12 November 2014

Arrange Your Flowers! - # 5 - How To Choose Your Cut Flowers

This is the fifth in my Do-It-Yourself series of 'Arrange Your Flowers!' - and it's about how to choose your cut flowers and what to look out for when you want to buy some pretty flowers for your home. 

If you have been following my blog posts for a while you might recognise some of this because I have written about it before - but this is a revised and updated version - so bear with me and stay tuned!


There are many factors involved when choosing and buying flowers for your home. So think colour, size and budget - as well as why, where, what and when.


Are you buying flowers to decorate a dining table for a dinner party or maybe you are buying flowers for someone special? Is it flowers for the weekend to go on a table in your living room or maybe just flower for you because you feel like it and you saw some in the supermarket on your way home from work?


Where are you going to put the flowers? What room? If you are having guests it's always nice to have flowers in the hallway to welcome your guests - but its also nice to see some flowers when you come home after a long day. 

A vase of seasonal flowers on the dining or kitchen table will make it a treat to sit down to eat or have a cup of tea - even if its just for you.

Little arrangements in the bedroom or bathroom makes those rooms feel more special. Just make sure your guests don't have hayfever! 

You might want to think about exactly where you are going to to place the flowers. Are you looking for flowers that will go with a particular colour scheme? Also think about what colour vase or container you are going to use. 


What are you looking for? Is it a special look or you don't mind so much what it is as long as the flowers are fresh, pretty and has lots of colour.

Consider the size of the arrangement - are you thinking big and bold or small and dainty? Big is probably more suited for a hallway, if you have the space, or a livingroom. A smaller arrangement looks perfect in a bedroom.

If its for the middle of a dinner table think about the height of the arrangement. You guests should be able to see each other across the table in order to chat. Also avoid strongly scented flowers for a dinner table - their scent can compete with the aroma of the food.  

For large arrangement you need large vases and containers - and you need a large budget - unless you live in the country and have your own cutting garden.

Your budget is important - cut flowers can be expensive. Buying a few stems of something really special and adding lots of green foliage will be one way to cut cost. 

Remember when buying flowers from a florist - the longer the stem the more expensive - so long stemmed roses will always cost a lot of money.


Buying flowers that are in season is also a way to cut cost. Out of season flowers will have been flown in from far away - probably had a stopover in Holland before being distributed throughout Europe. In America a lot of flowers come from countries in South America like Colombia and Ecuador. 

Farmers' markets is one way to buy seasonal flowers at a reasonable price. Yes, the choice of flowers will be more limited and they will only be available during certain times of the year - but you know that they are grown by local farmers and therefore not travelled very far.


When you buy cut flowers - have a good look at the flowers - just to make sure they are in good condition. 

Take your time - don't be rushed to make up your mind about what flowers, what colours and how many stems. If they are already in bunches wrapped in cellophane - look at the bottom of the stems  - and avoid any that has started going brown. 

Look for straight stems, fresh green leaves  - avoid any flowers with wilted, yellow or brown leaves or flowers that are shedding their petals. Also avoid flowers with floppy heads or petals that are starting to go brown at the edges.

Look for flowers with stems that are still in bud - and the buds should show the colour of the petals just breaking through.

There are some flowers that you should avoid buying when only in tight green buds such as peonies, poppies, roses, dahlias and irises as they will probably never open. 

Avoid flowers that has started shedding their pollen - loose pollen is a sure sign that the flowers are nearing the end of their life.

Ensure the flowers are well wrapped for the journey home. It will protect them from any fluctuating temperatures.

Arriving home with your flowers remove the wrapping as soon as you get home to prevent any build-up of condensation. Also remove any ties or elastic bands and make sure you condition the flowers - as they will need to be put in water as soon as possible.


Here are links to previous 'Arrange Your Flowers!'

Have a Creative Floral Day!

~ xoxo ~


[Styling and photography © Ingrid Henningsson for Of Spring and Summer.]


Connie said...

I am over joyed to have found your incredible blog. I love flowers but my ability to arrange them is cutting and dropping them into a vase. Following your blog is going to be a learning adventure that I am excited to take. My husband and I just purchased a small house in the country and I now, for the first time, have plenty of property for growing flowers. My goal is to have a lovely country garden that I can cut flowers from as well as enjoy in the flower beds.
I do hope that you will visit my blog and hopefully follow me back. There just might be something of interest there for you. Again, I am happy to meet you and delighted to have found your gorgeous blog.

Lisa Gordon said...

I so appreciate these tips, Ingrid. They are always so truly helpful to me. Thank you!! xo.

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