A pretty flower arrangement is as much a mood enhancer as it is a décor statement. And let us face it, in today’s topsy-turvy world, we could all benefit from a little more optimism and happiness. Flowers are the epitome of joy. Want to make someone’s day? Present them with a bright bouquet, stand back, and watch them smile. Seriously, flowers are therapy for the soul. With May being the month to honor mothers, why not incorporate a beautiful flower arrangement into this special occasion? It is guaranteed to bring your mom cheer, and, frankly, mothers deserve every bit of gratitude and joy we can bestow upon them. We recruited Nancy Albright, owner of All Purpose Flower in Caldwell, Texas, to demonstrate how to assemble a fresh and easy, but gorgeous, bouquet. We will share some of her tips for making a do-it-yourself arrangement that is sure to delight.
First, gather the supplies. Select a container – there are endless choices, so be creative. Search your house for things you may already have on hand. Items that would work include mason jars, stoneware crocks, small buckets, pitchers, urns, clay or plastic flower pots, watering cans, teapots, vases, or small galvanized tubs. Keep in mind that the container must be cleaned and sanitized before using it. Wash in warm, soapy water with a little bleach or white vinegar to kill bacteria. Here is a brilliant tip from Albright: “When choosing a container, consider the circumference of the mouth. The larger the opening, the more flowers it takes to fill. So, a small mouth vessel is usually more budget-friendly.” In this tutorial, Albright used a clear vase. The only additional tools she used are a sharp knife and cutters. Depending on the type of flowers and container you choose, other helpful aids might include wet floral foam, a flower frog or a grid made with floral tape placed across the vessel opening, and floral picks to shore up weak stems.
Gather Flowers – Spillers
Next, gather the flowers. Add water and flower food or preservative to your container. For this demonstration, we used the thrillers, fillers, and spillers method. Albright purposely chose flowers that you can, for the most part, find in grocery stores. Thankfully, supermarkets have upped their game when it comes to the variety of blooms and greenery available. We also listed each type of plant that would be lovely in an arrangement, even though some might not be readily available at a supermarket. We provided a partial list due to the infinite number of choices; however, you can pursue other sources if you cannot find these flowers. Albright used lemon leaf and seeded eucalyptus as the spillers in this bouquet. As with other accessible foliage, these also serve in part as the
fillers. She began by making a “nest” with the greenery, which functions as a flower base. Cut the stems at an angle and trim the leaves. You do not want any leaves in the water. Also, alternative spillers include various ivy, fern, eucalyptus, sweet potato vine, or any trailing greenery.
Gather Flowers – Thrillers
Once the spillers’ base is in place, add in the thrillers (or focal flowers). Albright chose tulips, mini hydrangea, ornamental kale, small rose clusters, and snapdragons. The snapdragons (which she calls line flowers) add height to the bouquet. Albright generally prefers to use at least three line flowers. Again, be sure to remove any leaves below the waterline. Among the plethora of thriller flowers available are peonies, delphinium, sunflowers, roses, lilies, coneflowers, zinnias, dahlias, anemones, and gerbera daisies. There are tons of choices, so have fun and mix it up. Place the thrillers into the nest of greens until you get a look that pleases you. Do not be afraid to mix colors or different varieties of flowers; go for a bright, cheerful bouquet. This bouquet is a less formal arrangement, after all.
Gather Flowers – Fillers
Once you position the thrillers, complete the bouquet with the placement of fillers where needed. Keeping in mind that this arrangement is loose and informal, Albright added more greenery to create a lush look. There are scores of other fillers to choose from, of course, including Queen Anne’s lace, baby’s breath, Bells of Ireland, carnations, amaranth, wax flowers, and various ferns. There are so many choices, so mix until your heart’s content!
Critique – Do Not Be Afraid to Add More
After placing the fillers, step back and scrutinize the finished bouquet from all angles. Add more flowers or fillers, if needed, until you are pleased with the final product. The odds are that if your bouquet makes you smile, then it is sure to please the mom in your life.
Flowers are the universal language to say, “I love you,” “I’m sorry,” “Congratulations,” “Welcome,” “Get Well,” “Thank you,” or “Have a great day!” Because they are sweetly aromatic, flowers are a treat to the olfactory system and are visually pleasing. Flowers are just happy things, so indulge yourself or someone else in a little flower therapy.
Do not be afraid to put a bouquet together on your own, as Albright has demonstrated, and remember that it is not difficult to assemble a knockout arrangement using flowers from the supermarket. Just keep in mind her simple steps: utilize the “thrillers, fillers, and spillers” format, and the result will be a charming bouquet to brighten anyone’s day.