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12 important tips to remember when arranging flowers

From saving drooping stems to finding quirky and original containers, here are our top tips for getting your flower arrangement just right.

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1. Cutting the stems

When you get your flowers home, cut about 2.5cm off of each stem using a sharp pair of scissors or knife. Make sure you cut diagonally: along with the sharp cut, this helps the flowers absorb as much water as possible. This is the best way to keep the flowers until you’re ready to arrange them.

2. Searing to the rescue

If some flowers and stems are already drooping after buying them, learn the searing technique to help them recover. Put the tip of the flower stem in freshly boiled water for about 30 seconds. If the stem is only short, shield the flower itself from the steam to avoid it wilting; wrapping it loosely in newspaper is adequate.

3. Tepid water

Keep the flowers in water until you’re ready to arrange them. Tepid water is the best temperature to ensure the stems aren’t shocked by water that is too hot or cold.

4. Opening rosebuds

If you’re using roses and have some rosebuds that are tightly closed, put the stems in warm water. This will encourage them to open.

5. Maintaining flower placement

Florist’s foam is a great way to keep the flowers in your arrangement in place. Soak the foam and then cut it to fit the flower container. The foam helps keep the flowers evenly hydrated too – just water it every few days.

6. Using original containers

Vases and flower pots are the obvious choices of a container for your flower arrangement, but allow yourself to get creative with the vessel your flowers are arranged in. Watering cans, wooden crates with planters inside, goldfish bowls and rustic buckets are alternative ideas to make your design original.

7. Re-cutting to size

Re-cut the flower stems to the height you need just before arranging them. Strip off any leaves that sit below the water line to give the stems more space.

8. Flowers from large to small

Add the largest flowers to your arrangement first and fill in the gaps with smaller flowers and foliage. Don’t pack too many flowers in and allow space for the flowers to bloom.

9. Flowers from all angles

Turn your flower container frequently while arranging the flowers to ensure it looks good from all angles.

10. Protecting the arrangement

When finished, keep your flower arrangement away from sunlight, radiators or air conditioning vents. This avoids shock to the flowers and premature wilting.

11. Long lasting flower arrangement

To make your flowers last as long as possible, water them frequently and re-cut the stems every few days.

12. Flower food

Adding flower food to your flowers’ water is essential to a long lasting arrangement: you can buy flower food from any florist or garden centre. It’s also possible to make it at home by adding a little bit of sugar and bleach to the water. This helps the flowers thrive and prevents bacteria from growing and killing the flowers prematurely. Just remember not to go overboard with either ingredient to avoid having the opposite effect.

On Monday 11th September 2017, we’re hosting a flower arranging demonstration lunch at The Runnymede on Thames Hotel. You’ll have the chance to learn more flower arranging tips to help you with both the practicalities and design considerations of flower arranging. We’ll also be serving up a delicious seasonal lunch to celebrate your future flower arranging successes.

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