When you see a perfect bouquet, you know instinctively that it’s just right. Everything is balanced and the individual components each carefully contribute to a larger creation. But what goes into the making of a perfect bouquet?
1. Begin by choosing flowers with long stems. Examples include roses, irises, carnations, alstroemeria, freesias, Singapore orchids, and lisianthus. Foliage you might include could be camellia leaves, eucalyptus gum, box ivy, nandina, and leather fern. In general, three or four varieties of flowers is ideal plus foliage.
2. Cut off the tips of the stems on a slant and set them in water prior to assembling your bouquet. Remove any thorns and any leaves on the bottom half of the stems.
3. Use the largest flower to serve as the centre of your bouquet. Place other smaller blooms tightly around the centre, working outwards and balancing colours. Criss-cross the stems on an angle as you insert flowers and turn the bouquet in your hand, keeping its shape controlled with your fingers.
4. Holding the bouquet as above and facing your thumb towards you, position 5-6 stems of a single type of flower evenly around the centre flower of the bouquet. Rotate the bouquet in one direction and secure the stems with string or tape. Do not cut the string at this stage!
5. Continue adding flowers in another ring around the center, extending out further and keeping the top of the bouquet gently rounded like an upside down saucer. Cross-cross the stems and secure with string as above as you rotate your bundle and add more layers.
6. As your bouquet nears its desired size, mix in foliage to fill gaps with the tips extending 5-7.5cm beyond the edge of the flowers. Secure all stems with string, winding it between the stems several times. Cut the string now and tuck the end in.
7. Trim the stems so they are 15-20 cm long and all the same level. Spritz the bouqet with a bit of water. Finish by securing a piece of wide ribbon around the stems to cover the string and tie the ribbon in a pretty bow with long tails.
Bouquet Tips from the pros:
– Use foliage sparingly. A little goes a long way!
– Use one colour palette: white and cream, blue and lilac, pink and red.
– Use no more than 3 or 4 types of flowers
– Use the same shapes of flowers
How to arrange flowers!
Perhaps you’ve been given a loose bouquet of stemmed blooms, or perhaps you’ve selected individual flowers. You wish to display them in an attractive arrangement and enjoy them, but beyond simply sticking them in a vase, how do create floral arrangements?
1. Select and clean a vase or other display vessel. Try to match your vase to your flowers- tall stems in a tall vase, posies in a stout vessel. An interesting and well matched display vessel can serve to add visual interest to your arrangement and enhance the shapes and colours of your flowers. Remember that you can always cut your stems shorter should you wish; however, the reverse it not true!
2. Prepare your flowers. Trim one inch from the ends of stems (cutting at an angle is best) and remove any leaves that would be under water.
3. Prepare your water. Use room temperature water and add any flower food that you wish to use. If you have buds that still need to open, you can use warm water to encourage them.
Now you are ready to work with your flowers!
1. Begin to place flowers carefully into your vase with the largest and most dominant flowers in first as they will serve as the focus of the arrangement. Angle these key flowers to best showcase their shapes and to balance themselves within the arrangement. Adjust these blooms until you are satisfied, as it’s harder to rearrange them once you add in the smaller flowers.
2. Add the smaller flowers and then foliage to fill in gaps and to create a pleasing mix of colours and textures. This is of course subjective as to what is appealing, but often you can use photographic examples and copy off the ones that best suit your personal tastes. Flower arranging is a bit of a trial and error process through which you discover your own personal style, so don’t be afraid to test and try new things.
3. Lastly, Remove pollen stamens at the base to avoid petal discolouration as well as increase longevity of the blooms.
Whether you’re looking to preserve your bridal bouquet or another floral arrangement, either in its realistic entirety or for other uses, there are several easy methods that you can do at home to save your special flowers. For best results, you should first assess the condition of your bouquet and whether it’s likely to dry well. For preserving purposes, you want blooms that are less than fully mature so that too many petals will not all be lost in the process. Different types of flowers do better with different processes; air drying does well for roses while lilies would be better pressed.
