If we had a dollar for every time someone said “I love flowers, but I can never make them look good when I arrange them,” we’d be rich.

KISS Method

Let’s not overthink this. The objective is to cut the bottoms off flower stems and stick them in a container/jar/vase so that they look good.  If we can do it, so can you.  Let us share some secrets with you.

  • Put the right number of stems in the vase.  Too many and they can get pushed around and crowded.  Too few and they can look too spacy.  If the number of stems is dictated by the market bouquet you bought, pick a vase that will hold them comfortably.  Of the two factors you should take into consideration, height and neck diameter, neck diameter is more critical.
  • Lay all your flowers side by side and not touching each other on your kitchen counter next to the sink.
  • Pick a vase or vessel that you like taking the length of the flowers’ stems into consideration.  The vase should be at least one inch shorter than the shortest stem in your bouquet.  It will be easier to use a transparent vessel (clear glass).  Don’t use a metal container as some flowers will wilt quickly in a metal one.
  • Make sure the vase is clean and put about 3 inches of tap water and some plant food/preservative in it.
  • Pick up the flower with the shortest stem and place it in the vase.  When you’re finished, you’re going to want this short stem to be on the outside (near the perimeter) of the vase.  Taller stems should be closer to the center.  If the stem sticks up more than 2 inches above the rim of the vase, cut it off so that it is 2 inches taller than the rim.
  • To measure stem lengths, put the vase right next to the sink and hold the flowers at the desired height, one at a time, outside the vase with the bloom up and the stem extending down into the sink.  Cut off the stem even with the bottom of the vase using shears or scissors.  Err on cutting the stem too long rather than too short.  A too-long stem can be recut, a too-short stem won’t work in the vase and you’ll have to put it in a bud vase or juice glass as a separate display.
  • Add stems one by one, from shortest to longest.  It generally works best if you keep the biggest flowers for last and cut their stems the longest.
  • Once all the stems are in the vase, you may have to move some around to make them look good.
  • If you mess up, don’t hesitate to pull them all out and start over.  It won’t take long.
  • No two arrangements look the same.  Few are perfect and yet almost all of them are beautiful.  When it comes to flower arrangements, perfect is the enemy of good.

If you’re struggling with arranging flowers, schedule a time to visit us at Blue Gables Farm and we’ll work with you until you’re confident.