Tips for arranging & keeping fresh flowers

flower arranging - how to keep and arrange fresh flowers
flower arranging

As you can possibly tell from my photography both on here and on my Instagram, I love flowers. For me, it’s essential to have fresh blooms around the house at all times as they really brighten up the place and just generally make me feel happy! So after buying so many bouquets, I’ve learned a thing or two about flower arranging, and I thought I’d share this knowledge today.

I’m definitely no florist – but I love the creativity of putting together a bouquet and making it work in the size of vase/space it’s going to be placed. I’ve also learned a few things about keeping flowers living for longer and how to prepare them in the correct way, which I thought I’d share today too.

flower arranging
flower arranging

One vase does not fit all

This is one of my biggest tips when it comes to flower arranging – having a selection of vases, big and small, will help so much when it comes to putting together a bouquet. Flowers come in different lengths – you have long-stem flowers that need more space in a vase and then short-stemmed flowers like tulips that won’t work in tall vases.

When it comes to selecting vases, I’d recommend something with a wide bottom but that comes in at the top. This vase (pictured above) is my most used for large bouquets, and it now comes in a smaller size which would be ideal for shorter stemmed flowers.

Foliage is your friend

When browsing flowers in a supermarket, it’s easy to focus on only the lovely colourful blooms and avoid anything overly green. But I would recommend (if you can) picking up some foliage to go with your flowers – normally it’s cheaper than floral bouquets and lasts a lot longer too.

Eucalyptus is a great choice, as it lasts so long and makes everything look more put together. But a staple for me is gypsophila, which is normally about £2.50, lasts for ages and easily bulks out any skimpy-looking bouquets. It looks great by itself too – pop any leftovers in a skinny vase and put in an empty-looking space in your home. It’s cheap, but effective (and looks very White Company)!

Prep your stems

Before you put your flowers in water, there are a few things you should do to maximise the life and look of your arrangement. First of all, trim the stems of your blooms at an angle and make sure they aren’t too long for your vase. I normally find flowers in the shops are very long and they always need cutting.

Next, remove any leaves on the stems that would come into contact with the water. This will contaminate the water and make the flowers die quicker – you only want the stems to be in it!

Arranging your flowers

This is the tricky bit and what takes the most practice. If you follow the steps I’ve described before, it will make the arranging much simpler but it still takes some time to get it right. Some flowers can be difficult to work with (I always hate working with short-stems like Tulips!) so just be patient and experiment with different things until it looks right.

My recommendation would be to start off with your larger flowers or foliage, distributing them evenly in the vase. Then add any smaller blooms last, to fill in the gaps and help hold up the larger, heavier flowers.

If flower arranging makes you despair, then I’d recommend buying flowers from Bloom and Wild as their bouquets come with instructions on how to arrange them! It’s such a simple process, and their flowers are always gorgeous. You can actually get £10 off your first bouquet with this link if you fancy giving them a go (full disclosure – this is a referral link, so if you buy a bouquet I get some money off my next order. This isn’t sponsored, I just love their flowers and their service!).

So those were my tips for flower arranging and keeping your bouquets alive for longer. I hope this is helpful to some of you, so we can all enjoy our beautiful blooms to the fullest! Writing this post has actually got me very inspired to experiment with flower arranging again, so I’m planning a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market next week to find all the best blooms!

If you love floral photography, keep an eye on my Instagram as I am constantly posting photos of my latest bouquets over there.


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