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Tip # 1. The best way to arrange flowers is to appreciate them in their natural state. If the flower is tall, opens, leans, etc., arrange it to suit that characteristic. Even if the flower is manipulated some­what to fit into a certain type of arrangement, it is still best to utilize it according to its character. Let vines drape around the base of flower arrangements, leave room for flowers to open and close, etc.


Tip # 2. The best way to start a flower arrangement is by making a good base. Many believe in using arranging devices such as floral foam, frogs, chicken wire, etc. These items are quite useful, but may create an almost unnatural bouquet as well as shortening the vase life of the flowers.


Tip # 3. Floral foam is very useful in flower arranging, because it holds each flower in place. However, when stems are inserted into foam, the foam covers and clogs the ends. The flowers will not last as long as when they are arranged in water.


Tip # 4. Arranging frogs have a similar effect on flowers. The end of the stem is partially blocked by the prongs inserted into the stem, inhibiting water flow to the flower.


Tip # 5a. Chicken wire wedged into the container adds a metal material to the water that may react to the flowers. It can also damage stems as they are being placed into the container, thus further contaminating the water.


Tip # 5b. Chicken wire secured around the top of the container is a better method.


Tip # 6. A more natural way of starting a flower arrangement is to create a base with full, thick foliage. This base will help secure flowers in place when building a flower arrangement. Pick foliage that is similar to the flower choices for the most natural look.


Tip # 7. When creating a base for a flower arrangement with foliage or flowers, place a few stems into the container and turn the container. Repeat this a few times to create a maze of intertwining stems. This will hold the other flowers and material in place to build the floral arrangement.


Tip # 8. When flowers are cut shorter to use in bouquets, the best "filler," or greenery, is the flowers' own foliage. Save the excess that is cut off for use in and around the flowers.


Tip # 9. When arranging flowers in a vase that is too large for the number of flowers being used, fill the vase with the base of a branch. The branch acts as a natural maze for the flowers to brace against.The flowers stay in place as you build the flower arrangement, enabling you to use fewer of them.


Tip # 10. Flowers with large, curved leaves, such as tulips, can be useful in flower arranging because leaving the leaf intact can act as a brace for the flower, and a few can make a nice base for other flowers to be added.


Tip # 11. Leaving the thorns on stems is another way to create a natural base for a flower arrangement. The thorns will hold the stems together, so other flowers added will also be held in place.


Tip # 12. Tying a grouping of flowers like snapdragons or carnations together with thread or twine can create a nice base for arrangements. This method can also be used in securing taller stems of the same type of flower when building an arrangement. This is much easier than securing individual stems.

Tip # 13. Tall flowers can be cut short and short flowers can be lengthened to suit the flower arrangement. See flower arranging tip # 20.


Tip # 14. Use large-blossomed flowers such as hydrangeas or amaryllis cut down for the base of an arrangement. The blossoms fill the vase opening, allowing the other flowers to be secured among and around them.


Tip # 15. Arranging Tall flowers with several graduating blossoms, such as gladiolas and snapdragons, can be cut at the tips to encourage the other blossoms to open more quickly. This does alter the natural appearance of the flower, but it is helpful in speeding the blooming process.


Tip # 16. Tightly budded flowers can be added to flower arrangements for interesting texture and a natural look. Place them among the fully blossomed flowers.


Tip # 17. Some flowers continue to grow and develop in water after they are cut. These flowers are sometimes difficult to arrange, because they change daily. Use thin green thread or twine to tie them to a branch or sturdy flower in the arrangement, which helps keep them in place and tidy.


Tip # 18a. Floral wires are useful in flower arranging to secure the flowers or bending a flower a certain way to make it fit better into a flower arrangement. Place the wire just under the head. Insert the wire about one-eighth to one-quarter inch into the flower.


Tip # 18b. Straighten the flower to an upright position, or bend the flower into the desired position.


Tip # 18c. Gently fold the wire closely around the bottom part of the stem. The stem is now secured or can be maneuvered.


Tip # 19. Wrapping floral tape similar in color to the stem around the length of the stem will hide the wire and aid in preventing an air pocket. See flower care tip # 31e.


Tip # 20. Floral wires are useful in lengthening the stems of flowers with short stems, or flowers that have been cut too short for an arrangement. Simply place the wire in the bottom of the stem about two inches, and cut the wire the desired length.


Tip # 21. There is a "rule" that a flower arrangement should be one and one-half times the height of the container. However, this rule does not necessarily apply. Flower stems summered in a vase with just their heads peeking over the rim can be just as attractive as a proportioned bouquet.


Tip # 22. The most elaborate combination or the simplest of flower bouquets can be transformed by the container choice. Pick a container to enhance the flowers. Arranging Flowers in bright colored containers displays the flowers in a more interesting way than would a plain glass vase.



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