One new and popular technique is to dry flowers in your microwave. Flowers that preserve well by microwave include gerberas, chrysanthemums, roses, and tulips. You’ll also need a clay-based cat litter, which works to absorb moisture from the bouquet. Place one flower at a time in a microwavable bowl (one that you do not wish to use again for food) covered by four cups of cat litter. Your flowers can mold to the shape of the bowl, so you may wish to support them with an inch or two of silica gel. Microwave each flower for 2-3 minutes. The temperature needed varies by type of bloom, so start with a lower level as you can always add more time and increase the setting. Once cooled, brush off the excess litter.
Another popular preservation technique uses silica gel; simply place your blooms completely covered in a large container of the gel and leave for up to a week. The silica will draw out the moisture and leave flowers that look like they came fresh from the garden. Your flowers can then be displayed as a bouquet (perhaps in a vase), hung on the wall, or framed in a shadowbox.
Pressing your flowers is as easy as placing the individual blooms between parchment or waxed paper within the pages of a large book and leaving sit for 7-10 days. You can then use the pressed flowers for bookmarks, stationary, or in a picture frame. You can also have a bouquet professionally pressed where each bloom is then re-assembled in the silhouette of the original arrangement, a process that can take 8-10 weeks to complete.
Hanging a bouquet upside down may be the absolute easiest method of all. Simply secure the stems and hang the flower bunch in a well-ventilated area (such as an empty closet) out of direct sun for a few weeks. Your bouquet can then be re-used as a centerpiece or the petals can be re-purposed into potpourri.
Flowers such as hydrangeas or baby’s breath can also be dried in a vase. Start with your flowers in water, then let them sit but without watering them. Once the water evaporates, the flowers will be dry, but still upright and perky.
A professional can also freeze-dry your bouquet; this is the most realistic method of preservation. The bouquet is taken apart, freeze-dried, then re-assembled, a process of 3-4 weeks.
Ultimately, you’ll want to decide how you wish to re-use your bouquet, as the best way to preserve it may depend on how you intend to display it or otherwise use the blooms. A professional florist will always be able to advise you on the options and assist you in choosing one that best meets your desires and budget.
Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day for lovers and what better way to express that heartfelt sentiment than with beautiful carefully chosen flowers? A romantic Valentine’s Day arrangement is designed to fill your home with vibrant colour and scent, serving as a delightful reminder of the giver and their thoughtful regard. It’s not just men who do the giving; women can gift a bold bouquet to a man as a pleasant surprise. If your sweetheart enjoys chocolates or wine, simply add them to your floral arrangement- maybe with a cuddly teddy as well.
And yet despite its common association with romance, Valentine’s Day is for other other expressions of affection as well, with half of all Valentine’s gifts being given to children. Other recipients could be your mum, aunt, or grandmother, all of whom would love to be remembered on this holiday. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day duties and neglect to celebrate and honour those who are most important to us. Valentine’s Day serves to remind us to set aside time to focus on the people we value in our lives and express that sentiment in a way that can be appreciated by the senses.
Traditionally, long-stemmed red roses are given to one’s sweetheart on Valentine’s Day to express deep romantic feelings. Both regal and sophisticated, roses feature soft petals, deep colour, and enticing scent. While you can’t go wrong with red roses, other blooms can also perform well in a Valentine’s Day bouquet:
Red and pink tulips are associated with fresh beginnings and are suitable for a new romance.
Tropical arrangements such as anthurium or orchids bring to mind far off locales such as Hawaii, Brazil, and the Amazon, adding an exotic touch.
The yellow petals and open face of sunflowers symbolizes the sun itself and conveys feelings of warmth, happiness, adoration, and lasting love.
A bouquet of multicoloured Gerbera daisies is a fun way to say ‘I admire you’ and ‘you make me happy’, while a red Gerbera expresses your love.
Lilies are both elegant and bold; a Mini Calla Lily is a delicate choice that represents purity while a Red Peruvian Lily mixes red petals with a hint of yellow with red symbolising romance.
Pink carnations are representative of a mother’s love and are frequently a budget-friendly choice.
A unique gift to one’s male partner could be a small potted succulent, such as aloe, cacti, or sempervivum. These are easy to care for and can last for months, inside or outside.
Visit our online store or contact us today for help finding the perfect gift.
Question: Can I give flowers to a man? Do men appreciate flowers as a gift at all?
Newsflash: Men love to receive flowers! Just like women, men like to be recognised and feel special. Flowers for Men are a great idea!
