A beautiful, picture perfect flower bouquet can bring life to your table or home décor in your new Signature home and you don’t need to be a professional to create one. With the right vessel and the tips below, your inner arranger can bloom and you can create gorgeous centerpieces with a professionally polished touch.

– Signature spot. Consider the purpose and location of the arrangement, so you can choose flowers and a vessel to match. Where will you display your bouquet?

– Select a vessel. Almost any type of container can be used for a flower arrangement, as long as it’s suitable for the height, weight and look of the flowers being used. Use creative recycled containers, vintage water pitchers, tins, etc. Read up on selecting the right vase here.

– Pick your flowers. Use in-season flowers. Give your arrangement texture by adding foliage. When picking your flowers, check for the usual signs of flower fatigue—damaged, torn, browning, or wilting. Aside from wilted petals and dry leaves, an easy way to determine a bouquet’s freshness is to look at the bottom of the stems. You should see white and green fibers in the center. Any brown or mushiness means the flowers have been sitting in stale water for a few days. Pro tip: Use an odd number of each variety of flowers in each layer.

Start Arranging:

– Prepare the vessel. Always scrub and rinse vessels before or after each use.

– Add water. Add cool water and flower food to your vessel. Pro tip: Arrange on a lazy Susan so you can turn the vessel and see your display from all sides.

– Cut & Trim. Cut an inch off the stems at a 45 degree angle to help absorb water better. Start by stripping each stem of any foliage besides the flower or leaves you’d like to highlight. Cut all your flowers to a similar stem height (you can then shorten the stems as you go). Pro tip: Make your bouquet taller than its container by about one and a half times.

– Begin with your foliage. Insert a few stems pointing them in different directions. The foliage stems will anchor the rest of you arrangement.

– Add your more dominant, focal flowers. Start by placing the largest, longest flowers towards the center. Pro tip: Let flowers go in the direction it wants to go.

– Add your secondary flower to begin filling holes. Keep adding flowers variety by variety and work in a circle. Crisscross stems while arranging your flowers. This will lift some flowers, which creates volume in the middle of the bouquet. It also helps you fit all of them into the vase. Pro tip: As you build, take a step back every once in a while to make sure no empty spots or holes need to be filled.

– Finishing touches. As you near the completion of the arrangement, make sure to observe it from all angles and consider what may be missing. Use foliage, extra stems, or leaves to fill in any gaps.

Keep your blooms beautiful. Display your arrangement away from direct sunlight. As flowers wilt, take them out to allow more space for other flowers to open up. To extend the shelf life of your arrangement, recut about a quarter of an inch off the stems and add fresh water to your vessel (not just top it off). Happy arranging!

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