Nothing says springtime like a full bouquet of fresh blooms, but, as any decorating novice knows, it takes more than slashing stems and shoving them into a vase to create a truly impressive arrangement. "A beautiful bouquet can be magical, but floral design is not sorcery," says Bronwen Smith, owner and head designer of N.Y.C. flower company B Floral. To make sure we don't get our blossoms in a bunch, we solicited her expert help for how to create a perfect-looking bouquet. Just follow these six tips:
1. Choose wisely, and be selective.
Select the freshest, most appealing flowers. Look for blooms that are still in bud form, or just beginning to open. If you're searching for inspiration, try enlisting an app: Say It With Flowers (free; Windows Phone) lets you scroll through a plethora of arrangements to spark your creativity.
2. Clean those stems!
Keep the leaves above water and trim off excess leaves below the water line. Leaves tend to brown up and break down when heavily submersed in water.
3. Make the cut.
Cut the stem at a diagonal angle so the flowers sit above the top of the vase. As you cut the stems, place them immediately in water and they'll stay fresher for much longer. Each time you re-cut, chop off an additional 1/2 inch to get an even fresher stem.
4. Keep that watering can handy.
H2O is the way to go. Make sure your blooms are hydrated by giving the stems fresh water every day or two to keep your bouquet happy and healthy.
5. Keep it simple.
Sticking to a single flower type or color scheme makes a world of difference. Not only does it offer consistency, but it makes the whole presentation look uber-professional. Tulips are a solid choice to use in a mono-floral arrangement.
6. Wrap it up.
For a clean, modern look, leaf-wrap a glass vase to cover the stems of your blooms. Banana leaves are a great option that will make any group of flowers look sleek.