DIY floral arranging

November 16, 2011

Last week, I did #16 of my 26 before 27 (not that I hadn’t already taken a wine pairing class and a letterpress class this year — #16 was easy for me, what can I say) and took a DIY floral arranging class at Geranium Lake. Kim started by showing us some beautiful tablescapes, with beautiful things [I should’ve photographed] like birch chargers, a tree with notes of thankfulness and apples and gourds that were spraypainted gold.

Then we started our lesson by wandering around the shop and picking out the florals and greenery we wanted to use in our arrangements. Dream come true.

(Apparently the pros use a specialty Swiss Army knife to cut their flowers. That sounded dangerous so I opted for the shears instead.)

Kim’s tip #1: Add a drop of bleach to the water in your vase. It’ll keep your flowers fresh longer. Also, use warm water. (I already knew that one and was pretty pleased with myself.)

Kim’s tip #2: Think about the placement of your arrangement when you start it. Is this going to be a dining table centerpiece? If so, it shouldn’t be very tall — “low enough that people can see my Hope diamond necklace from across the dinner table,” as she put it. But if it’s going on an entry table, it can be much taller, in a completely different style of vase.

Kim’s tip #3: Start with your greenery. Once she said it, it seemed obvious, but it’s often the opposite of what I do when left to my own devices. We love our flowers, so we start there. But we have to start with the foundation. The greenery helps to establish the overall shape of the arrangement.

Kim’s tip #3: Next, layer in non-flower, non-greenery items, like berries and peppers and branches and apples. To make a suspended apple like the one in my arrangement, just pick up a hearty leftover stem (from trimming your greenery) and stick it in the bottom of your apple. Easy.

Kim’s tip #4: Balance. Your arrangement doesn’t need to be symmetrical, but you need to make sure that the things you add balance each other. If you add a flower on one side, you need to add a similar item on the other side. Don’t be afraid to rotate your arrangement as you go to make sure it looks good from all angles. And as with all design, odd numbers are more visually appealing than even numbers. Within the arrangement, create clusters of threes instead of fours or twos.

Kim’s tip #5: Everything needs a water source. For flowers with very short stems, like the two orchid blooms in my arrangement, you’ll need to use water tubes. Speaking of the orchids, it was Kim’s suggestion to place those orchids in my arrangement. I know it was missing something, and she knew just how to fix it.

And now, the flower parade. We all took the same class and yet look how everyone’s personality played into their individual arrangements…

A huge thank-you to Kim and her team for an amazing class. I can’t wait for the next one!

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  1. These are fantastic Allie! Can I come with you next time? I saw the kale that looks like a rose. Your home must look beautiful!!

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