Typical occasions for gifting men with flowers include birthdays, Fathers’ Day, Congratulations (including professional promotions), Get Well, Thank You, and Anniversaries. In general, men express preferences toward strong shapes, vivid colours (stay away from pastels) and natural vs. ‘busy’ styles, often enjoying exotic and contemporary arrangements.
Tropical or exotic flowers are bold in colour and shape and an excellent choice for men. Live plants (as long as they are easy to take care of!) are also popular gifts for men, for occasions such as birthdays and get well gifts. Gift hampers tailored to his interests with food and other goodies included are a great choice for congratulations, thank yous, and promotions. Sympathy and apology flowers tend to be more subdued while the more festive occasions create an opportunity for bright and exciting design.
Popular floral choices for men include orchids, peace lily, heliconia (wild plantain), iris, lupine, bird of paradise, or perhaps a bouquet of gerberas or sunflowers. Scent is also an important component, with mens’ preferences leaning towards the spicy, earthy, musky, candy, and fruity making blooms such as delphinium, lupine, roses, tulips, carnations, bluebells, and snapdragons all good choices.
Certain flowers are associated with certain meanings:
- Alstroemeria – devotion
- Bamboo – good luck
- Chrysanthemums – friendship
- Yellow roses – friendship
- Daisies – loyalty
- Red roses – romantic love – Suitable for Valentine’s Day
In terms of a presentation container, men tend to prefer modern and natural vases with crisp edges and without extensive design as opposed to curvier shapes. Flowers should be arranged simply ie. ‘less is more’; in a balanced, linear, or contemporary design that is not frilly or fussy.
The holidays are here, and it’s time to start thinking on how to bring the festivity of the season into your home and workplace with Christmas Flowers. While Europeans and North Americans might bring the outside in with fresh, green scented evergreens, many native Australian plants flower around Christmas time and thus have become regionally known to us as ‘Christmas plants’. These include Christmas bells, Christmas bush, and the Christmas orchid, and all make excellent additions to your home or other indoor space during the holiday time.
The first Europeans in Australia were thrilled to discover native plants in bloom at this time of year and would select and decorate with wildflowers resembling bells as well as bright green foliage covered in red and white flowers. These choices were different from the seasonal foliage at home (which would have been dormant) but also were greatly inspired by their vision of a traditional Christmas including the colours of red, white, and green.
Sydney homes often features bunches of Christmas Bush. This shrub features sprays of white star-like flowers and at this time of year, a red colour is often found around the maturing fruit. Lily-like Christmas Bells are also frequently used in Sydney, with large bell-like flowers on spikes up to 50 cm tall and colours ranging from yellow to deep red.
Native to the rainforest, the rare and aromatic Christmas Orchid has showy white flowers on a tall spike and makes for an excellent potted plant to display for the holidays.
For holly lovers, Holly Grevillea can be found in Victoria and South Australia as an alternative to European Holly. While it lacks red berries, this shrub does have lobed, prickly leaves as appropriate to Christmas holly.
Australia has its own mistletoe too, the Western Australian Christmas Tree, which flowers in yellow at holiday time.
For an authentic ‘Christmas tree’, Australians must look beyond natives, as proper Christmas trees are generally recognized as needing to be conifers. Australians will often decorate small Radiata Pines (Monterey Pines) from California that are grown on plantations in Australia. Native options for a tree to decorate include the Wollemi Pine or Hoop Pine.
The inclusion of flowers on display as as part of a funeral service is an old tradition. Where once the deceased were anointed with fragrant herbs and floralblooms, now funeral flowers are used to adorn the casket and/or burial site. Beautifully crafted floral arrangements are designed to comfort the grieving family as well as serving as a reminder of the spirit of life.
How to choose funeral flowers:
Always take into account the personality of the deceased and the bereaved. If you know a favourite type of flower or colour that they would prefer, that is always an excellent choice. You may wish to honour their personal character, i.e. you may wish to send a bright bouquet to celebrate a vibrant personality. When in doubt, roses and carnations are always appropriate choices as funeral blooms, as are lilies, gerbera daisies, asters, delphiniums, gladiolus, and chrysanthemums.
