How to Arrange a Dozen Roses with Baby’s Breath

Apologies for the hiatus.

Since my last post, I

  • hung curtains and did a lot around the house (I will post some updates, promise!  The house is really shaping up!)
  • forgot about decorating for 10 days as we traveled to our old stompin’ grounds, Palo Alto and the Bay Area
  • attended a “Welcome Back the NewlyWeds” party in our honor in CA (will post more about this!)
  • traveled to San Antonio for work
  • went to the Houston rodeo for the first time with customers
  • remembered that I’m on a decorating kick and started in on the guest room in anticipation of upcoming guests.

Also, I went to a class with my friend E.  That’s what this post is about.  I found a Groupon for a 2 hour introductory class on flower arranging that include an arrangement and vase that you get to take home.  E is a great sport, so she let me sign us both up!  Here are a few things I learned.

First, you don’t get to pick your own flowers, so your visions of a modern, baby’s breath- and fern-free arrangement just need to go on out the window.  I tried to withhold judgement on the fact that I wouldn’t actually choose to have this type of bouquet in my house normally and learn the basic skills for making an arrangement.

Second, the prep.  Use this handy tape to make an invisible grid on the mouth of your vase.  Who knew?  The tape is waterproof, unlike Scotch tape, which is important so it stays intact for the length of your bouquet (mine’s still going strong 6 days in).   After you make the grid, make a circle of tape around the outside of the mouth to hold the ends of the grid securely in place.  Using this tape was the newest and neatest thing I learned.

 Then, prep your flowers and greenery by clearing the stems of leaves and thorns and fuzz.  This will help the water to stay more clear and for you to be able to see only stems through a clear vase.  I also am pretty sure I’ve never thought bout the fuzz on greenery before.  I’m not quite what you’d call a detail person.  I probably wouldn’t notice the fuzz, but I definitely notice brown, yucky flower water.  Now I know how to partially prevent it.

Also, remove the outer petals that look a bit like cabbage from each rose (if you’re using roses).  These are called Guard Petals.  Also something I have never done on my own.  And now I know where the flower petals florists give out to brides for their “get-away” come from!

Then, pick your tallest, nicest rose and set it aside to be the center rose in your arrangement.

Take six of the roses and trim them to be one-and-a-half vases high, and arrange them evenly around the outside of your grid.

Fill in greenery under each rose.

Get in trouble for having your greenery and roses a couple of inches too long, awkwardly towering above the vase.

Trim the greenery to gracefully overhang the lip of the vase, and trim the base layer of roses a bit as well.

Add the second level of five roses in a concentric circle, slightly longer than the first set of roses, and then use your “Tallest, Nicest” rose in the middle.  My tallest looks a little awkward.  Oh well–that’s why they call it INTRODUCTION to flower arranging!  Also, the teacher came around to help each of us adjust each flower slightly.  The flowers should be “looking” in the same direction.  Twist them in the vase until they are all opening up rather than down, especially for the ones that are on the base layer and come out at an angle.

Finally, add baby’s breath.  And admire the classroom of beauty.  (And don’t be too jealous over the vibrant rose colors the other ladies got by showing up early/on time.)

Here is my bouquet at home, sitting on top of the relocated buffet table.  I bought the table lamp and bird painting at Hobby Lobby last week and arranged the buffet surface decoratively.  We moved this table from the dining room, and I really love it as a focal point that guests see when they enter the house, especially with fresh flowers!  What a Suzie Homemaker, my mother would say.

Thanks, E, for going on an adventure with me!

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