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A Beginners Guide to Flower Arranging

22nd October 2020

When it comes to brightening up your home, there is no better way than with an eye-catching arrangement of flowers. A seasonal feature that will inject colour, smell and visual cheer to any room in the house.

Here at F&P Interiors, we are lucky to have two floral experts working with us. Jasmine, our cuttings assistant has previously worked in a local Sussex florist and has now set up business as a freelance florist specializing in wedding floristy, and Rose our Interior Designer, has also worked at a high-end home floral displays company in London.

Together they have come up with the ultimate step by step to creating the perfect floral arrangement. Sharing their industry secrets and personal top tips, follow their guide to mastering the basics, and create yourself a stunning bouquet that will add that perfect finishing touch to your home...

Flower Arranging Step by Step...

1. Gather your Flowers and Stems

The flowers you choose to feature in your home can really bring out the colours of your room as well as complement the interior style of your home. Larger, wild and airy bouquets that look as if they have been freshly picked from the garden will feel more relaxed and natural, while styling flowers in a more compact way will add a modern finish to your room.

Seasonal blooms are the perfect way to add colour and fragrance into your home that reflects the landscape outside your windows. Introduce fresh notes of spring with tulips and daffodils, colourful blooms like dahlias and sunflowers in summer and envoke the firery colour palette of Autumn with foliage and berrys before we transition into winter.

These flowers are readily available year-round and are a great way to support local produces. As they are picked at their strongest, they will be easier to work with and will stay looking beautiful for longer.

Top Tip: Featuring a mixture of hardier blooms and softer flowers will lengthen the life of your bouquet. 

The softer flowers have a shorter life span so once these have died back, you can pick them out and you will still be left with a lovely arrangement with plenty of colour and texture.

2. Preparation

It is important to spend time preparing your flowers correctly to ensure that they look beautiful in your arrangement and last longer.

Begin by removing the leaves from the part of the stem that will sit below the waterline to reduce the risk of rotting. Carefully pick over any bruised or damaged petals to stop them from going moldy.

Top Tip: To encourrage any slightly closed buds to open, submerge their stems into lukewarm water making sure to keep the heads out in the air.

Remove the majority of its leaves to encourage energy to the head and place them back into the cold water alongside the rest of the bouquet.

Flower Arrangement Guide

3. Arrangement

The shape of your vase will determine how your flowers can be arranged. Smaller vessels will suit more compact floral arrangements with the flower heads sitting quite close to the top the vase. Larger vases with narrow necks and wide base will help to support longer stems for a fuller, more shapely spray.

When you are ready to start building your floral display, use a pair of secateurs or a sharp knife to carefully cut each stem at a 45-degree angle. This will increase the surface area of the stem and will allow your flowers to absorb more water. It is important to cut your stems as you start placing your flowers into your vase to avoid their tips drying out.

Flower Arrangement Guide

Begin by building a supportive base with any greenery that does not have a floral head. Arrange the stems at different heights to create texture and add structure for your flowers to lean against.

Next start adding your flower in a circular fashion. Turn the vessel as you place them, making sure to spread colours and flower types evenly.

Top Tip: as you build your bouquet, make sure to stop and look at it from different angles to make sure looks well balanced and shapely. Remember to save a couple of stems of the more prettier foliage to add in at the end to fill any gaps.

4. Secure Your Bouquet

Weaving your stems in a criss cross fashion will help to create a secure bouquet that can stand freely within the vase. However sometimes arrangements may need a little extra support to keep them in place. 

If you have a fuller collection of stems, you can create a grid with clear floral tape over the top of your vase.

This will add a subtle structure on which to lean your stems against. Make sure you mix the height of your flowers to create a layer of folliage to hide it from view.

Top Tip: Be careful when handling and securing your blooms and try to avoid touching the flower heads. Be aware when laying your flowers onto your bench as petals are delicate and can bruise very easily. 

5. After Care

Keeping your arrangement looking fresh for as long as possible is a top priority, so make sure that you check the water daily. Remove any debris or petals that have fallen into the water and regularly remove your arrangement to rinse your vase and replace with fresh water.

Ensure that your arrangement is placed out of direct sunlight and away from any other sources of heat to reduce the risk of your flowers dehydrating. Also be mindful of placing your arrangements too near to fruits, especially apples as they release a natural gas that will prematurely age your flowers and cause them to wilt sooner.

Although fresh, clean water is everything your flowers will crave, you might choose to add a flower food sachet to your vase of water. It is important that you stick to the guided quantities and do not overdose your concentration. Finally, make sure it is fully dissolved before replacing your stems.

Find a Course to Learn More...

Fern Cottage Floristry

Based in the idyllic village of Blackboys in East Sussex, Laura Beale runs a mixture of one day workshops and longer full courses in floral styling and seasonal arrangements. With almost 20 years experience as a Florist, Laura is still constantly inspired by nature and the changing seasons and tries to work with British flowers wherever possible to embrace the wild countryside that surrounds her blissful home.

Book Now

The Sussex Flower School

Floristry courses for everybody from the absolute beginner to professional florists, founder Georgia Miles sole aim is to make floral design accessible to everybody. The light and airy school complete encourages guests to really reconnect with the flowers they are working with as many of the stems used in the workshops are grown on site in the cutting garden and at Georgia's home. With a maximum number of students per class at ten, you are guaranteed personal and targeted in a relaxed and homely environment.

Book Now

Flourish Sussex

From her studio in the charming village of Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex, Alicia runs a year-round calendar of courses and workshops for flower enthusiasts and florists. Having built a successful wedding and events business, she decided it was time to change course and opened her dedicated floristry school. With over 14 years experience in the industry, Alicia enjoys sharing her wealth of knowledge and skills in flower arrangement with complete beginners and those looking to start a floristry business of their own. 

Book Here

More Ways To Inspire You...

Blog: McQueens Journal

Flower inspirations, care advice and unique insights from the industry's leading floral creators.

Book: The Flower Fix

A stunning book featuring modern arrangements by Anna Potter for a daily dose of nature.

Follow: @tulipinadesign

Extraordinary wedding florals, delivered worldwide, based in New York.

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