You may or may not know this, but I have a serious black thumb when it comes to house plants, gardening, or any sort of flower-handling. I’m like the opposite of King Midas – everything I touch dies. Fun Fact: in our first year of dating, Tom tried buying me an orchid not once, not twice, but three times. After I killed them all, he gave up for good. I try, I really do! I water them, make sure they have enough light, etc. But every time they seem to die. I’ve resorted to ignoring our greenery completely and letting Tom handle it all (thanks Tom!).
So when my friend Megan of Bon Aprontit invited me to attend a floral arranging class with Alice’s Table, you can imagine my slight anxiety. “Oh great,” I thought, “I can’t wait to kill all my flowers in front of these super cool creative-types.” But I was dying to see Megan’s new spring line, so I took a deep breath and said to hell with it – I’M IN. It also helped to have my flower-killing-partner-in-crime Maya from Charmingly Styled there by my side. Hey, if we’re going down, at least we’re going down together, right?
Turns out, I not only managed to keep those flowers alive, I dominated in the arranging department!! Who knew?! Our Alice’s Table host walked us through every step and made it waaaaaaay less scary. And today, I’m sharing all her tips and tricks for making a seriously kick-ass floral arrangement!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Clear vase (Alice’s Table recommends a 5″ round vase)
- Assortment of flowers (we picked up seasonal blooms from Mariano’s, but I also love Trader Joe’s for pretty flowers on the cheap)
- Greenery (we used Israeli Ruscus)
- Oasis Clear Floral Tape
- Aspidistra Leaf Ribbon
Begin by cutting your aspidistra leaf ribbon to size – make sure to leave an extra inch for overlap in your vase so there are no gaps.
Place it inside your vase (don’t you feel like a pro already?!) and grab your magical oasis clear floral tape. Cut your tape into four 6″ pieces. Place them on the top rim of the vase in a tic-tac-toe pattern to create nine quadrants.
Now it’s time to add some greenery (we liked Israeli Ruscus for it’s structure and pretty leaves). Cut it in half so it’s about 8″ – 9″ total, and add one stem to each quadrant. A good rule of (a green) thumb is to err on the side of cutting everything too long. You can always go back and trim them down!
Next up, add your first flower. We chose hydrangea because they are in season and soooooo pretty! Cut them down to size, being sure to cut them on an angle under running water at room temperature. Fun Fact: hydrangea can start to lose their hydration within 7 seconds, so you want to diminish their time outside of water to as little as possible. Once they are the right height (you’ll want about 3″-4″ inches from the top of the vase), cut the bottom of the stem about an inch vertically. This will help ramp up their hydration and keep them looking healthy longer.
Now start to add in the rest of your flowers (we picked spray roses, hypericum berries and green carnations). Cut them down to size, being sure to cut under running water at room temperature, and on an angle. Also! Anything with a bud or a berry should have no leaves under water. If you cut yours down to size and there are some submerged leaves, just trim them off. This helps keep your flowers from rotting, which was always a huge problem for me in the past!
We chose spray roses (always a bargain at Trader Joe’s!) for some pretty spring tones. Cut them down to size and add them to your vase. Here is where you can start to play with how it looks. Don’t be afraid to move things around to achieve your desired look (just be sure to reduce their “out-of-water” time to as little as possible). Fill in gaps with extra greenery, or maybe an extra flower. I like things in odd numbers, so I went with three bunches of hydrangea, three carnations, and an assortment of berries and roses.
And voila! An easy, DIY floral arrangement anyone can manage. Make sure to change the water daily (no, you don’t have to remove everything, just tip the vase to the side and refill with room temperature water). I actually kept this arrangement alive for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! With some simple tricks and good supplies, you too can make grocery store flowers look like a million-dollar bucks!
Got any floral-arranging tips of your own? Do tell! Share them in the comments below 😉