Colours can have special meanings within the realm of funeral flowers: white stands for peace and reverence while blue represents comfort and calm and green stands for health and good fortune. Soft, muted colours are generally used rather than vibrant tones. Religious considerations may also affect choice of colours and types of displays. Whenever possible, it’s advised to check with the one arranging the service as to what would be best received in terms of style of arrangements. While it’s not uncommon for the family to request charitable donations ‘in lieu of flowers’, if you are personally attending a service, flowers are still appropriate. Usually a card with a simple message of condolences is included as well. In some cases, you might wish to gather contributions from a number of people to purchase a larger arrangement from the group as a whole.
Funeral etiquette specifies what is the appropriate type of arrangement based on your relationship to the deceased. Only immediate family members are involved in choosing a large spray that to sits upon the casket top. Close personal acquaintances may choose wreaths, sprays, or other arrangements. If you were close to the deceased, you might choose flowers that speak to their personality, life, interests, talents, or legacy- this is called a tribute. If you were not well acquainted with the deceased, but are instead associated with the bereaved, a floral basket is a good choice. Children who are relatives often bring a floralpillow to be placed on the casket. For a child’s funeral, floral arrangements in the shape of toys are often chosen.
Funeral flowers are technically the floral arrangements that are sent to the service directly, or perhaps to the funeral home if preferred by the family for use during the ceremony. Funeral flowers are designed as a standing arrangement, often fan-shaped, to be displayed in a space such as a church or at a cemetery. If you are sending flowers to the home of the bereaved, either because you cannot attend the service in person or because the family prefers it, those are termed sympathy flowers. Sympathy flowers are generally smaller arrangements, as they are designed for display in a home rather than in a church.
Ordering with a florist:
Funeral flowers should be arranged as soon as possible so that the funeral director has time to accommodate all the flowers received. Your florist will ask from you information about the deceased, bereaved, and also the service day, time, and location. If you’d like a message put on a floral card to be attached to the arrangement, have this ready as well when you place your order. A local florist may be aware of what trends are appropriate and how best to deliver, though online ordering makes it possible to send flowers almost anywhere in the world. Depending on the type of funeral and wishes of the deceased and bereaved, you usually have the option of sending flowers to the home of the family or directly to the funeral site. Often flowers are sent to the funeral home, but you can also send sympathy flowers to the family after the funeral and burial while they are still in mourning or if they prefer flowers at their home. It is important to know where the flowers will be used in order for your florist to craft the right display.
Religions and Funeral Flower Customs that may govern use of flowers:
- Baha’i – Ideally, Baha’i burials and funerals will be held within 50 miles of the place the deceased died. It is appropriate to send flowers.
- Buddhism – Buddhists funeral services generally take place in a funeral home. It is appropriate to send flowers.
- Orthodox – Eastern Orthodox practitioners are very specific in regards to rituals for the deceased. Just three days are allowed between the time of death and the time of burial. It is acceptable to send flowers with white flowers regarded as the most meaningful.
- Hindu – Hindu funerals are held the day of the death prior to the sun setting when possible. While flowers are not common at Hindu funerals, a spray of flowers is received as a thoughtful gesture.
- Judaism – Jewish tradition does not place value receiving flowers. A gift basket or fruit basket during the mourning period would be appropriate. Younger and more liberal Jewish followers may appreciate flowers sent to the home or at the entrance of the synagogue; though if in doubt, select a contribution other than flowers.
- Mormon – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will appreciate flowers or funeral sprays during the time of mourning. Avoid sending a cross design arrangement.
- Muslim – Muslims and Islamic cultures have different customs pertaining to funeral flowers depending on the particular branch or ethnic origin. Always inquire as to the type of affiliation from a close member of the family and seek their advice prior to sending any flowers. Avoid sending a cross design arrangement.
- Christian – All Christian religions allow any type of funeral flowers; however, certain branches or denominations may have particular opinions in regards to elaborate displays and may only wish to receive very basic and simple arrangements. It is always best to check with a family member when possible as to what is appropriate.
- Catholic – Roman Catholics accept flowers and funeral arrangements, preferably at the church or cathedral.
