A Man and Some Flowers- The Red Headed Hostess

This post ended up being something different than its original intention.

First – let me start out by saying that florists deserve every penny of their seemingly overpriced flowers.  And this post will unintentionally demonstrate that.  After years of doing wedding flowers, I know that flowers are expensive.   Life would be so much easier if the universe already knew that  flowers are expensive.  

So, I thought to myself – maybe I could help people save a few bucks.  You know, if you could arrange your own flowers that may help with the budget.

You see – my brother is  finally  getting married (just kidding Ben – I know I am one to talk).  And we are so happy for him.  And he is s.p.o.i.l.i.n.g. his fiance for Valentine’s Day (maybe I should have warned him not to set the bar so high).  Just kidding Carly.   (not kidding Ben).

 So Ben called and asked for my help for the flowers he wants to give her for Valentine’s.  Sure – I say.  And then I had this great idea….

I would instruct my hubby on how to arrange the flowers, and I would take pictures of it – and help you learn how to do this for yourself.  Cause if HE can do it YOU can do it.

I hope you gain from this post either:  1) How to arrange flowers for yourself …… or 2) How to happily pay a florist to do it for you.

First you start out with a plate of warm, fresh out of the oven cookies that will bribe your husband to actually arrange flowers

 Next, you need these supplies:   Cutters, Scissors, A de-thorner or a paring knife, Twine, and Ribbon

Fill your clean sink with water.  It must be clean so you don’t have any bacteria which will shorten the life of the flower.  Then put a paper towel over the other side of the sink so you don’t get any leaves down your drain.  Wet leaves will get stuck in your pipes.  They love pipes.

Here are the flowers of the day.  These are Carly’s flowers.  She loves Calla Lilies, yellow roses and royal blue.  A far stretch from your typical Valentine red roses – but SO much more romantic, because they are customized just for her.

So what you see above are white calla lilies, yellow spray roses, and blue irises.  Spray roses have a smaller bud than single stem roses. They are called “spray” because there is a spray (multiple) of roses on one stem.  I picked these up at my flower wholesalers.  But you could get these, or something like these, at Costco, your local florists, etc.  I picked the spray variety so the calla lilies wouldn’t be overpowered by the larger roses.  And because they don’t double in price like the single stems on Valentine’s.

Good thing to know:  Roses double in price on Valentine’s Day.  And many other flowers are marked up as well.  So, unless you have a bottomless wedding budget – don’t get married on or near Valentine’s Day.

Now,  call your husband over by waving cookies in front of him.

Its working.

 The first thing you want to do is to trim the ends of the flowers.  When flowers are removed from their water source they seal off their ends in order to retain their water.  So you need to trim off the bottoms so they can get a nice good drink of water.   A good tip is to  cut them under water.  So your scissors or clippers are in the water.  I’ve heard a few reasons for this, but the one I like best is because when you pull the flower up out of the water, dropplets form at the base and keep it hydrated longer.

Now that is all the prep that callas require.  That is why I started him with those.  The next flower is the iris.  It needs a little more love and attention.

You want to strip the leaves off of the lower half of each stem.  Please repeat this next phrase:  you never want leaves submerged in the water in your vase.  Leaves mean murky, yucky water.

Here the Iris’ are done.  And you can’t see him because he is eating a cookie.

Now for the roses.  With roses you have both lots of leaves and thorns.  And a very manly husband who thinks this is very dumb.

Here you will see some fuzzy pictures.  Because he is moving and I am not wanting to test his patience while I reset my camera settings.

Do you see that silver contraption in his hands?  That is a rose de-thorner.  A nifty little device that you squeeze around the stem, and as you pull it down it strips off all leaves and thorns.

Watch how cool this works.

Most people don’t have a de-thorner hanging around.  So you can just use a paring knife.

This will work just fine.

But its not as fun as the de-thorner.

Notice he didn’t attempt to strip above where the branch split off.  This is very wise since the likelihood of breaking a stem is about 99%.  So you will need to pull off the leaves by hand.

And once you have prepped every single solitary stem.  The arranging begins.

When working with white calla lilies:  do not touch the white part.  You may end up bruising the flower or causing the flower to brown.  They are delicate.

Good job.  Have I married a closet florist?

Watch him add the irises.  That’s my man.

um…. honey?

uh oh.  I’m starting to panic.

Now I am in full fledge panic mode.  How can I lovingly tell him that it looks like he just scooped them up?

So it is at this point that I officially give into the urge to take over.   After all – my brother needs to get married.  And I need to help in any way I can, right?  I don’t want these flowers to break them up.  …right honey?  Yes, you can go take a nap now.

And the camera gets put down.  And you will witness none of the arranging.   And I fail in my attempt to help you learn the art in arranging flowers.  And I agree with my husband that it is a skill that has to be learned.  And he says “see its not idiot proof.”  And I say – go take a nap, please.

And here is her Valentine Bouquet.

And here are the cookies

I will post this recipe later.  Maybe I will take pictures of my husband making them.


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