One of my favorite ways to treat myself when spring comes around is with fresh flowers in the house. I fantasize about having professional arrangements from my favorite floral designers delivered to me every week, but the reality is more like picking up whatever the grocery store has in stock (slim pickins’ for a girl who tends to avoid bright colors) and throwing them into some vases in 5 minutes. But you know what? I don’t consider this a shortcut. I consider it extra credit. Any kind of fresh flowers sprinkled throughout your house to brighten up your counters and table tops is a definite yes, and if you can save a few bucks by doing it the affordable way, more power to you! So today I’m sharing how I usually arrange my grocery store flowers. Amateur flower arranging 101!
I start by picking up a few main flower bunches, which I select by seeing what the grocery store has that’s not carnations, daisies, or roses (maybe roses sometimes but they don’t last as long and are more expensive than others), and are in the blush/white/green realm. If I’m feeling crazy, I’ll add a single pop of color but I’m not usually feeling crazy. Then I like to pick up a bunch or two of pretty greens. Eucalyptus is a favorite lately because it’s super pretty on its own, or can add some height and interest to an arrangement. In this particular trip I decided to try some baby’s breath which is a new one for me but I thought it could be interesting to see if I could find a way to make it feel fresh. I also find it helps to get a mix of textures. If I have a lot of fluffy blooms like hydrangeas (which I tend to do), then I’ll add some tulips to bring some cleaner lines and structure to the mix.
Once I get home with my flowers, I start by clearing a counter and laying everything out in front of me. In this case I had 5 different varieties, so I figured I could make 1 or 2 larger arrangements and 4 or 5 small ones. I fill a few different vases with water and start with the biggest flowers. I will sometimes keep all of one kind of flower together, and other times I’ll spread them across all different arrangements. Hydrangeas stay alive for awhile and just a few go a long way. So two of those can go in the larger arrangements, and one in a couple of the small ones. Some get none. Real pro tips here, folks! ;)
This is where the REAL amateur part happens. I just keep adding the rest of the flowers into the different vessels, playing around with heights and proportions until I feel it’s right. But I definitely don’t overthink it or try to make it look overly manicured. I like it best with a little haphazardness to it, almost like they could have just been cut from the backyard and just thrown together as if to say “there’s plenty more where that came from.”
For one or two of the arrangements, I like to just stick to one species. I love tulips alone with no other flower mixed in, so I kept that entire bunch together in one vase. I did the same with the baby’s breath. So that couldn’t be easier!
And that’s it! Whatever is left over I try to still use. A sprig or two of eucalyptus can totally go into a skinny vase by itself. That’s for the bathroom counter or side table that almost got left out, so it can be grateful its getting flowers at all. And now for the best part: placing them in all the right spots around the house! It’s so uplifting to have flowers in the home, and even better when you get the satisfaction of having “arranged” them yourself.
Photography by Ashley Burns