Easy Flower Arrangement for an Apartment
Taken by me
One of the best ways to brighten your apartment is a simple flower arrangement. Well, if you’re anything like me, you don’t have a green thumb or knowledge of flowers. I always admire my neighbors’ immaculate fresh flowers, but I never thought I had the time to create these masterpieces on my own! That is, until one of our Simply Camden experts, a Certified Floral Designer from the Floral Design Institute in Portland, Oregon, shared a guide to make an easy flower arrangement for an apartment.
Materials for a basic flower arrangement:
- Container that will hold water
- Desired flowers
- Flower food (usually comes with the flowers)
- Cutting board and knife
- Large vase or container for hydrating blooms
- Cold, clear water
How to find the freshest flowers.
One of the number one challenges I always face with fresh flower arrangements is where to buy my flowers and what to look for when I get there. Our floral expert broke it down into the key components to look for with fresh flowers.
- Most grocery stores are your best bet with fresh flowers because they often get their supply from the same wholesalers as florists. Go to the flower shops at each grocery store around you and look at the display and variety to decide the location you like best.
- Just like with perishable food items look for sell-by-date and freshness guarantee on the sleeves of the flower bunches.
- To decide if flowers are fresh, look at the stems. If the bottom of the stems are white, yellow or mushy (water logged) they aren’t as fresh as you would like for a long-lasting arrangement.
- Next, gently feel the tops of the flowers for freshness. If they are firm, just like produce, they are more likely to be fresh. If they are wilted or you see droopy petals – don’t purchase.
- Ignore old wives tales you might have heard about putting pennies etc. in the water; go with cold, clear water and prescribed plant food only. Most bunches of flowers include a small packet of plant food. If it is not included, ask the clerk at the florist counter.
*Note regarding seasonal flowers: grocery stores and flower shops will always have seasonal flowers available. There is usually a hefty price tag for off-season flowers, so keep that in mind if there’s a certain flower you need out of season.
Picking a container and flowers that go together.
Designing your arrangement starts with your container; this can be anything that holds water. Get creative. This could be a standard vase or something from your cabinet like a cocktail glass, teacup, old bottle… anything! Dollar stores and thrift stores usually have nice, inexpensive vases and containers as well. If you’re using a clear glass container, consider adding some interest with rocks, small pebbles, marbles, etc. at the bottom. This can be a necessity if you are making a bud vase arrangement with tall stems – you’ll need the weight to balance the height. Think about the location where you want your arrangement and choose a container that fits well in that space, and will coordinate with the surroundings.
Our expert’s suggestion for someone starting out and doesn’t have a lot of experience: choose monochromatic (containing only one color) or analogous (one of a group of related colors that are near each other on the color wheel – such as red, orange, and yellow) flowers for your first few arrangements and start small. When faced with the variety of flowers to choose from at the store, stick to one color family, like all pink or all yellow and you can’t go wrong. Think about the space where you want your arrangement and the colors already present and choose flowers that will coordinate or accent with those colors.
Flower techniques to consider when arranging:
- Face flowers like large roses, mums, and sunflowers take up a lot of room in your arrangement and serve as a focal point.
- Sprays are flowers with several buds coming from a single stem. These types of flowers are ideal for small arrangements.
- Line flowers like branches, gladiolas, and snapdragons are ideal for tall arrangements drawing your eye up and creating drama.
- Filler flowers like baby’s breath are great for filling holes in your arrangement.
- Greenery is added for proper enhancement as well as color. Bright greens can enliven an arrangement while deep greens can add depth. If you wish to ‘go green’ and forage for your greens, think about your plants in and around your apartment. If you are unsure if your home-grown greens are suitable, test it first. Cut a stem, place it in water, and if it is still fresh 24 hours later use it in your next arrangement!
Designing your flower arrangement.
The moment we’ve been waiting for! How to put together your flower arrangement for an apartment.
For this demonstration, I used a hurricane-type vase I had lying around. I chose gerbera daisies and mini carnations in the same peach color family with huckleberry for greenery. I kept it simple with only two varieties of face flowers and greenery.
- Process the flowers: This is an important step so don’t skip it! If you’re making this arrangement for a party, give yourself enough time. Open flower sleeve and make sure there are no broken heads, damaged petals, or anything undesirable. If there are, remove them. Cut the stems at a very sharp angle two inches above the bottom. One way is to use a knife on a wooden cutting board. If at all possible DO NOT use scissors as they crush and damage the capillaries system. Set flowers in a container or spare vase with water and flower food to hydrate for at least one hour.
- Set up: When your flowers are done processing and you’re ready to arrange, pour clean, cold water into your container. I used filtered water from my refrigerator. Add extra flower food (per manufacturer’s instructions) if you have it. Cut the flower stems an inch or two above the top of the container for a short arrangement – best for beginners. Also, strip foliage below the water line. If you don’t remove this plant material it will cause more rapid deterioration of the blooms and your arrangement will start to smell.
- Create a base: Start arranging your flowers, cutting diagonally to the desired length, and placing in the container so that the stems cross over each other to make a framework. This will allow the additional flowers to stand upright.
- Add flowers: Add the rest of your flowers one by one, placing them carefully and moving them until you have a pleasing arrangement. You might need to trim them as you go. A good rule of thumb with placement is to stick to odd numbers. You can see here I used 3 daisies and placed them facing away from each other and at slightly different heights.
- Add greenery and/or filler flowers: Place your greenery along the edge of your container and throughout the arrangement to add depth and interest. If there are any holes, add filler flowers. Since I didn’t buy filler flowers for this arrangement, I used greenery as my filler.
Voila! That’s everything you need to know to start creating beautiful flower arrangements that will make your neighbors jealous. Start small until you get the technique down – add pops of color to your apartment in your bathroom, on a nightstand, on the top of the bar, etc. Look for more tips from our Camden expert soon on creating flower arrangements for parties!
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