The Hippo


Apr 23, 2019








Step two of the bouquet process. Photos by Jon Allen.

Bouquet of love
Step-by-step instructions for making your own bouquet


 If a dozen red roses is too cliche for your tastes but you still want to give the gift of flowers on Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to create your own bouquet. Judy Puszka, shop manager at Chalifour’s in Manchester, offers a step-by-step tutorial to making a unique arrangement for your someone special.

Step 1
Choose your vase and fill it with room-temperature water. You can choose whatever vase you like. Puszka went with a clear, simple vase. 
Step 2
Prepare to put some greens into your vase. According to Puszka, greens are the base of your bouquet. In her bouquet, Puszka used Israeli ruscus, lily grass and lemon salal. 
“It’s best to cut stems with a straight-edge knife; flowers need a straight edge,” Puszka said.
Cut stems at an angle. 
Puzska also said that there should be no foliage below the water line. Any leaves on the stem that would sit in the water need to be removed. 
“When you’re putting the greens into the vase you always want to make sure you are criss-crossing the stems as you work,” Puszka said. “It will help to hold the flowers in place so they don’t fall right through.”
Step 3
Time to pick your flowers. Puszka said the first flowers are called line flowers. These are tall flowers that will add height to your arrangement. 
“Your arrangement should always be 1½ times taller than your container,” Puszka said. 
In this bouquet, Puszka used delphinium flowers as her line flower. 
Puszka also said it’s good to keep turning your vase in a circle while you are working on the bouquet so you can see if from every angle. 
Step 4
Next are large flowers. Puszka used Gerbera daisies. Each daisy had a plastic sleeve on the stem, which Puszka calls a Gerbera sleeve. The plastic sleeve helps to keep the face of the daisy straight. 
Puszka noted that when working with flowers it is good to work in odd numbers. She will often use multiples of three like she did in this bouquet. Puszka has also added hydrangeas to this arrangement. 
Step 5
Next up are medium- to small-sized flowers. In this bouquet, Puszka used lisianthus and stock flowers. Puszka noted that this is where you start to see the bouquet take shape, and you fill these flowers in wherever you feel you need them.
Puszka noted that you need to make sure you are still cutting all of the stems at an angle and turning your vase so you can see each side of the bouquet. Make sure you are still criss-crossing your stems as you are inserting the flowers into the vase. 
“You need to make sure that the stems get as close to the bottom as possible,” Puszka said. 
Step 6
The last step is to add in the filler, or accent flowers. In this case, Puszka used spray roses and wax flowers. Spray Roses have more than one rose on their stem.
“Roses are great because they come with guard petals,” Puszka said. “You can remove all of the outer guard petals and it doesn’t harm the flower. It’s sort of a protective flower and that’s for regular roses and spray roses.”
Don’t forget that you can always add Valentine’s Day heart balloons and accessories to jazz up the bouquet, or stick in a card with a sweet message.
As seen in the February 6, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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