Roses two ways- Part one

Hi Dears!

I guess you can say this is my first tutorial. There is no better place to start than with flowers! I'm going to show you how to arrange roses two ways. Here is part one!

First of all, we need to pick a good bunch of roses! Here are a few tricks. First don't buy roses that are closed up tight. That usually means they were picked too soon. They often do not open and are not as fragrant. You want to pick blooms that are about 3/4 of the way open. Sometimes that is hard to figure out depending on the type of rose. My rule is that if they look about half open I buy them. I also want them to smell good (remember some roses don't have a fragrance). I look at the petals, are they mushy? browning? limp? It's also a good idea to look at the stems and leaves if there is mold or excessive moisture the flowers may be rotting.

Once I have the perfect bunch picked, it's time to get making! I'm going to make a small bowl arrangement...here goes!

Tools of the trade:

This year I finally invested in some scissors specially made to cut herbs and flowers. These cost me eight dollars at a local hardware store and they work great! The rubber bands in the image will be used in method two and I think anyone who arranges flowers should use them (or something similar). I am not much of a believer in flower food or additives. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. I find my flowers last about the same time regardless.

Of course I need vessels for my arrangement! I like to think outside the box here. I rarely use actual vases. Instead I use jars, bowls, mugs, and many times plain old drinking glasses.

The key is to find the thing you love. Everyone has a different taste so follow yours! Thrift stores are a great place to find unique 'vases' on the cheap. I also look in clearance sections and kitchenwares at regular stores.

Here are my roses. I like to start by removing the leaves. In this image the leaves have already been removed. A note on this: I used to hate working with roses and would rarely buy them. The main thing was they are thorny as hell! Not just on the thick part of the stem (those are easy to spot), but they have tiny super sharp thorns near the bloom. I would always stick myself and not be able to manipulate them the way I wanted. Then I figured something out...

When working with roses hold them by their blooms! This may seem weird and like it will damage the flower, but if you grip them mostly by the base and keep a gentle palm there is no harm done. So that's what I do and it makes things so much easier!

Once I remove the leaves I like to trim the stems down to a more manageable length. This isn't the length they will be at for the arraignment, it just makes them easier to work with as I'm not fumbling with eighteen inch stems!

I grab my scissors and cut the stem at an angle.

I cut each stem individually. Some flowers can be cut in bunches if they have thin stems but it gets a bit messy when with roses and the stems might get jagged or pinched which may cause them to not last as long.

Now the roses are all trimmed and easier to work with!

Next, I choose my vase and fill it with water. I fill it pretty high, just below where the blooms will hit.

Now I grab a rose and set it next to the vase and decide what length I want to trim the stem to. Since I am making a bowl arrangement, where the roses should look like they are pouring out of the vase, I measure the stem to where the bloom is just above the edge of the vase.

Tip! It helps to work at the edge of a counter or table so when measuring the extra length of stem can be out of the way.

I eyeball the place I need to cut. Flowers are pretty forgiving and not being perfect adds some whimsy so I don't worry about doing everything just right.

Once it's cut, I set it in the vase and cut another one.

I eyeball the measurement...

And cut!

It's starting to come together! I gently place each bloom in the vase crossing stems over and under each other to keep them in place.

I keep going until the bowl is almost full. How many flowers should be used in a single vase really differs by what type of flowers I am using. Of course it is also to taste and preference. I like giving roses lots of room to breath and expand. I keep things loose and I notice when I do the roses open and get more beautiful each day!

Here is the finished product! I did have to go through and trim a few stems shorter to give it a nice even look. I like it to look balanced overall but not too fussy.

When making bowl arrangements the key is to not rush it. It's easy to be in a hurry but with a design like this you need to take a slower pace. It also depends on the size of the vase. This one has only a few blooms and is about the size of a large coffee mug, so it's not too bad and great for beginners! Ones with more flowers really take patience and can get very frustrating when the shape goes wrong, so remember to take it slow.

I hope you enjoyed this little lesson! Stay tuned tomorrow for a little different arrangement!

xx, C

A quick note: I am not trained in floristry at all. I am giving my tips and showing the way I do things. This doesn't mean it is the "right" way. I'm not at all an expert here and am only sharing from my own experience.

Note two: all the flowers I buy are certified by the Rainforest Alliance or from local farms, which means they are sustainably and responsibly grown.

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