||Q: How do I put together a simple floral arrangement that lasts?Arranging flowers can be an intimidating prospect. But I find that if you stick to a single varietal arrangement, it's easy to create a beautiful centerpiece--be it for a special occasion, or just to help brighten your day. I love using tulips, because they come in so many shades and subspecies that they offer a wide range of looks without requiring the addition of any other types of flowers. Below, my quick and easy step-by-step for putting together a low-maintenance arrangement.
Items needed: Tulips, vase, liquid bleach, sharp knife or scissors
1. Buy your tulips--I find mine at my local Whole Foods, as they tend to stock a wide variety, when in season, and usually price them under $10. I like to pick buds that are mostly closed, so that the arrangement changes organically each day as the bulbs bloom.
2. Fill a vase 1/3 of the way with room temperature water, then add a splash of liquid bleach, which helps to keep the flowers fresh.
3. Hold each stem next to the vase to measure where to cut according to your aesthetic preference--leave stems longer and let them drape over the edge of the vase a bit for a casual "wild" look, or trim to a shorter uniform length for a neater, more formal one. Use the knife or scissors to cut each stem at a 45-degree angle, which maximizes the amount of water absorbed by the stem.
4. Strip the stems of any leaves before placing in the vase, to prevent loose debris in the water, which can lead to rotting.
5. Keep in a cool area, and be sure to change the water regularly, and re-cut the ends of the stems, to extend the life of your flowers.