The selection of decoration and personal flowers for your wedding can be very exciting. It also can seem a large undertaking to arrange as there are many variables and choices to be made. The number one consideration to always keep in mind through the flower selection process is that there are no wrong choices for your wedding flowers. All recommendations are provided as guidelines but your own personal preferences always take precedence. Flowers play various roles at the wedding and may be simple or elaborate depending on the style of the wedding itself and the venue that is being used. Ideally, flowers will seem individual that they were specially selected for the wedding couple.
The ultimate goal for your flowers is for them to integrate with your overall wedding theme and reflect your personal style. As you work with your florist for your wedding flowers, know that their job is to provide helpful advice as well as interpreting your desires. The more information you can share will assist them in making your vision a reality. Good communication with your florist is key, so if you don’t feel the rapport is right, you may wish to find a florist who is familiar with weddings and can interpret your style.
In general, less is more when it comes to flowers and when chosen correctly, the right flowers can go a long ways in adding a splash of colour as ornamentation on top of all the other parts of the wedding. As you begin the process of choosing your wedding flowers, take some time to browse through bridal magazines and garden guides to see what flowers appeal to you. You may even wish to visit a nursery or greenhouse to see various types of flowers in person. Classic wedding flowers that you can’t go wrong with include roses, peony, lily of the valley, hydrangea, orchid, and calla lily.
Once you’re starting to think about what you might like in terms of flowers, you’ll want to be sure to calculate your budget so you know what funds you have to work with. If you find some of your choices are over-budget, you may be able to find similar alternatives that are less costly. Be honest upfront with your florist as to what can spend so that they can devote their attention to meeting your needs. If you must focus on one thing, let it be the bridal bouquet. Backdrop foliage can ‘fill in’ and create the sense that you have more floral arrangements than you actually do. Fragrant flowers (for example, frangipani, lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, and sweet peas) also create the impression of more flowers than you have. Centerpieces quickly add up and you may wish to keep them very simple.
Colour is the ultimate role of flowers as they are one of the most visible displays of your wedding theme and your chosen colours. Your flowers should complement your wedding dress, the clothes of the wedding party, and the venue as it will be decorated for you. Seasonal availability may affect your colour choice as well, especially when paired with budgetary concerns.
Some popular choices by colour:
White: rose, sweet pea, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and snowdrop.
Pink: rose, ranunculus, peony, sweet pea, carnation, tulip, protea, boronia, and lily.
Lavender: lavender, lilac, anemone, statice, iris, delphinium, and hydrangea.
Yellow: daffodil, sunflower, tulip, gerbera, lily, and freesia.
Red: gerbere, rose, dahlia, poinsettia, and amaryllis.
Some popular choices by season:
Spring flowers: amaryllis, anemone, daffodil, freesia, gerbera, lily of the valley, orchid, ranunculus, stephanotis, and sweet pea.
Summer flowers: anthurium, carnation, chrysanthemum, gypsophila, lily, magnolia, peony, rose, and sunflower.
Autumn/fall flowers: agapanthus, aster, clematis, daisy, hosta, hydrangea, passion flower, and pinks.
Winter flowers: camellia, euphorbia, iris, nerine, pansy, poinsettia, snowdrop, tulip.
All year round flowers: calla lily, carnation, gypsophila, orchid, protea, rose, and tulip.
If you are on a budget, the top priority should be first for the bridal bouquet which should be the largest and most elaborate of all the bouquets.. This is the one place not to skimp! White is a traditionally popular colour choice for a bridal bouquet, but other soft pastels are also often used such as pinks of all shades, burgundy, and violets. Some considerations in creating your bouquet include the style of your dress, your height, and your wedding theme/personal style. You want the bouquet to match your dress in terms of its colour, style, shape, and detail. In general, a larger dress requires a larger bouquet; likewise, a slim fitting dress takes a simpler bouquet. The key to bouquet design is that your flowers don’t drown you, hide the silhouette of the dress, or unbalance its line.
Bouquets also come in various shapes including round, tied, and cascade (trailing). Don’t choose a trailing bouquet if the feature detail of your dress is on the skirt as it would then be obscured by the flowers. If you have a long train or bustle, you might want to balance the look with a large dramatic bouquet. Plan to avoid hiding your waist as it’s often your narrowest part; you want to always make your bouquet narrower than your waist. For an added touch of glamour, you may wish to incorporate pearls and crystals into the bouquet. Tying the stems with wide satin ribbon affords a rich, luxurious look and sheer or organza ribbon can be made into bows and streamers.
