Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner (in the US and Canada at least), I thought I would do a pair of special posts with some ideas on how to make your Mom’s day special – even if you are on a bit of a budget. Today’s post will feature some tips and tricks on how to gussy up a grocery store bouquet into something very special and thoughtful for Mom.
I love purchasing grocery store bouquets. Sometimes you can find a great deal and turn it into an accent piece for your home with a little thought and some creativity. For this post, I picked up two bouquets of tulips at my local Sobey’s store. Each bouquet had 10 flowers in it for $6.99, so I was able to make two pretty arrangements for just over $15 including taxes. I happened to have some containers at home I could use for the project, but feel free to look around and get creative for this. If you don’t have a few dollars to buy a small glass vase at the dollar store or home decor store, check around the house for some unused glassware – I used a large mason jar and a plain wine carafe for this as an example.
After you know what you will be putting the arrangement in, it is time to check out your local grocery store, wholesale store (Costco has beautiful flowers), or other floral supplier for some blooms. You may want to brainstorm a bit before to think of what you may want to go for in your bouquet. Does your Mother have a favourite colour, flower, or a decor theme in her house? These things can all help you to design a personalized arrangement for her. Groupings of one type or colour of flower can make a big impact (groupings of threes are traditional in most floral arrangements and in decor), as can a bouquet of all one flower type – like the tulips in my example pieces. If you are working on a small budget, you may also want to pick up some greenery to include in your bouquet to add some volume to your arrangement – but this step is completely optional. If you have no idea what to go for in your arrangement, don’t worry! There are plenty of beautiful pre-made bouquets available for special occasions that you can grab and tweak to your preferences.
As I mentioned earlier, I picked up two bouquets of tulips – one white and one a pale pink and will be using a large mason jar and a wine carafe to put the arrangements in.
Now, once you get everything home and unpacked, put some floral preservative in some room temperature water in your containers and stir it up. I like to unpack my flowers and “edit” the bunch. This can be important if you have purchased a mixed bouquet, as you may want to pick out one type or colour of flower to make a more streamlined arrangement that fits your theme better. You may also want to eliminate any damaged or wilting stems. I thought that my tulips were in overall good condition, so I kept them all to arrange.
The next step is to trim the stems and remove the leaves. It is important to take off some excess leaves so that the plant isn’t trying to keep those unnecessary pieces alive and not feeding the flowers. Then, trim the bottoms of the stems once you figure out how long you want the flower to be for your vase/container. Always trim your flowers before you arrange! If you aren’t sure how long you will need your stem to be, take a bit off at a time. I prefer my flower heights staggered, so they aren’t competing for space, but also so they all have room to shine. Make sure to trim the stem on an angle, this type of cut allows more water to flow up the stem to keep the bloom nice and hydrated. If you have some greenery in your bouquet, or a flower with a thicker stem (like a sunflower), trim the stem straight (horizontally) and then make a small vertical snip at the very bottom of the stem to allow more water flow.
Now that you have all the snipping and trimming out of the way, it’s time to arrange! I have heard various things about arranging flowers, but I think it is probably up to the individual who is doing the arranging. One tip is to make the arrangement in your hands first, so you can easily move it around and see the bouquet from all angles to make sure it looks great all around. I usually place my bouquets on a table against a wall, so I typically arrange my flowers in their vase, moving the flowers around as I go until I get them the way I like. You can also create a grid out of clear floral tape on the top of your container before you begin. This can help you to organize the flowers and also makes sure they aren’t going to slide around in the vase – which is helpful if you will be transporting your arrangement any great distance. Another great tip is to use plenty of greenery in your arrangement to beef it up, and also as an anchor to keep the more decorative flowers in their place. Always start with your greens first (if you plan to use them) and then add the other flowers around them. Basically, it is up to you how you make your arrangement. Just use your imagination, check Pinterest or Google for some inspiration for arrangements or flower combinations, and try to make the flowers you’ve chosen into the best darn arrangement you can!
Believe me, I am no expert at flower arranging. However, I love flowers and believe they really can add a special touch of personality to a home. I also think that (most) ladies love receiving flowers on a special occasion, and once you tell your Mom that you picked and arranged the flowers just for her, I’m sure she will be touched. They may not last forever, but hopefully your gift to Mom will be a budget friendly gesture to show her how much you care for her.
I hope you enjoyed my post & let me know if you decided to try these tricks & tips out yourself for you or your Mom. Join me again on the weekend for a second Mother’s Day post with a delicious and fun recipe to treat your Mom on her big day!
PS: Thanks to my sister, Morgan – a former florist – for her help with tips that I’ve included in this article!