hour so it gets room temperature and the minerals settle. (Top insider tip, compliments of Danny!)
-Change the water every three days. Do not put floral packs into the water that the grocery stores often provide. Most flowers cannot absorb it in their stems, and it clouds the water.
-If you are lazy (like moi) and don’t want to change the water, or the arrangement is too delicate to change the water, put a drop of straight bleach into the water (and not the kind with fruity smells! Good ol’ clorox bleach) This will kill any bacteria in the water allowing the flowers to last longer, and help clear up the water
Now you are ready to start designing fabulous florals for this holiday season!
I’d like to thank Danny at Smith and Rodgers for answering all my idiotic questions about flowers, and sharing his top tips on holiday florals!
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