Springtime means the arrival of fresh flowers Fresh flowers lighten and brighten the personality of any decor. Welcome spring into your home with instant color, charm and style what could be easier? Think flower power when you want to punch up your decor. A good way to make your floral selection easier is to focus on colors and shapes rather than intimidating sounding names. Many people feel a little challenged when learning how to pick out fresh flowers and arrange several different types together. Think fresh produce. Choosing fresh flowers is pretty much like choosing fresh vegetables. Look for firm stems and firm flower heads. For example, roses that feel soft similar to a marshmallow will probably wilt. Avoid bruised or creased flowers. You pay a premium for tall stems, so if you don’t need them, don’t buy them. Another designer tip, fighting gravity, tall flowers use up more energy than shorter ones and therefore have a shorter life. Decide what kind of statement you want to make with your arrangement. Flowers that are similar in scale suggest a more subtle statement than ones that are very disparately scaled. The same thing can be said about color and textures; the more similar the color and texture, the more harmonious the arrangement. Color and textures that clash create more drama. You also have decisions to make about form, shape and space. The form can be symmetrical, more harmonious, or asymmetrical, more dynamic. The shape can be regular, such as a geometric figure, or jagged and irregular. Space is the interior zone of the arrangement, which can either be filled up (as roses often are with greenery) or preserved (such as with tulips, which drape beautifully by themselves). Conditioning the flowers is critical to ensure success of the arrangement. Ball advises to cut stems with a sharp knife at an angle for better water absorption. Scrape the sides of the stem about an inch just above the cut. Return the stems to water immediately after cutting or cut the stem under running water to reduce shock. Even a few minutes left out can cause the stems to crust over, which means no water can be absorbed. Remove any foliage below the water line. Refresh the water as often as possible by placing it under the faucet and flushing until the old water has been forced out. If the arrangement cannot be moved, add a thimbleful of bleach to keep the water clear and retard the growth of bacteria. When a flower looks wilted, shorten the stem length and reduce the foliage. You can also re-cut flowers such as roses, lilies, camellias, peonies and violets and immerse them in water for several hours to refresh them. Woodsy stems and branches must be cauterized in order to seal the sap. Either place the ends in boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds or hold them over a candle flame until the end has been sealed. When starting an arrangement, decide what devise will hold them in place. A good, shapely branch or two carefully lodged into place can help, or cross and crisscross the first five or six stems to create a web that will anchor future flowers. Another option is to sometimes cut one thick stem and thread another one through it. Begin with the strongest, most important flowers and work toward the lighter ones. Decide which of your flower shapes will tumble over edge of the container, such as anemones, tulips, and poppies, to create a comfortable feeling. Rotate the vase as you work and keep looking at the whole composition. Each time a flower is added, it will jostle the other flowers, so check and readjust as necessary. Sketch in the important sections of the arrangement so you’ll have an idea of its mass and outer shape. Many flowers will open up and grow in size, so leave room for this process. A lily or giant peony , for example, needs twice as much room to include the space needed as it fully blooms open. Knowing when to stop is a key, so you need to constantly stand back, study and review the arrangement. For drama gather a sparse handful of one of a kind flowers, such as all tulips or waxen calalilies. Traditional cheery spring time bouquets are always in bloom however, if someone wants the look of designer chic and sophistication this spring — they will opt for arrangements containing mostly shades of white –particularly every hue from linen white to the palest pink arranged in containers that are flat, geometrical shapes, such as clear, smooth crystal or leaded glass vases.
|About the Author
J.E. Ball, IDC is the founder of House Chic, offering complete Real Estate Resale Staging & Decor Services. J.E. specializes in transforming ordinary spaces into show places. She is the author of House Chic: Designer Looks to Sigh For-(getting the look without the price).
She gives seminars and hosts workshops. Her articles have been published in numerous publications in the US and abroad. J.E. is a copywriter for INSIDER ARTICLE.