When it comes to entertaining, nothing says, “I tried,” like a DIY flower arrangement. Blooms brighten up a room and – according to science – make you happier and healthier. Today’s post features my crash course on secrets that turn supermarket bouquets into how-did-she-do-that centerpieces.
But first, take a peek at the garden party inspiration assembled during a styling session with my friend Mary, owner of Please Be Seated event rentals. When I went to the market to buy for the SHOPPE, we took advantage of proximity to meet at The Barnsley and spend a dreamy day creating tablescapes. Although this particular theme wasn’t on the agenda, once I stumbled across Anthropologie taper candles, tea towels and pink glasses, it was a done deal. The flower arrangements are an easy mix of picked on-site and bought from the store; I just stayed within the same color palette and used pretty cups as vases.
Let us know if Mary should hire me on the side as a designer – I’ve been trying to convince her for years. Side hustle of setting plates, straightening candles, and playing with flowers? Yes, please.
Garden Party Inspiration
I love creating my own floral arrangements for centerpieces. Whether you need to do it cheaply with some quick supermarket blooms or are looking to make some more elaborate centerpieces, I have some tips to help.
My Favorite Places to Get Flowers
My favorite place to order flowers online is from Grace Rose Farm. I love the Grace Rose Farm roses because they smell delicious and that no two arrangements look alike. I have a few wholesale florists I love to visit and will routinely call around to area flower farms to see what they are cutting. But when in doubt, Trader Joes and Whole Foods rarely dissapoint!
How to Arrange Flowers
Start with clean flowers // Prepare your stems by removing all the leaves that will be below the waterline. Then cut your stems at a 45-degree angle.
Keep Flowers in Water // Arranging may take a few minutes, so as soon as you cut the stems and remove the leaves, keep all flowers in freshwater, transferring to your final vase one at a time.
Give structure to your vase and arrangement // You can use clear tape to make a grid across the top of your vase. Or if you have some chicken wire you can create a small ball to thread stems through. I have found that if you criss-cross the stems from one side to the next, you can make your own mini-grid without any extra supplies.
Arrange blooms largest to smallest // Whether or not you are using tape, chicken wire, or a floral foam block, place the largest (or longest if you are looking to make a wide arrangement) blooms or clippings first. Use three to five of these as your base. Next, add your medium-sized flowers. Finally, add some smaller filler flowers and greenery.
Pull From Nature // For these flowers, we used grocery store tulips and roses and then hellebores cut from the property. I have also been known to snap twigs, stems and herbs or green flowers from around my yard.
When In Doubt, Stick To A Common Color // Keeping blooms in one color family is an easy way to elevate an arrangement. The mixture of textures brings in interest and the solid color scheme keeps it looking uniform. It’s a win-win.
Open Up Roses for Instant Blooms
Want to make supermarket flowers look like beautiful full roses? Try my hack! It’s a way to cut the roses and open them up so they look full and mature. I’ve listed the steps below but for all of you visual learners, I’ve also included a video.
- Cut stems diagonally.
- Remove the leaves from the stems and the sepals from the base of the rose.
- Take the outer two layers of petals and gently bend them back.
- Blow into the center petals while spinning the rose in your hands. Yes, blow. There’s no easy way and you look ridiculous but it opens up the middle petals.
- Repeat with all roses and arrange in a vase.
Want to save wilting hydrangeas? This hack works on both Trader Joe’s hydrangeas or those straight off the bush. If the flowers are brown this won’t help, but it will give you at least a few more days of beauty.
- Fill a vase with boiling or very hot water.
- Recut stems at an angle and arrange in the vase.
- Give the hydrangeas about an hour and they’ll come back to life.