If I had it my way, I would always have fresh flowers in my home. Instantly adding life and enhancing any space, there's nothing quite like a gorgeous bouquet to brighten a dull day or lift your mood. Though ideally we would love to enlist the talent of a florist for every bouquet, realistically many of us don't have the luxury of a special budget dedicated to flowers (a girl can dream, right?), and instead find ourselves creating arrangements ourselves. And let's be honest, it can be a daunting task if you're not sure what you're doing.
I recently had the opportunity to take a DIY floral arranging class at Toronto flower studio Blush & Bloom, and was thrilled to learn a few secrets to creating a beautiful arrangement at home from florist extraordinaire Becky De Oliveira, which I decided to put to use creating a cascading floral arrangement.
Though it seems obvious, it all begins with choosing your flowers. One thing to keep in mind is that if you're able to shop local and seasonal, you'll always have a better selection of blooms to choose from. Keep an eye out for local farmer's markets and pay attention to what's currently in season and available locally. June happens to be prime peony season, so I opted to use a mix of bright pink peonies and peach roses as my focal point flowers, and then selected a mix of other flowers in various textures and shades to complement them. You'll want a variety of sizes, including fillers and mass blooms such as spray roses or hydrangea, and a few other detail blooms to add shape and contrast.
Vase Scissors or clippers Clear floral tape Peonies Roses Spray Roses Pink Veronica Caspia Statice Dendrobium Orchids Variety of greenery
1 // Add water to your vase a little over half way and create a grid pattern with clear floral tape across the mouth of the vase. This helps to add structure to your arrangement.
2 // Create a foundation with foliage, letting the stems crisscross and intertwine in the vase. This will provide the framework for the arrangement. Don’t make it too thick, as you need plenty of room for the flowers, but use a variety of greenery for to add different textures, heights and dimensions, and don’t be afraid to let it go a little wild. For this arrangement, I knew I wanted it to have a cascading effect, so I left some of the greenery longer on each side and embraced the natural shape of each stem. Otherwise it should provide a fairly symmetrical and even base.
3 // Now it's time to start adding your flowers. For each flower you add to the arrangement, trim the stem on an angle to the desired length with a sharp pair of scissors or clippers and quickly add it to the vase before the stem has a chance to seal up.
4 // Also remove all leaves on the stalk that will sit below the water line in your vase. These will rot and contaminate your water, so you want to avoid that.
5 // Don’t be afraid to remove any petals that are broken or browning.
6 // Start by adding in your larger statement blooms, trimming them to varying heights to add more dimension, nestling some lower and allowing others to extend.
7 // Once you have your larger blooms in place, start adding in some taller, stalkier stems to build out your shape. Add wispy elements high on the sides, low and spilling out of the vase, and in the middle of the arrangement.
8 // Add in your smaller novelty blooms, such as spray roses, and any other accent flowers or foliage, paying attention to any gaps that may be evident and filling out the shape of the arrangement. Don’t be afraid to rearrange stems as you go, finessing the arrangement and paying attention to the overall effect.