Wednesday, May 18, 2011
One of my clients asked for a guide for how to do flowers. Since I follow the KISS formula (keeping it simple, stupid) I just sent her what I know. Realized it might be helpful for others, too....The photos are some of the arrangements I've done to give you an idea of how simple this really is.
First,I buy my flowers 3 places in Minneapolis: Kohler and Dramm for branches, Lunds for orchids, roses, lilies and whatever else inspires me, Bachmans have lovely larger roses and occasionally something else interesting.
For a dramatic, branchy arrangement (my favorite!), I love flowering cherry in the Spring. You just have to go into the cooler areas and see what they have - it will change seasonally. I use cherry, forsythia, curly willow and whatever else I can find that is a branch in a vase like that one. The vase should be about 18" high and about 8" around. I like clear glass best. But good with other options, too.
A secondary vase - at about 14 - 16" with a top that kind of opens at the top is good for bushier flowers like lilies, tall tulips, lilac - anything that gets bigger at the top or spills over the edge.It can be used for slightly shorter flowers that still have a big dramatic effect. White lilies are great - and then you just have to see what is available that is around 24" tall. Buy more than you think. You can always use the extra somewhere else.
For the smaller container - my standby is a bunch of roses. (Containers at about 6" high and 3-6" opening. I love orange, white and yellow roses, especially - small to large - all okay. It will take one full bunch for a smallish vase.Start by cutting one - put it in the vase and the head should just come over the rim. The stem should be at the bottom.Pull off some of the leaves or it gets too messy.Then you can cut the rest the same length - maybe a couple just a bit taller for the center of the vase.Most roses should be bought 1-2 days before a party so they will be opened properly.
I also like tulips - get lots! Cut them a touch longer than you might imagine. They shouldn't be bunched like roses.
Other great flowers for shorter bunches are dahlias (from Two Pony Gardens in Orono! www.twoponygarden.com) and always, peonies.
To make any flower open, put hot water in the vase.