Thursday, February 12, 2015

petal pushing{grocery store arrangements 101}

In my other life, I have my own floral and event company . I've been on a bit of a break since having Rowan but I'm looking forward to relaunching and working on new projects this spring. 

Lately, the only time I make something for my own enjoyment is when we're having a party or if I happen to have a few leftover stems from another project.  But, even pros are known for tossing a bouquet in the cart at the market from time to time. When I buy them for myself I prefer to get something local and seasonal from the farmer's market. However, Ohio in the middle of winter doesn't make this an available option. Grocery store flowers it is!  I will usually purchase them from Trader Joe's, Fresh Market or Whole Foods. These stores seem to have a more interesting variety and are a good value for what you get(TJ sells peonies for something like $5-$10 in the spring! This is cheaper than getting them wholesale at the flower market!). 

Valentine's Day is in a few days. On the off chance that a dozen red roses isn't your jam and maybe you'd like something a little more interesting, I thought I'd put together a little post just in case you want to #treatyoself. I stopped in at Trader Joe's and picked up five bunches of flowers for a total of $20!     

I collect milk glass and decided to use one of the containers that has pedestal like shape because it's always challenging for me to design in them and the only way to get better is to practice. This technique will work with any vessel that has low profile-bowls, short vases, etc. 

I like TJs because I can buy bunches of specific flowers. Mixed bouquets usually have things in them that I'm not particularly fond of(hello stargazer lilies, I'm looking at you! ugh!) but sometimes you have to work with what's there. If you can only buy mixed bouquets try to pick up an extra bunch of greens. I know that Kroger sells bunches(typically 5-10 stems)of mixed greens for a few dollars. Once you get everything home unwrap and disassemble the bouquets. Remove any leaves that have brown spots or look wilted. You also want to give them a fresh cut and put them in water.  

The easiest way to give the arrangement a fuller shape,particularly when you aren't using a crap ton of flowers is to tape a grid pattern on your container. I used floral tape. You can find it at many craft stores. I have used packing tape in a pinch but you have to make sure the sides of the vessel are completely dry or it won't stick.

Before you begin remove any leaves that fall into the water. Leaves in water will cause everything to decay faster.

Start with a base of greenery. The greens give support to the arrangement.

This is when you add your first round of flowers. This is also the point when I tend to freak out and think the end result will be shit. Feel free to skip that step;)

Don't be afraid to play with the arrangement. If it doesn't look the way you want it to move some things around!

At this point, I've started to fill in it in a little more with a different variety of flowers and some filler.

And, voila...

The finished arrangement. Not too bad for $20 and 20 minutes!

Here's what I used:
1 bunch of gerber daisies(spider variety)-10 stems
1 bunch of tulips-10 stems
1 mixed bunch-3 stems of alstromeria, 1 stem of spray roses, 3 standard roses
1 bunch of waxflower-5 stems
1 bunch of seeded eucalyptus 

I like for my arrangements to have a loose organic feel and shape to them so I opt for flowers that have "movement" naturally. Tulips and other things like anemones, lisianthus and  ranunculus are a favorite of mine for that reason. The extra greens help give arrangements a more polished and "done" feeling especially if you can find a bunch that has a variety-ruscus, seeded eucalyptus and silver dollar eucalyptus all have a fantastic natural shape to them. There are plenty of options for filler that are not babies breath. Queen Anne's lace and waxflower are two if my go to's. I will often forage in the yard for things like greens, berries, branches and wildflowers. Don't be afraid to use something that you like! It's just flowers:)



  1. second floor dwellerFebruary 14, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    Gorgeous, Courtnee. A few years ago, when I started coordinating the events at the girls' school, I really got into grabbing grocery store flowers and doing my own arrangements. The seeded eucalyptus is a favorite of mine. And I'm with you on the stargazer lilies!

  2. Thanks! I try not to outwardly cringe when people want me to specifically use stargazers!! I've started to love simple arrangements with just an assortment of greens. I have a vase of eucalyptus on my desk and I love it!