i had the opportunity to cross something off of my creative bucket list this month and that was to take a floral class with kalin from Sweetwater Floral. if you are not following her on instagram you are missing out. she’s witty, funny and smart. the total package. I love growing my own flowers each summer and typically i just toss them in a vase and that’s fine but i’ve always wanted to know the “rules”. she made it look so simple and easy and honestly… once we got the hang of it, it was.
we used floral foam and water to hold our flowers in place and started working stem by stem to create the perfect arrangement. Kalin would hand us one stem at a time and instruct us how it should go but we could place it wherever in the arrangement according the guidelines. It was really helpful to learn some simple “rules” to make arrangements appear more professional. Here are some tips and tricks that she gave us for arranging at home.
1. ) never put or leave flowers in water you wouldn’t bathe in. the water should be clear and clean. rather than put plant food in it just change the water out as it gets cloudy. this will extend the life of your flowers and you won’t have to dump stinky plant water. also pull the flowers out as they die. do not leave a singular dead flower in the mix because it will kill the rest. as flowers die, pull them from the arrangement.
2.) follow the natural shape of the flower. don’t try to make the flower bend a different way than it already is. follow the natural flow and make the arrangement work with the flower.
3.) make sure that the flowers are no more than twice the height of the vessel. if they are taller than that it will look wonky. eyeball the height of the vase and start by cutting the flower about twice the height. ex. if your vase is 4 inches high you’re cut flower stems should be 8 inches or shorter.
4. skim all the foliage that touches the water. you don’t want dead leaves and petals to be clouding up your water make sure that the stems are free of debris.
5. turn your work and make sure that there isn’t holes, gaps or too much space between the blooms and the top of the vessel. sometimes i make arrangements that are only supposed to be front facing but typically you want to turn your vase as you work. fill in holes in the arrangement with spare leaves and cuttings. make sure there isn’t a big gap from the top of the vase to the flowers (where you just see stems) fill it in with shorter flowers.
I had such a blast working with new friends on a new skill. I can’t wait until the flowers in my garden are ready for cutting in arrangements!