By: Mary Ellen Ellis
Knowing how to make a rose bouquet just right is a greatskill to have. If you growroses in the garden, you can make spectacular arrangements, saving a lot ofmoney on store bought flowers. Rose bouquets are pretty, smell great, and makelovely gifts or table centerpieces. With some helpful tips and a littlepractice, arranging roses is easy.
The first step in making a perfect bouquetis cutting the roses. This may seem simple, but there are some important thingsto remember when cuttingflowers. First, start with a good pair of sharp scissors or shears. If theyare too dull, they will crush the stem. A curved pair or sharp gardeningshears is the best tool for the job.
Choose roses with petals just starting to open in order toget long lasting blooms for your arrangement. Cut roses in the morning whenthey are the most hydrated. When planning to cut roses, make sure they havebeen wellwatered. Cut the stems at an angle and close to the base of the rose bush.Place cut flowers immediately into a bucket of water.
When arranging roses in a vase or other vessel, consider thelength of the stem. Trim as much off the bottom as needed, cutting at a 45-degreeangle while the stems are submerged in water. Remove all of the leaves thatwould be under water in the vase. This will prevent rot.
Cutting the stems to the desired length is one of the mostimportant things you can do to change the look of your arrangement. Experimentwith lengths and cut a little at a time to get it just how you want it. You canalso use rubber bands to bundle a few roses together to achieve a more evenlooking arrangement.
To keep your arrangementfresher longer, add a preservative to the water. You can buy this in anygarden store or make your own. A simple recipe is to add two tablespoons ofwhite vinegar, two teaspoons of sugar, and a half teaspoon of bleach for everyquart of water.
Also, when you arrange roses in a vase or other container,be sure it is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before use. Cut a little moreoff the rose stems every few days and change the water at the same time toavoid rot.
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This (seemingly) well-curated quartet arranges itself. Just sort a supermarket bouquet by color and cut the stems short. Store-Bought Bunch, Deconstructed
Use a set of matching cylindrical vessels that are opaque (neater-looking than containers that show stems). Buy one or two premade bouquets at the grocery store, then regroup the flowers by color, discarding all greenery. Any blooms will do this assortment includes salvia, zinnia, celosia, and black-eyed Susans. Hold a grouping in one hand and pull feathery items up and blooms down. Trim the stems so that most blooms sit just above the vessel's rim. If the flowers are flopping because the vase isn't full enough, gather them loosely with a secret rubber band or a piece of twine below "see" level. Ribbed antique silver votive holders (five inches high), $16 for four, jamaligarden.com.
Tip: Tuck these tiny treasures in wherever you can. They're ideal for a crowded table where there's no space for a big arrangement.
As soon as you get your flowers home, re-cut the stems with very sharp garden pruners and place in buckets of fresh, room-temperature water to keep them hydrated and healthy. Store in a dark, cool place, like a basement or hallway, until ready to use.
This flowy bouquet of pink garden roses, plum ranunculus, astilbe and hydrangea is a gorgeous choice for a classic, romantic wedding.
Photo by: Photo: Liz Gray, Design: Morgan Faulkner
Photo: Liz Gray, Design: Morgan Faulkner
Carve out time the day before your wedding to assemble your bridal bouquet. Before arranging, give each flower a quick quality check, removing brown petals and stripping the stems of all unnecessary foliage.
Arrange your bouquet from the inside out, starting with feature flowers like hydrangea and roses first, then adding smaller blooms as you go. Finish your bouquet with a ring of greenery around the edge and a few sprigs of greenery dispersed throughout.
Stand in front of a floor-length mirror with your bouquet to check your progress along the way. If featured blooms aren't as prominent as you'd like, tease them out by grabbing the bloom with three fingers and gently pulling it up and out into a more visible position.
Tightly wrap stems just below the blooms with wired twine or waterproof floral tape, then cut stems flat for a clean look.
This article was co-authored by Jeanne Walker. Jeanne Walker is a Florist and the Owner of Fringe Flower Company, a floral design shop that specializes in weddings, special events, and daily deliveries. Fringe Flower Company, based in Walnut Creek, California, provides customized hand-tied and vase bouquets along with potted plants, succulent gardens, tulip french buckets, and wreaths. Jeanne also conducts floral design workshops and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
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A bouquet of flowers can be just the thing to show someone you care, to say "I love you," or to commemorate a joyous occasion. Going to the extra effort to assemble the bouquet yourself can also save you money while allowing you to personalize the gift. Whatever the event, whoever it is for, with a few tips and some healthy blooms, you'll soon create a bouquet that no one will want to throw away.