Monday, February 7, 2011

Make Your Own Valentine Flower Arrangements

One of the best things about Valentine's Day are all the pretty flowers.
They smell great, look pretty and brighten up any room, so why not make your own arrangement.
Follow our easy step by step guide provided by Beth Davis, one of our contributing writers to make your own Valentine flower arrangement.

 Our first arrangement is a topiary.

Gather supplies:

Ceramic container. Terra cotta is nice too, but it must be lined.
Brick of fresh floral foam (oasis)
Gerber daisies (8), Roses (12), Lilies(3-5) or Carnations(10-12)
Sharp Knife
Floral tape or wrapped wire

1)Completely soak the foam in tepid water. Cut to fit snugly (not smashed) in container and about ½ inch below top of container.
2)Strip the stems of all leaves and thorns.
3)Gather all flower stems in one hand near the heads and arrange blossoms to radiate outward. Center blooms can face up and those at the circumference can be raised or lowered to make a fuller effect. This is especially helpful in the case of roses or carnations. A variety can be used as well.

4)Slide your hand nearer the bottom of the stems. Make one angled cut through the bottom of stems. Consider the height of container and allow for stems to be plunge deeply into it.
5)Insert all stems in the center of your container of oasis.
6)Tape or wire the stems near the blooms securely. This can be removed once ribbon is holding flowers in place.

7)Wet moss and spread around the oasis at the top of container.
8)Wrap stems with ribbon.

Next we have a rose arrangement

This type of arrangement makes almost any container a possibility. Clear cubes and cylinders are great.
I also have a few favorite pieces of antique glassware I love to use. This will work for almost any vase.

Gather supplies:
Choice of vase
¼ inch potting tape, I use clear vase tape, but green potting is just as good.
Sharp knife
Optional: Ribbon

1)Create a grid of tape across the top of your vase. Tape should extend over the edges no more than ½ inch. Once the grid is complete wrap the entire top of the vase with tape to secure the tape extending over edge.

2) Fill vase ¾ full of water, add packet of floral food.
3)Separate the foliage and cut bracts from stems or branches, keeping enough of a stem to reach as far into the water as possible. Hopefully enough greenery is included in your flower bunch. Other options are to cut a few sprigs from the garden or pick up a few extra at the shop. Don’t hesitate to use evergreens in the winter.
4)Tuck the foliage into grid, first the circumference, then a few in the center. Poke it in far enough that the bottom leaf gets wedged in and doesn’t flop.
5)Strip your rose stems leaving one or two leaves near the top near the blossom, and removing as many thorns as possible. If you need more greenery in your arrangement, you can cut the stem in two places leaving a bract of leaves on a stem for foliage as well.

6)Begin by arranging a row of roses around the edge of the bowl. Place the stems in at about a 45 degree angle. When using a low bowl, cut the stems long enough to reach across the bowl at that angle. A taller vase will require a longer stem and be inserted at a higher angle. You will notice that inside the bowl you are creating a spiral of stems which will act as stability for the following flowers that you will be inserting.
Work your way from the outside in. The flowers should create a dome. Cut your stems accordingly, keeping in mind that in lower containers this can mean that the center stems are shorter than those at the outer edge.

Helpful Hints:
If arranging a bouquet for an event, do this a day ahead to allow time for the roses to open and be at their best.
1 Dozen Roses will fill a 6-8 inch wide container nicely.
2 Dozen Roses will fill a 9-12 inch wide container lovely.
2 Dozen Roses will fill three 4-5 inch wide containers for a contemporary look.
Tying a ribbon at the top of your vase will cover your tape.