(my fave bouquet this year)
Sometimes, as a teacher, your kiddos bring you flowers. And sometimes, EVERY kiddo brings you some random stem during teacher appreciation week and you accumulate a horrific wild mess of flowers with all kinds of strange colors (I love it - not complaining AT all!). And almost every flower choice is one you find at your local grocery store because hey, it's convenient and much more economical to buy a bouquet and just hand each teacher a stem from that bouquet. (Not judging, just giving you the background story).
Now, I love flowers and FREE flowers even better so I make sure to keep this mish mosh happily watered. If you are ever lucky enough to run into this situation because you are well loved, then enjoy it and make the most of it! But enjoy it by changing it from a wild mess to something stunning! (Mine are a bit wilted, sorry!)
assess the goods.
Notice the colors, the textures, the kinds of flowers. When you get a mish mosh, you rarely have enough to make an entire arrangement with one flower or color so take notice of what you DO have. In my randomness, I had this one crazy stem (you see it sticking out?) I loved the velvety texture of it, and thought it would make a great architectural statement so I kept it! I've added chopped up rose stems before as a "twiggy" texture.
peonies, daisies, green grass pouf (you can get them at Whole Foods), velvet branch, mums
daisies, mums, purple flowers, rose stems, roses, mini carnations
The ONLY two ways I group flowers: by kind and by color and even then, I'm not that rigid about it. Everything else is flexible! For example, I may start pulling all my yellow daisies because they're usually all on one branch. Or maybe I'll gather all my reddish roses but leave the other roses alone for other bouquets. Sometimes, I just start picking all the peach colored flowers.
carnations, roses, poms (self made up name!)
tulips, daisies, baby's breath
tulips, carnations, chrysanthemums, daisies
Tear off those extra leaves that will rot your water. Separate those little branches that are all contained on one stem (if it's long enough). Daisies and poms are like this. When you separate them, you have more opportunity to add splashes of color evenly throughout your arrangement.
daisies, irises?, baby's breath, gerbera daisy, carnation
bring in texture and coordinating colors.
I'll think to myself, "Wow, this peach carnation would look great in a pastel, faded bouquet." and I start picking flowers that have faded colors to them. Other times I think "This should be a deep pink and blush pink bouquet, with hints of white and green" and gather those flowers. As I add, I always stop and look for evenness and contrasting texture to add. This is why I don't group by texture. Too many roses starts looking boring. Too many daisies and the whole bouquet is like a pyramid of jazz hands. So sometimes, the color of my bouquets comes first from me picking the right combination of textures. Much like interiors, you want to stick with 3 colors at the most and bring in varying textures. A bouquet can be all white if you want! Just mix up the textures and shades and it'll be stunning!
carnations, daisies, poms, roses (my fave bouquet last year)
Make sure you have some variety of height throughout your bouquet and adjust those stems as needed. When your arrangement is to your liking, snip all the stems to the same length. Having it already in your hand makes it easy to keep things at around the same height so that all you have to do is plop it into your vase! If there are some gaps and spacing happening, transfer to a different vase, fill the spots up, or rubber band the whole thing.
So next time you stand in line at the grocery store eyeing that gorgeous plastic bundled bouquet wishing someone would buy them for you, just get them yourself and create your own bit of happiness!