Flower Friday + Tips for Flower Arranging

One of the things that brings me so much joy is having fresh flowers around the house. The saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is true, as my mom always has fresh flowers around her home, including in the kitchen, on the dining table, and in bedrooms.

I’ve always had a love for flowers. The movie The Secret Garden was one of my sister and my favorite movies when we were little, so that may have contributed to this! When I was younger, my mom let me plant wildflowers all along the bank of the pond behind where we were building our new home. For my birthday that year, I received a flower press so that I could press and keep my dried flowers. It was so special! I wish that I had the flower press to this day.

Now that I have a place of my own, I have started bringing home fresh flowers weekly. It’s the perfect treat at the end of a long week! I love that there are endless opportunities to create beautiful and unique floral arrangements. I tend to gravitate towards certain varieties of flowers, such as peonies and hydrangeas, but I always search for what’s in season. Today, I picked up a few dahlias, which are stunning flowers on their own, along with some blue thistle. I was attempting a blue and white theme, and also wanted to create something simple.

Though I love to shop at local florist shops in Charleston, I find that I’m most often purchasing flowers while I’m at the grocery store. I love Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for flowers. They always have a huge selection, and you cannot beat the pricing at Trader Joe’s!

When purchasing flowers, it’s helpful to have an idea for the size vase you plan to arrange the flowers in. I love the idea of a short vase, and I purchased this white ceramic one at the Charleston Flower Market. It goes with everything, and is the perfect height for my dining table. I’ve found similar options here and here.

Once I get home, I like to open the packaging and lay all of my stems out onto the table to get an idea for what I’m working with. Once I’ve cut all of the flowers down to the size that I want, I put my oasis (or ‘florist’s foam’) in the vase. I first arrange the flowers I want to highlight, which in this case were the dahlias, and then add in my filler, which were the blue thistle. I love that these two flower varieties have completely different textures and colors.

Since flower arranging has become a hobby of mine, I’ve been researching tips and tricks for floral arrangements. I am by no means an expert (I am very much a beginner!) but I’ve picked up a few tips that I’ve found to be helpful:

  • Put flowers in water as soon as you arrive home. Warm or hot tap water is ideal.
  • Even if you aren’t planning to cut the stems, such as if you plan to use a tall vase, still cut an inch off of the stems when you get home. The fresh cut will help the stems absorb water better.
  • Warm water can help open tightly closed flower heads. Soak the stems in warm water for a day before using them.
  • Once you cut your stems, set the ends in very warm water for an hour. This will help flowers last longer.
  • Use florist’s foam (aka an ‘oasis’) to help keep flowers in place and hydrated.
  • Strip off any leaves that fall below the water line in the vase.
  • Add large flowers to your arrangement first, and fill in with smaller flowers.
  • I love using the whole flower, if possible. Save some of the green stems and leaves, if there are any extra, to add in a pop of color.
  • Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, if possible, to avoid wilting. Keep them hydrated by adding more water when needed.

Since I tend to purchase flowers towards the end of the week, I plan to start a weekly post, “Flower Friday”, to share a new floral arrangement each week. I’d love to hear more about any tips you have for floral arrangements!

Thanks so much for reading,

-The Beach Belle

Shop the Look (my top is sold out, but adding other similar styles I love below): 

Shop the Post (similar vase options): 

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