#22 – Learn the basics of floral arranging. Check.

A few of you might remember my couponing post from last year about raiding the Rose Festival Parade floats for the flowers (in a legal way!). So since I want to know more about the art of floral arrangements, I figured what better way than to pillage free flowers?

I did some reading online at different sites (Martha Stewart, etc) and got some basic tips. Although having a broader knowledge of flower names sure would have been helpful. Yes, I know what a rose is – but no I could not identify specific TYPES of roses, etc etc. So here’s my day:

Step One: Wait very patiently in an undisclosed location for the floats to arrive (I think we waited almost 2 hours).

Step Two: Grab what you can! I brought my red wagon with buckets, and lined the back of my car with a tarp.

Step Three: Sort and clean the flowers. Trim the stems at an angle and strip away the excess greenery. A woman at work showed me last year that if you have roses (or other flowers) that look like they are beginning to wilt, you can drape a wet paper towel over them in a shallow dish of water for about 20 minutes. It will close them back up and extend their life.

Step Four: Assess your vases and flowers. I chose three different vases, two tall and one short. My roses all had shorter stems so I decided they would go together, and I had a huge heap of white lilies that I wanted together, and then a whole lot of other random (mainly exotic) flowers.

Step Five: Assemble. I read that for the bigger arrangements (especially ones with lots of random stuff), choose four thicker stemmed pieces and arrange a criss cross. Then fill in taller pieces in the center with shorter pieces around the edges. The directions also suggested to continue rotating the vase for an evenness. For the shorter vase, I wanted a tighter bunch for the roses. I took the tallest and wrapped the others around until I had a bunch wherein I tied it all together with twine. I’m not really sure that my arrangements are done right, but geez I followed the directions so it’s a start.

Step Six (I added this very important step on my own): Make a cat bouquet. If your cats are like mine, they want to immediately eat your arrangement. I’ve found if you cut up some of the grasses (make sure it’s something cats can eat!) and put them on the floor, they are distracted and satisfied at the same time.

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