My friend Chelsea has a passion for flower arranging. She has an eye for knowing which flowers look good together and how to arrange them so that they’re undoubtedly eye catching. Whenever I go over to her house, she always has a beautiful floral center piece on her kitchen table or a pretty wreath on her front door.
I had so much fun doing this interview with her because she absolutely lights up and is completely in the zone when you leave her in a room full of flowers. She showed me how to create a beautiful flower arrangement and even gave me some tips on how to make my flowers last longer.
How did you get into floral arranging?
I’ve always loved flowers ever since I was little. My mom tells stories about how when I was younger I used to pick the tinniest weed flowers on the side of the street. She had a hard time teaching me what was someones garden was vs wild flowers that I could pick.
I realized that I had a passion for flower arranging when I went to help a friend in Savannah, Georgia help create flowers for a wedding. We sat in her kitchen and there were flowers all over every surface, leaves all over the ground and we just put together beautiful bouquets. I then recognized how difficult flower arranging actually is. I always thought it was simple but there is a skill and a craft to flowers and it inspired me to want to get better at it. It’s also been encouraging for me to see my friend’s flower business take off. She does what she loves and I would love to do the same thing one day.
When flower arranging, where do you get your inspiration from?
I think I get inspiration from each person that I meet. I can specifically think of every wedding that I’ve been in (I’ve been a bridesmaid for 8 wedding) and I’ve analyzed every bouquet and each bouquet represents the bride, her personality and her taste. You can design a bunch of flowers to represent and reflect a person. I’ve never held the same bouquet twice, they’re always different.
I also get inspiration through Pinterest and Instagram. I especially love @mea_flowers (my friend in Savannah) and @sinclairandmoore.
What made you fall in love with floral arranging?
Flowers are just so pretty to look at and it’s a way of bringing the outdoors and nature indoors. Even on a snowy Colorado day, flowers can add some sunshine to the middle of your kitchen. I think even the simplest of flower arrangements can make a big impact. They add a special touch to a persons home and bring life into the room. Arranging flowers also lets me use my creativity. My boyfriend has learned to buy me flowers individually from behind the counter rather than buying me a pre-made bouquet. He knows that if he gets me a pre-made bouquet I end up taking it apart and putting it back together again the way I like it.
Tell us a little about your flower arranging process. What types of things do you look for when arranging flowers?
I love contrast and always try to provide contrast in a bouquet. For example, the contrast of a bright colored flower next to a white flower or dark green plant. It’s also important to use different greenery and textures. When I am arranging flowers I usually pick a flower and then build around it. First, I unwrap all the flowers I have and lay them on a table. I then pick one flower, hold it in one hand and start building around it – always keeping in mind contrast of color and texture. I like holding the flowers in my hand because it allows the flexibility to swap things around easily and play with the different heights of the flowers. At the end you can cut the stems and have an even base. This way of creating an arrangement gives you more creative control, rather than just cutting individual stems off of flowers and putting them in a vase one by one.
How do I find a good bouquet of flowers at the store?
It’s important to keep in mind what your timeline is. You don’t want to buy flowers that are all the way bloomed if you’re hoping they’ll last for the week. You want to pick flowers that have buds that haven’t bloomed yet. This means they’re fresh and it will give them a chance to open up. You also want to make sure they look fresh and are well hydrated at the store.
Any tips and tricks for making my fresh flowers last longer?
When you’re arranging flowers the trick is to pick off any leaves that will be in the water of the vase. If you just have stems in the water, as apposed to having stems and leaves in the water, your arrangement will last longer. Another suggestion is to always trim the bottom of your stems because when you buy them you will see that the bottoms are often hard and calloused over. Trimming the bottoms helps the flower get more water. There are also different tricks for specific flowers. For example, tulips are known to be a picky flower. They often droop over after you put them in a vase. The tip to keeping them perky and happy is by adding a penny or an aspirin in the water. It will keep them standing up straighter for a longer time. There are also certain types of flowers that last longer – some daisies, carnations and lilies are known for lasting longer periods of time.
Any tips for buying flowers on a budget?
Grocery stores are a great place to buy flowers – Kroger or King Soopers, Safeway, Trader Joes. It’s easy to just add an affordable bouquet to your grocery list. In some states the wholesalers are open to the public. I’d definitely recommend going there for affordable flowers as well.
If I wanted you to do my flowers for my wedding, what types of things do you need to know?
The main thing I’d want to know and recognize is your personality. Are you looking for something romantic and whimsy or more upbeat and fun? Something more traditional or more eclectic and unique? I would encourage brides to look at Pinterest and magazines as well as their super market flowers to see what types of flowers stand out to them, what they love, and what colors they’re drawn to.
And lastly, what’s your favorite type of flower and why?
My favorite flower is a lily. They’re my favorite because over night they bloom and they have such a beautiful fragrance. They’re so simple and they remind me of the the verse, “Like a lily among the thorns, so is my darling among the young women.” – Song of Solomon 2:2.
Thank you so much Chelsea!