Nothing says Spring or Easter like a big, beautiful, colorful flowers. They epitomize the new life that both Easter and Spring promise. And an beautiful flower arrangement is a great way to capture both. I loving having fresh cut flowers on my tables and spread throughout my home…although they are not there as often as I like. And that’s for two reasons – 1) premade flower arrangements are so costly and 2)they don’t seem to easy to do yourself…well, unless they are silk and wired.
That was until I discovered the floral arrangers beset kept secrets. My church holds events almost every month for women to come and do something fun while celebrating our heavenly father. One of those is flower arranging. They usually do two a year – fall and spring – and the tips taught there are amazing and you always leave with a beautiful arrangement. The classes are always taught by a 35 year veteran of floral art, Cyndy Tessitor. She comes up with the arrangement but you make your own. I want to share some of the tips I have learned over the years as well as how to create an easy Easter or Spring Flower Arrangement. Trust me, once you prep your pot, you are ten steps away from a beautiful arrangement.
Secrets of a Floral Arranger
- To keep water clear, add a little bleach
- Don’t leave leaves or other plant material in the water as it rots the stems and arrangements
- Curly Willow is a great filler in vases and is pliable when fresh
- To give ivy that shiny look and to re-firm it, place in a bucket filled with water and Mop and Glo
- Oasis is a great way to gain stability for your flowers
- Try to work in threes or odds with respect to plants, but always work to what looks pleasing to the eye
- To make sure a rose is fresh, squeeze the base. If its hard, then it is fresh. If its squishy, then its not
- When you buy a bouquet, you should cut about a 1/2 to 1 inch off the stem at angle cut, then place them in a vase with really warm water and a little bleach to rehydrate and bring life back into them
- Most flower arrangements need a combination of weighty flowers at the base and taller, lighter flowers as you move up the arrangement
- Arrangements should be proportionate to the container and area of display
- Some flowers need a little help by using a floral stem, like hyacinth, through the bottom of the stem to give them stability
- To keep a fruit from decaying fast, stick the floral stick through the core
- If you don’t have oasis and you are not worry about the life of your arrangement, use fillers like ivy and curly willow vines to fill the vase to create stability
- Sam’s club carries tulips, hydrangea, and roses less than wholesale cost at most flower marts and can be ordered
Creating an Easy Floral Arrangement for Easter or Spring
These were the materials we used for our arrangement:
- 2 long ivy
- 3 seeded eucalyptus
- 3 snapdragons (you could substitute stock)
- 5 tulips
- 2 Dutch iris
- 1-2 hydrangea
- 3 roses
- bunch of bear grass
- floral sheers
- watering can
- silicone in a tube
- decorative birds nest
- 3 decorative robin’s eggs
- wire ribbon about one yard in length
- hot glue and glue gun
- oasis (optional but it does allow for your flowers to be more stable when you arrange them)
The first part of this easy floral Easter or Spring arrangement is to create a leak proof vessel. To do so, seal your water can on the inside at the base of the can and at the interior spout. Allow to dry and repeat to make sure all potential leak areas are sealed. Even when sealed, it is recommended that you put a decorative water catcher underneath to prevent any potential leaking damage.
Next, if you plan to use oasis (which I recommend though we did not in our class), then stuff it inside the water can so the oasis is not loose inside the water can. Fill with water and allow the oasis to absorb the water. You may need to add more. This is how your plants will drink. If you are not going to use oasis, then fill your can 3/4 of the way full and add a little bit of bleach.
Now you will want to glue the bird’s nest to the top lip of the watering can and follow with gluing the 3 robin’s eggs in the nest. Allow to dry. Make sure the top handle is turned to rest on top of the spout.
Leave your stems in a water bucket until right before you begin your arrangement so they stay hydrated.
Assembling the Easter or Spring Floral Arrangement:
The Easter or Spring floral arrangement is designed to be viewed 360 degrees so flowers will be going around the entire pot.
Step One: If you are not using the oasis, then take one of the ivy strands and wrap it into a tight multi layered circle and insert it into the water can. This will help keep the flowers more stable by creating a solid-ish foundation.
Step Two: Next, add the seeded eucalyptus by inserting the slightly flat into the water can at three different angles/location on the watering can.
