how-to

Hydrangeas

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Today we're here to tell you a little bit about hydrangeas. Though our own hydrangea bushes only began to flower this season, we have had many weddings bedecked with these lavish beauties over the years. You can find these rich blooms growing on shrubs, and ranging in color from white, to pink, to purple or even blue, all depending on how acidic the soil is. Here are a few tips on working with hydrangea for floral arrangements:

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  • Before cutting your hydrangea stems, you want to be sure that the plant was well watered a day ahead of time. The word 'Hydrangea' comes from the root word 'hydra' meaning water. In other words, this plant loves water!
  • It's best to cut hydrangea in the morning or evening when the temperatures are not as intense. If you cut your blooms in the middle of the day, the bush may be stressed from the heat and your flowers won't last as long.
  • After cutting, place stems directly into warm water and then straight into a cooler or refrigerator. Be careful though, the ethylene emitted from produce can damage your flowers! If you do not have access to refrigeration, simply place stems in cool water treated with flower food.
  • If your blooms begin to wilt prematurely, do not fret! There may still be hope! We have found that giving the stems a fresh cut, and then placing them in warm water has revived hydrangea in the past.
  • With freshly cut hydrangeas in water, you can usually enjoy their blooms for about a week. This flower however, does not do well in floral foam (oasis) and will only last about 12-36 hours in foam.

We hope you enjoy these bountiful beauties!

 

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How to: Make a Boutonniere

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Hey everyone! Today we'd like to teach you how to make a simple boutonniere. Here's a list of the things you'll need:

- floral wire

- floral tape

- clippers

- glue

- pin

- sturdy leaf

- focal flowers

- filler flowers

- twine or ribbon to cover the stem at the end (optional)

Ok, now that you have all your supplies, let's get started! First you'll want to start by making a 'base' for your boutonniere. Taking your sturdy leaf, 'stitch' through the back and back down so that your leaf looks like this:

Now, bend your wires down. We're trying to create a stem!

Next, using your floral tape, tape the wire all the way to the bottom so that no sharp edges poke through. You'll want to catch a little bit of the leaf in the tape to stabilize. Floral tape isn't like other tapes that stick with little to no pressure. This tape is almost like a wax and becomes adhesive when stretched while applying pressure.

This is what your leaf will look like from the back:

Next you'll want to wire your focal, or main, flowers. Why wire them, you may be asking? Well, because you want your flowers to be flexible in order to get the exact shape and angle for your boutonniere. Stems easily break or become floppy when moved around too much, so wiring makes your work more moldable. Here is one way that we wire flowers:

Taking a piece of thin floral wire, create a very tiny hook

Pull the wire carefully through the center of your flower, stopping when you can no longer see the hook.

Once it is pulled through, tape it the whole way down (including the existing stem) so there are no sharp edges poking out the bottom. Now that you have your focal flowers wired, and your base ready, you can tape them all together. Maneuver your flowers into the right position, and hold on tightly so they don't shift as you tape them together.

Now you're ready to glue in your filler flowers. We use glue instead of wire for a couple reasons. 1. Most filler flowers that we use are too small to wire, and 2. You want your boutonniere to be as light weight as possible, so adding more wire and tape would weigh it down. This process can be a little messy so you might want to lay down some newspaper to catch the drips. A little bit of glue goes a long way, and be careful to keep everything tucked behind your main flowers so you can't see the glue.

We keep a mirror in our workspace so that we can check how our boutonniere will look pinned to a shirt. It's amazing how different it can look while sitting flat on a table compared to on a person. Lastly, now that you have everything in place, you'll want to cover your stem with something. Depending on the occasion it could be ribbon, burlap, twine, fabric, ric rac, or whatever you can think of!

And of course, don't forget the pin! You did it! Give yourself a big pat on the back!