Let’s back up here, a bit…why are grocery store flowers my…let’s be nice and say ‘frenemies’? Because they’re usually crap. The mixed bouquets are usually a bunch of filler and maybe one or two good blooms. And most of them get shipped from far, far away lands. They are the thing you grab at the last minute at the store as you’re buying waffle mix and coffee filters and it also happens to be somebody’s birthday and that somebody probably doesn’t want coffee filters. Or waffle mix. Because they’re your fancy friend. And because you should have planned better.
But mostly I just loathe the fact that most of these flowers traveled so damned far to get to your local supermarket. It makes me nuts. Truly. The good news is that it really seems as though a lot of them are starting to do just that (at least in my hood).
I adore the new labeling that is happening with both CAgrown and AmericanGrown flowers–smart little logos on the packaging that let you know where they came from.
I dig it. So much.
But still man…even so…those mixed bouquets are rough. Why? Because they look so good en mass at the store, and you grab one, and take it home and it looks like this:
It’s just not a lot of flowers that come in these. It’s a lot of ‘filler’, and a few centerpiece blooms. Those long stems are misleading, because you think you’re supposed to drop them in a vase of that height. Truly, one of these bouquets is really only enough for a very small arrangement in a small vase. Something like this:
Which is darling. If that’s what you’re after.
Make that tiny arrangement really lush by adding one single-type floral bouquet to it, such as these gorgeous pink and peach ranunculi:
Dang I love me some ranunculi.
So the previous arrangement is basically one small mixed bouquet and one single-type flower bouquet. But maybe you want something a little bigger than this squat little design? I got you.
Here’s the same two bouquets in a taller glass vase:
Wanna make that sucker even fuller? Add one more mixed bouquet (of the same variety) to it:
Lest we forget, there is also something really amazing and easy about a floral arrangement of all one type of flower. Seriously, it’s a no-brainer. Especially for something as pretty as the ever-adored ranunculus. But again, when you buy a single bouquet and plop it in a vase, it just really isn’t enough.
So…try two (or three, or four, depending on how wide-mouthed of a vessel you want to use–you want that vase full):
Just two bouquets of ranunculi, with their excess foliage removed, look so casual and graceful in this design. And it’s really not a design, at all–as the two bunches (once the stems were cleaned of their leaves) were just combined, trimmed down by a few inches, and placed loosely in the vessel. Lovely.
But perhaps you originally grabbed that first mixed bouquet because you have a favorite vase and it’s a taller, wider one. Awesome. You can do it. Just grab a few more of the same bouquet. In order to make it a lush, purposeful-looking arrangement, you need quantity.
The photo on the left shows what three of these bouquets look like (with absolutely no arranging–just three bouquets grouped together, stems trimmed slightly for freshness), and the right photo shows the same vase filled with five bouquets. Without any design skillzzz going into this, that full vase on the right looks pretty damned impressive. If you want to move some pieces around, try to make groupings of similar elements; cluster a few hydrangea together, cluster the false Queen Anne’s lace together, but make sure you group things in odd numbers where possible. Odd numbers always look more natural than evens.
But maybe you want to customize this a tad more? If you add one or two bouquets of a single-flower type bouquet (like those ranunculi beauties), you’ll add a pop of awesome color and interest.
What if you’re already back home, and you didn’t buy more than just your five mixed bouquets. Never fear. If you have almost any type of tree growing in your yard or somewhere you can responsibly forage from (please don’t steal from your neighbor’s yard in the dark of night), then you’ve got a wealth of foliage and/or blossoms, seed pods, and branches to harvest from. Tree branches are so great and easy for floral design and most people wouldn’t think to use them.
Here, I casually added five 2-3′ long branches of crepe myrtle (some with seed husks still intact) to the five mixed bouquets.
Oh, yessssss. So much texture and intrigue with so little effort!!! Yes, yes, yes.
But maybe…maybe you want a little something more. And maybe you grow a few flowers out there in that garden of yours. You don’t need a ton. You just need a few big, bright blooms. Like dahlias (or sunflowers, or roses, or peonies, or tulips, or zinnias, or, or, or, or).
Add anywhere from five to seven, placing them in an asymmetrical grouping in the arrangement. Don’t you dare spread them evenly around–this arrangement rests its laurels (or myrtles) on asymmetry.
And by golly, that thing doesn’t look anything remotely like something that came from the supermarket, now does it?
But the best part? It’s all local goodness.