I’m lucky enough to come from a long line of green thumbs–my mom, aunts, and Grandma all grow beautiful flowers. Unfortunately my small, shady porch doesn’t lend itself to growing flowers for cutting, so for now I just try to treat myself to a bunch at the farmers market when I can afford it.
Buying flowers at the market is one of my favorite little luxuries. For $15 last week, I bought three huge bouquets of flowers and managed to make five different arrangements with vases and jars I had around the apartment. There are plenty of tutorials you find about how to arrange flowers (and I’m sure my family has plenty of other great ideas), but these are the tricks I’ve found work well for me.
Since I wanted a variety of flowers this week, I picked one type that was tall and skinny, one that was tall but fatter, and one shorter and more delicate; the mix of sizes and textures just makes the arrangements more interesting to me. Same goes for the colors: one flower had all purple flowers; the second was a mix of pink, yellow, and maroon; and the last was bright pink.
If you buy them at the market and the seller offers a fresh cut, take them up on it, it seems to make the flowers last longer even if I end up trimming them more at home. The most important tip I learned about keeping arrangements from wilting too fast is to strip off any leaves that might fall below the water line; these leaves are the reason water gets murky. Also, cutting the stems at an angle under cold running water and replacing the water and re-cutting the stems every 2-3 days keeps them looking pretty nice for about a week.
For arranging, I tend to start with the taller flowers and then fit the smaller ones in around them; also, working from the outside in makes it easier since the crossed stems give the middle flowers something to lean against. To fill the largest vases above (back left and middle), I used all three types of flowers; for the medium one (bottom right), I used two; and for the last two (front left and back right), I stuck with mostly one type.I like more varieties in the bigger arrangements, but that’s just personal preference.
Out of all five arrangements, I only have one proper vase; the other containers are random jars I’ve found at antique stores, but I’ve used glass milk bottles, canning jars, bottles from iced tea, or even a little empty Grey Poupon jar with the label taken off; whatever you have, works.