Step Three: You will want to provide some weight to your arrangement. First measure your hydrangea and cut to size by placing the stem on the top of the table and placed next to the pot you are doing the arrangement in. The hydrangea should be no higher the top ring/lip of the watering can. Insert it at the front of the water can to the left of your bird’s nest. If your hydrangea is smaller, insert a second one on the other side of the bird’s nest. Make sure you fluff each hydrangea.
Step Four: Cut your snapdragon flower down to rise above the hydrangea and are tiered. A good mix would be one and half inches above the base of the water can fort he shortest. Make the others 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch taller than the first. Insert those straight into the water can directly into the middle. You will want to make sure they tier and are slightly spread.
Step Five: At the back of the water can you will be adding the 5 tulips. Clip them so they that the top two leaves are still intact on the tulips. Insert them at the back of the water can making sure they are staggered. I positioned mine directly behind the hydrangea on the left of the bird’s nest. When turned around and looking at the back, it will be on the left. These are slightly closed in my arrangement but should open fully by Easter for a shot of orange, red and yellow.
Step Six: Insert your 2 Dutch Iris at the lip behind the snapdragons and between the tulips and the 2nd hydrangea. Make sure to tier them. In my arrangement the iris are still in bud form and are closed but by Easter, they will open in full bloom for a wonderful pop of purple and yellow.
Step Seven: At the left of the front hydrangea and the snapdragons, you will want to insert your three roses. I measured the first rose by holding it against the watering can and cutting an inch off at a time until I got it to the height I wanted. In this case it was about 1/2 inch above the height of the side of the watering can. I cut the second a little bit longer and the third a little bit longer than the second. I clustered them together, making sure they were tiered. Again, these will open to be much fuller by Easter.
Step Eight: Add the ivy. To do this step you will need a long enough piece to wrap around the water can and to stick both ends into the watering can all the way to the base. If you can not find long enough ivy, you can use fresh curly willow. To do this, start at the back of the arrangement by the handle (opposite the spout). Strip the ivy leaves off both ends so the ends are bare up to the length of the side of the watering can. Insert on end into the watering can at the back by the handle. Wrap the ivy around the can creating a swag in the front until you reach the handle again. As you do this you can feed this through the stabilization bar on the spout and the handle itself. Once back, insert the ending length into the watering can at the handle until it hits the base of the can.
Step Nine: Adding the bear grass. CAUTION: Bear grass can cut you if you run your fingers up and down the shafts. Please be careful. You will need to prep the bear grass by first making sure it is all going in the same direction. This is pretty simple to tell because the blades are concaved. Once arranged in the same direction, use your floral sheers to clip off one to two inches or the white part off the base of the blades. Next, divide it into three bunches. Place each bunch in to the arrangement at various locations and let them cascade. I choose to over my hydrangea near my Dutch iris, under/in the middle of my tulips and in between my snapdragons and the roses.
Step Ten: You will want to add your bow now. Start by picking out where you want to place your ribbon. I always ask myself where is color needed. In my arrangement, since my iris are not open, I put the bow between the two hydrangea, under the bird’s nest, on the handle. You could also put it on the spout or on the handle where the tulips and roses are. Your choice and where ever you think it will be prettiest works.
To make your bow and keep it from being too bulky, you will want to insert the ribbon through the handle and make sure both sides of the ribbon are equal length. Next, make two loops, one with each end. Loop the left loop over the right, fold it over, under and through. Pull tight. Adjust so the tails go down and fluff the bow.
Lastly, make any adjustments to the arrangement so that it is pleasing to the eye and no obvious holes. Pretty simple, huh? Its just a matter or sticking the stems in and fluffing. Each night, spritz the arrangement with a fine mist of water and then place outside. The blooms used above love moist air. Make sure you brig it in each day and you should have a beautiful arrangement for five days. If you have the ivy in the water instead of the oasis, make sure to empty the water every couple of days and replace with fresh bleach water to help maintain them.
Believe it or not, the whole arrangement cost $25…I think that’s way less than what you will pay at a florist or a store for a similar arrangement. Plus you can tell people you did it yourself. They will be so impressed, I promise. Try it for yourself. You can use different flowers and fillers and vessels. Just remember, weight at the bottom, light at the top, tier and odd number of longer stems. Enjoy.