Because, who doesn’t like flowers? They are like mama nature’s artwork. A few stems bunched together can just brighten up a space. They carry so much energy and make my heart flutter.
I’ve been known to buy myself flowers—no shame in my game. If I could, I’d have my house dressed in fresh flowers 24/7… and then I’d probably die from an overdose of floral fragrances, but whatever, at least I’d die happy. Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is, a fresh bouquet with a cute little note is a gift that is easy to give and pretty to receive.
With that said, Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you are a dad, son, daughter, friend or companion and want to make her feel special, appreciated and put a smile on her face—fresh cut flowers are your answer.
In a perfect world we would shower our moms with fancy arrangements from the florist, made of exotic blooms in her favorite colors. But in the real world you have to go with what you can afford and what you can get. Good news is you can still dazzle your mom with those cellophane-wrapped grocery store flowers.
It all comes down to presentation— working on the presentation will definitely win you creative points, because anyone can just grab a bouquet and plop them in a vase. Here’s how to make your bouquet look like a florist worked their magic on it. I’m definitely no expert, but you’ll be surprised what a little fluffing and sprucing can do.
I went to Trader Joe’s—for their wide selection of blooms at reasonable prices— and picked out one of their mixed bouquets. It had roses, lilies and cabbage so it had that wildflower, freshly-picked feel. They also had fresh Eucalyptus and Sweet Williams—each for $3.99. I snagged these to use as filler, and also because they smell amazing. When I got home, I went to my backyard and scavenged for some stray twigs and greens to add a rustic touch.
First, I took a pair of scissors—I tend to use kitchen scissors— and I trimmed off about 1 inch from the bottom of the stem at a sharp angle. I then divided the flowers by their type and processed them. Processing involves stripping flower stems of all their leaves, as well as broken branches. Typically, florists tend to remove the leaves that would be below the waterline in a vase, but I like to clean the stems up a bit more—leaving just a few leaves near the bud. However, feel free to leave more leaves on if you prefer. I also rid the flower of any limp or wilting outer petals.
Then, pick a vessel to use as the vase for the flowers. I say vessel because it doesn’t have to be your typical glass vase. Feel free to get creative with this and use mugs, jars, the container of old burned-out candles, etc.
After you’ve picked your vase, it’s time to rearrange the flowers to create a new and improved silhouette. Start by placing the first stem in one hand. The first stem should be the main flower you want to build the arrangement around, so in my case, I chose the stem of cabbage.
Then you position another stem at an angle across the first stem. You keep doing this with the rest of the flowers, placing them at an angle from the previous one. You can either arrange the stems at the same level for a fanning-out effect or place the stems slightly lower as you go for a more rounded floral arrangement. I used the Eucalyptus branches and Sweet Williams to fatten up the bouquet as I went along.
Do this until you have a full bouquet in your hand. You can tie a rubber band or twine around the spot where you are holding the arrangement to keep them together, if you wish. I didn’t, in case I decided to add more to it later.
Take the scissors and trim the stems so that they are all at an even length. Then hold them up to the vase your going to use to measure how much more to cut off. Keep in mind that if you are using a see-through vase, you want to make sure you don’t cut the stems too short.
Once the stems are cut, place them in the vase. You can gently fluff up the blossoms with your fingers. I also tend to lightly blow on the rose petals to get them to open up more.
Moms are great. While they deserve the world and all its stars, flowers are a great token of your love that will make her feel special. Especially if they are spruced up by you.
Now someone tell my dog to get me some flowers.