This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
With flower and house plant prices rising due to Brexit and Covid – estimated at around an 8% increase – it makes sense to make the most of your blooms. Of course you may be lucky and have masses of wonderful flowers in your garden that you can use for displays in your home. However, for those of us who tend to pick up a bunch of flowers during a supermarket shop, they can be expensive and – quite frankly, not last very long. Personally I think the extra cost of buying from a local florist or using a subscription mailing scheme is well worth it, but whatever flowers we buy, we need to ensure they look good for as long as possible. So here are some top flower arranging tips for you:
What to do first
Conditioning your stems before you start arranging them is the trick to helping your flowers to stay fresh for longer. So don’t skip these steps!
Remove guard petals from roses
If your roses have brownish outer petals you can gently pinch them away from the base to remove them.
Trim your stems at an angle
The ends of your stems will feel dry when you unwrap them, meaning they won’t be able to drink much water. Just trim 3-5cm off their ends at an angle to help them out.
Prune some of the leaves away
Remove any leaves that’ll fall below the waterline of your vase or they’ll deteriorate in the water. If this happens, they’ll drink the dirty water and fade faster.
Choose the perfect vase
Not sure which vase to use? Here are some favourites.
The Pickle Jar: We recommend starting with a vase that’s about 8-9cm in diameter, which is smaller than you might think but helps to make your bouquet look fuller.
The Water Jug: If you’re short on vases, a water jug like this Falcon Enamelware one is a dream to work with. Just remember to keep checking the water levels if yours isn’t clear.
The Posy Vase: Posy vases are a real must-have. When your bouquet starts to fade, just pull out the longer-lasting stems and re-arrange them into pretty little posies.
When you’ve chosen your vase, fill it almost to the top with water and some flower food. Your vase should be 1/3 of the height of your stems, so don’t be afraid to trim them down to size if you use a short vase!
Arrange like a pro
Trim your stems to different heights
To show each stem off to its best, cut your stems into four heights. Think of them like stadium tiers! Remember to cut a mixture of stems into each tier. Trim at least 3 – 5cm off for the tallest, then use your vase’s height to guide the smallest (flower heads should sit on the rim).
Keep your vase still
A front-facing bouquet will look fuller by styling it from one side only. So, as you start arranging, pick a side and then don’t spin your vase as you add your flowers.
Start with your support stems
Crisscross your support stems into the vase, creating a teepee-like structure. Remember to pop the taller stems at the back of the vase and the shortest ones at the front.
Then add your focal flowers
Add your focal flowers, one variety at a time. Again, pop the taller stems at the back of the vase and shortest ones at the front. If you’re feeling creative, try to create triangle shapes with three of the same flower to evenly spread out the colours and textures.
How to make your bouquet last longer
Find the right light: Fresh flowers like natural light, but not direct sunlight or heat sources (like radiators).
Keep away from fruit: The gases released from fresh fruit can make your flowers wilt really quickly.
Keep trimming: Re-trim your stems 1cm and refresh your vase water every 3 days.