Create a professional looking arrangement from a grocery store bouquet.

Most grocery stores sell pretty bouquets of flowers that come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, ready to arrange and beautify the home.  The following steps explain how to arrange a typical grocery store bouquet instead of just plopping the stems in a vase of water and letting them fall where they may.


The first step to creating an arrangement is to decide what it is for.  An arrangement that sits on an end table in the living room is usually taller than a centerpiece for a dining room table.  An arrangement for a table should be no taller than 12 inches so everyone can see over top of it.  An arrangement on an end table with one side to the wall does not have to be arranged all the way around.  It can be flat on the side against the wall. Flowers on a mantel need a shorter vase and shorter cut flowers so they don’t tower over the room. 


Choosing a container is the next consideration.  Clear glass containers are very popular, but if you would rather not see all the stems inside the vase, you might want to opt for a ceramic vase.  Ceramic vases come in all sizes and colors, so pick one that goes with the decor in the room. You can also choose any type of container that will hold water.  An antique tea pot, a pretty tea cup, or long ice tea glass make nice containers. 


Choose bouquets that have at least three different shapes of flowers, one filler and some greenery.  The flowers could be tiger lily, rose and daisy.  The lily is angular and pointed, the rose is round and layered and the daisy is a dial shape with rays.  Most grocery store bouquets include the filler called baby’s breath, which has frilly foliage and small white poofs of flowers.  Most greenery comes in the shape of a fern. 


Sort all the flowers and greenery into like groups.  Place all the daisies together, all the roses together, all the lilies together and pull out the greenery and baby’s breath.   Take each of the flowers and remove any leaves on the stem that would be submerged in water. If you leave them on, they will cause rot and the flowers will not last as long.  Just carefully pull or cut them off with pruning shears or shape scissors.  

Hold each stem up next to the vase so you can gauge the height it needs to be.  Keep most of the flowers 1.5 inches taller than the vase.  They can be a little shorter or taller than that, but remember, you want to shape the arrangement into an oval or a round shape so you don’t want a flower sticking out of the arrangement like a sore thumb. 


When you cut a stem, do it at an angle so that the stem can more adequately absorb water.  Those flowers with thick stems like hydrangeas, some lilies and large roses need a little extra work.  Place them on a cutting board and smash the very end of the stem with a hammer.  This will allow them to suck up water as soon as possible.  Water uptake is very important to cut flowers, so when you bring the bouquet home, immediately submerge it into water.  After you sort the flowers put the flowers and greenery back into water while you arrange.  Use a bucket and just make sure not to submerge the entire flower. 


A little trick to make sure you arrange the flowers evenly is to use florist tape on the opening of the vase.  Florist tape is usually green, about 1/2 inch wide or more and is slightly sticky on both sides.  You can get this tape at any craft store that sells silk flowers.  Cut wide tape long wise down the middle to keep it 1/2 inch thick or less and then arrange it like a tic-tac-toe grid over the opening of the vase. Make sure the water is in the vase before you start doing the grid because it will be hard to get in after you put the flowers in. 


Choose your focal flower.  It will be the biggest and prettiest one of all.  Place it in the center most hole in the grid straight up and down. The grid helps you keep all the flowers upright without having to hold onto them and arrange at the same time.  Take the other lilies and insert them at an angle in other grid spaces around the center one.  Place the roses all around at an angle at even intervals in the grid and follow with the daisies.  Insert the greenery all around the flowers to fill out the arrangement.  Some can be inserted straight up and down near the focal flower and all other stems should go in at an angle.  Baby’s breath is called filler because the frilly foliage and flowers fills in where ever there is something missing in the arrangement.  Place the baby’s breath in to fill and make the arrangement look full and round or oval.  Make sure all stems are submerged in the water.

Grocery store bouquets make beautiful centerpieces and it isn’t very hard to arrange them.  It just takes some tape to keep the flowers in place and make arranging a snap.