Whenever I have a little expendable income, I like to bring something fresh home to liven up my surroundings. Since I have the least green thumb in all of the SouthEast, my “somthing live” comes in the form of local flowers from my favorite farmers market or a last minute splurge while checking out at Trader Joe’s. Nothing energizes a place quite like the cheerful pop of color from pretty Spring blooms adorned wildly in a statement vase.
However, try as I might, my floral arrangements never quite come out the way I had hoped. One side slightly more lopsided than the other, and perhaps the vase was over stuffed. So I invited my friend Holly of Floretry Design to come by the other weekend to work on a Spring Floral Arrangement so that I could learn the art of proper flower arranging.
To my surpise, there were a lot more steps to building a perfect floral arrangement than I was initially anticipating. Holly came prepared with everything we needed to build an arrangement from scratch. You need a good vase, a flower frog, Spanish moss, and skip the store bought greenery for things you can forage for in your backyard, like the honeysuckle vine Holly brought from her home.
First: Start from the outside in. Holly laid the Spanish moss in between the interior water holder and the vase to act as our natural filler.
Second: Next, carefully trim the greenery you want to add to your desired length. We wanted to go for a wild, etherial look, so we worked with the more twisted and tangled vines.
Third: Support local. You can typically find local flower growers at your closest farmers market. All of these flowers were procured from 3 Porch Farm via Freedom Farmers Market. For this particular arrangement, we used poppies and ranunculus in rich shades of pink and pale orange.
Fourth: Prep your flowers. Holly informed me that poppies contain a milky sap that helps the flower last longer. So to make the poppy last as long as possible, you need to cauterize the cut end with a match to contain that milky sap.
Fifth: Start assembling. Chances are as you go through your flowers you’ll find a few show stopping pieces. Pull those aside and save them for placing in the right spot at the end.
Last: Evenly disperse your colors throughout the arrangement. Try not to clump too many colors in the same spot. I find that sometimes you have to place a flower twice to find the perfect spot. It’s not always mathmatical, it’s mostly art. A good mix of how you feel and what you have to work with.
Just like with any recipe, you have two decisions to make at the end: either you try again if it didn’t turn out quite like you had hoped or you call in a professional. I loved watching Holly build this living piece of art in front of me. I was amazed at how well she created spacial dimension, when a flower didn’t have a good home the first time she placed it, she tried again somewhere else until it felt just right.
Her tips are definitely ones that I will be employing in the future as I use these techniques to build a floral arrangement for Easter next weekend when family comes over for dinner. And even if you think that building an arrangement like this would cost a ton of money, it was relatively affordable! Three bunches of flowers from the farmers market costing $30 and free honeysuckle vine from the backyard and you’ve got everything you need to start your base for the perfect Spring floral arrangement.
And what I love most about these wild arrangements, is that they hide imperfections created by user error well! If you use these tips to create your own floarl arrangement, tag me on instagram (@darlingdownsouth) so that I can see !
A Southern Life Well Explored. Curating the Modern Southern Experience through the food we eat, the places we go, and the clothes we wear.