With over a month left in summer, all of our favorite flowers that we’ve waited the whole year for are finally in bloom. We enjoy all the seasons, but summer is when our outside landscape is at its most green and lush. Breathe in and you can smell it. The aroma of beautiful flowers is just one of many indications of summertime. Each species of plant and flower holds its own personality, marked with varying smells, colors, and shapes. The average flower enthusiast knows the power these plants have, when combined in floral arrangements properly, to warm up our lives and homes with their perfect aesthetic appeal. Fresh flowers can transform a cold neutral home by bringing the summer colors inside. It may seem daunting to a beginner; however, a novice gardener should not fear or feel apprehensive about tackling this handy skill. Floral arranging, at its core, is about the contrast and symbiosis of the plants we love in order to convey beauty using the flowers you hold dear. Like the way a chef takes individual ingredients and combines them to create a delicious dish, you will use different flowers to create a floral arrangement that compounds the physical beauty of each flower in an artistic way.
The trick is learning which flower combinations, or recipes, optimize your specific flowering arrangement. The season and type of floral arrangement you are designing will dictate the parameters you should follow in its creation. This article will focus on best practices of summer floral arrangements along with recommendations to help get you started.
Use the Correct Vessel
There are many options to choose from regarding vases. For summer floral arrangements, common vessels can range from ceramic to glass. If you are up for it, it can be nice to try something new and use metal, concrete, or even stone as the container. The height and general size of your vessel should be dependent on the goal of your arrangement. Will it be on a dinner room table for brunch? Will it be outside on your patio or placed in your foyer as a centerpiece to your home? Making sure the size of your vessel does not obstruct the view of your guests at a social gathering is the type of consideration that places you at the driver seat of your perfect summer floral arrangement. The vessel will also direct how your flowers are presented. If you are looking to take up empty space in a room a large, wide mouth vessel will give you a large workspace to play around with. If surface area is tight, then a slimmer vessel may do the job.
Which type of foam should you use?
It is important to note that if you decide to you use a foam to fill or vessel for your floral arrangements, make sure that you use the wet foam. This is easily confused with a dry foam which will not allow water to get through. The dry foam is used for silk arrangements and should be avoided if you plan on using living flowers. The main difference between wet and dry foam, as the names suggest, is the ability for water to penetrate the material. Thus, dry foam is used for non-living arrangements for they do not need water. After your vessel is selected, fill it with the wet foam and pour in your water. It is important to remember that when saturating your wet foam with water to allow the wet foam to soak the water passively. This will allow the foam to take up the water fully and prevent air pockets. Air pockets can deprive your summer floral arrangement of the necessary water to stay magnificent longer.
Receiving your flowers
One pro tip recommendation is that you should pick up the flowers you plan on using for your flower arrangement the day before you want them viewed. The goal is to get them to open, so they are open and inviting once you start crafting your arrangement. Picking your flowers, the day you are to show them to guests will lead to an underwhelming display and counteract your hard work. When you first pick out your desired flowers, make sure to snip off the ends at the bottom of the stem. We prefer the stem to be cut at a 45-degree angle to increase the stem’s surface area for water absorption and to ensure the stems do not sit flat against the bottom of the vase. If the stem is flat against the bottom of the vase, it could prevent the stem from taking in water. Additionally, make sure to use sharp floral shears. Once the stem has been cut, place them into water so they take up the water more thoroughly. Keep over night and the following day you will see a difference on how open they are. They are now ready for arranging. Make sure to add the specified flowering food, with your water, into your foam stuffed vessel prior to constructing your arrangement. For flowering food recommendations there are many resources you can find online.
Adding Flowers to your Vessel
Place the tallest of your flowers in the center and work outward from there. As a rule of thumb, stems should be no longer than the height of the vessel plus one-half. Additionally, you want to make sure to cut any woody stems at an angle and fray the ends. It is important to note that you should try and strip stems of anything green foliage that will probably fall below the top of the vase (assuming it will not affect you’re the visual design of your arrangement). This cleaning of potential loose debris will prevent the fouling of your water and keep your arrangement smelling pleasant. If you are using a clear vessel, loose leaves can discolor your water an unfavorable greenish / brownish color, altering your design entirely.
Stabilizing your Arrangement
As you begin to maneuver your arrangement you will undoubtedly experience some degree of difficulty anchoring the stems in place. Rocks, recycled containers, and plastic bags can be used as additional anchors at the bottom level of your vessel. The bottom line is getting creative with what you have at your disposal to anchor your arrangements. The key is making sure the visibility of these anchors is as limited as possible. If you choose to use wet foam, it’s best to use in a non-clear vase or wrap a hearty leaf around the foam, so the wet foam is not visible.
Summer Floral Arrangement Ideas
The wonderful thing about a floral arrangement is it gives you the ability to express your artistic passion to your family and friends. You should look for flowers that speak to you and give meaning to your summer. The exciting nature of summer flowers will give you a variety of pink, white, red, and purple flowers to choose from. Here is a list of summer flowers that you can use individually or try combinations together in order to spark your inner florist:
- Garden Roses
- Bells of Ireland
- Flowering branches, grasses, and greens
Have fun and remember the practice makes perfect. Most important is having fresh beautiful flowers in the house for all to admire. Happy arranging!