Like anything, choosing flowers to style at home or even to gift for a friend can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. When faced with beautiful flower tables brimming with pretty bloom after pretty bloom, overwhelm can set in and it can be tempting to walk out the door empty handed. Here we provide you with some tips and know-how so you can choose flowers to display at home with confidence.
Choose fresh flowers
It may seem obvious, but selecting fresh flowers is a great place to start. How can you tell if flowers are fresh? All flowers are different but as a rule of thumb, choose flowers with strong petals which are not wilting. If there are leaves on the stems, select flowers with leaves which are not yellowing or drooping. And finally, check for slimy stems and murky water as this is a sign that the flowers have been around for some time.
Some flowers with textured petals may look like they are drying out to the everyday person but may have been fresh from market that very morning! For example, roses have an outer layer of guard petals to protect the inner flower which can be plucked off once you get home. Other floral varieties such as stock and tulips might have naturally ruffled or textured petals which are completely normal. If in doubt, ask your florist!
Select flowers to suit your vases
Have a think about where in your home you would like to style your flowers and what vases suit the spaces. Would tall vases or short vessels suit better? Clear glass or a metallic or textured finish? This will determine which flowers you select. It may be common sense, but tall vases require tall stems and wide vessels may require multiple bunches or a chunkier style flower. An easy and stylish way to present your flowers is to cluster two different sized vases together and display tall flowers of one type in a taller vase and short flowers of another type in a low vessel.
Consider your colour palette
Choose flowers which suit the colour of your interior styling. You may have a neutral colour palette at home and might want to continue this theme with white and green blooms and foliage. In this case, you can bring in a varying texture to create contrast. Alternatively, you may want to inject a pop of vibrant colour to contrast against a colourless background.
Think about the style of your home
If you have a classic or traditionally styled home you could consider fussier mixed arrangements put together by your florist, or prettier seasonal blooms. If your house is modern, you might like to display large structural leaves or impactful feature flowers. One flower variety displayed en masse works well in most spaces regardless of the style, and bud vases in the bathroom or on the bed side table are a wonderful way to use any shorter broken stems.
Consider flower longevity
You may prefer that your flowers last a long time, or you might want your home filled with your favourite flower regardless of its longevity. If you resonate with the former, you may like to consider ‘set and forget’ types such as foliages, native flowers, orchids and even oriental lilies, all of which can last for weeks and sometimes months with little care required! Generally, the ‘prettier’ the flower, the more temperamental it can be and the shorter shelf life it will have. All those lovely spring blooms such as lilac and snowball vibernum? These beauties have a shorter lifespan than the varieties mentioned earlier and can also be higher maintenance as they drop their tiny little petals everywhere!
Another tip regarding longevity is to select flowers which are grown locally as opposed to imported from overseas. Flowers which have been imported have spent many days in transit before they make it to the florist floor. But sometimes we have no choice… For example, if you want peonies in the cooler months, they must be imported from Europe.
Talk to your florist
If you are struggling to know which floral varieties to pair together, have a chat to your florist. It is their area of expertise after all! Your florist can advise you on what colours work together, what flowers will suit your collection of vases at home and can answer any questions you may have about longevity or flower care. Florists also have some tricks up their sleeve for the care of individual flowers which will ensure you experience their beauty for longer. This is one of the benefits of selecting your flowers from a florist over a market stand.
When you get your beautiful blooms home, don’t forget to look after them. Generally, you want to re cut the ends of the stems before plunging them into a vase of cool water. Then every second day, wash the vase, refill with fresh water, and recut the stems before adding the flowers. Most importantly, enjoy!