Recently I had the pleasure of taking a little crash course in flower arranging with Belle Fleur at the Flower School of New York over sips of Veuve Clicquot Rosé champagne. I’m always photographing flowers here at the studio as a personal project and quite honestly, it’s one of my favorite photographic subjects. I am always in awe of the beauty of a rose, the fold of a tulip, the color of a ranunculus or the smell of a hyacinth. The abstract lines and organic textures become something else though the lens of a camera, allowing each flower to have its own personality, life, expression, and age not unlike the way we are as humans. Since we have beautiful flowers around so often it was really nice to pick up a few tips and tricks on making your own arrangements at home! Read below to find out what I learned…
On arranging: Arrange in your hand. Start with the biggest flower as your “anchor” and build around that. You can cut your flower arrangement to the correct height for your vase by putting the vase at the edge of the counter and holding the arrangement next to it for the desired height and cut. To keep the flowers in the arrangement you created tie a clear rubber band around the stems to hold in place.
On cutting flowers: You do not have to cut under water when you buy quality flowers, but you should put them in water seconds after cutting as a “scab” immediately begins to form over the freshly cut end. Every few days, re-snip the ends of the arrangement to get fresh water into the flower and have it last longer. Cut the ends at an angle so water travels UP!
Change the water everyday with fresh water to make the flowers last twice as long.
To get lilies to open, use warm water; they respond well to temperature.
Tear off the leaves along the stem so all the water goes straight to the flower bulb.
Garden roses are the most fragrant.
Peonies like to be handled, hold it in your hand and use your thumbs to massage it open.
Ranunculus are very fragile and will open easily by just blowing on them.
Tulips will always grow toward the light so try to put them under a light source in your house to have them grow straight. If they start to droop, a shot of vodka will make them stand up.
China Pink Hyacinth will continue to grow about 1/2 an inch a day in your vase.
Flowers that mix well together: Spray Roses, Lisianthus, Maria Theresa Garden Roses, Baroness Garden Roses, Ranunculus, Keira Garden Roses, Esperanta Garden Rose, China Pink Hyacinth and Japanese Sweetpea.