A round bouquet is a popular choice which works well with large flowers such as roses and peonies. In a round bouquet, flowers are loosely arranged with foliage and tied with ribbon. Trailing (cascading) bouquets are traditional and formal and excellently suited for romantic wedding gowns and large dresses; they will overpower slinky or form-fitting gowns. Trailing bouquets consist of flowers wired to a handle. Tied bouquets are hand tied casually or wound together with wire. Tied bouquets are suitable for a modern, simple dress at a contemporary wedding. A posy is very small and simple in design and is hand tied with ribbons. Lily of the valley is a popular choice for a posy style of bouquet. A pomander bouquet lacks foliage and may be suspended on a ribbon to be worn on the bride’s wrist. For modern and slim-fitting gowns, a slender bunch of lilies or perhaps an elegant bouquet of exotic blooms and tropical foliage would be appropriate.
Once the bridal bouquet is taken care of, there is the rest of the wedding party to consider. Bridesmaids’ bouquets can be a smaller version of the bride’s. Alternatively, you may wish to alter the shape (i.e. bride’s is trailing while bridesmaids’ are round) but the colour theme should be maintained. The flower girl could have a small basket of flowers that match the bridesmaids’ flowers with a basket of a white or pastel shade and then scatter the petals as she walks down the aisle. Another possible ideal is a spray of flowers attached to a piece of ribbon then tied to her wrist with the ends made into a bow. This is a great choice for a very young girl who might struggle with a basket. A floral headband or other floral hair ornament would be a nice gesture for the flower girl as well to make her feel extra special.
After the bridal party, there is the flowers for the bridegroom and groomsmen. While buttonhole/boutonnieres are simpler than bouquets, they are no less important. The groom’s flowers should be slightly different than those of the groomsmen and often a single flower that matches the bride’s bouquet is used for the groom. Popular choices for men’s wedding flowers include: roses, carnations, orchids, and small varieties of lily such as lily of the valley. You may wish to give the fathers of the bride and groom a special buttonhole bloom of their own as well.
Lastly, the mothers of both the bride and groom should be given corsages that complement their outfits. Popular choices for corsages include roses, orchids, camellias, and gardenias. Often grandmothers and perhaps special aunts will also wear corsages again being careful to match the clothing they will be wearing.
A new baby is certainly a cause for celebration and a beautiful floral arrangement in honour of the birth is a welcome gift for the new mum. Some mums may appreciate receiving flowers while still in the hospital while others may prefer the chance to get home first. As much as you can, try to determine whether the mum is adjusting easily or if she’s occupied with other concerns so your gift can come at an opportune time for her. For a mum who is an allergy sufferer, consult with your florist for low-pollen options such as roses, carnations, lilies, and orchids, or consider other options such as balloons and soft toys.
In terms of blooms for the bouquet, roses are always appropriate as they signify feelings of love, both from you and also between the mum and her new bub. White roses represent innocence and purity while yellow roses promote joy and care (red roses are usually reserved for romance). You may wish to send pink roses for a girl and for a boy, roses can be dyed in blue tones.
If you’re so inclined, you may wish to include the birth flower of the appropriate month:
- January – Carnation
- February – Iris
- March – Daffodil
- April – Daisy
- May – Lily
- June – Rose
- July – Larkspur
- August – Gladiola
- September – Aster
- October – Marigold
- November – Chrysanthemum
- December – Poinsettia
Other options for newborn arrangements include carnations, soft and fluffy blooms that invoke feelings of joy, happiness, and celebration. Pink carnations traditionally represent a mother’s love, regardless of the gender of the child. If you feel carnations are old-fashioned for a particular mum, a modern variation could be gerbera daises which are available in many colours.
White lilies work well for newborns because of the association of white with purity and innocence. In general, lilies work well for a more sophisticated arrangement. Daffodils are another bright and cheery choice, representing new beginnings and new life. Flowers are also for the mum, so add colours that she may enjoy such as reds and purples. There are no hard and fast rules; you may wish to examine some samples from your florist then tailor your gift to the mum’s and your tastes.