Have you bought flowers from a florist lately? The prices are ridiculous. I’ve worked in a couple of the best flower shops in Dallas over the years, and I guarantee you that anyone can have professional looking flower arrangements from the super-market with just a little effort….and a few secrets of the profession.
To make the cranberry and rose centerpiece from our Christmas Eve party all you need is :
- 36 red roses ( the color is called “Freedom” ) they come in bundles of 18 or 12
- a small potted Norfolk pine tree
- a few bags of firm cranberries
- a simple wide glass cylinder vase
- a pair of sharp clippers ( these are key )
Everything can be found at a good-sized grocery store…except the clippers…pretty sure I got them at Home-Depot.
Whenever I’m buying roses, I always squeeze the rose heads and make sure they are tight and firm. I know it’s a struggle to pass up flowers that are fully open and beautiful…but these blooms won’t last very long in a heated house in December. Roses are always prettier after they have had a few days to soak up water and open the petals, so I remove the wrappers immediately to give the flowers room to open. A fresh cut is mandatory…( every time you buy flowers ) then I put them into a bucket of fresh water to sit in our cool/dark garage for a day or two….as long as the temp is still above freezing that is. It’s been in the 40’s to 50s here all week. After 2 days they looked like this……
They sell Norfolk pines as small Christmas trees, but I just use them as filler and a base to hold the roses in shape. Bet ya didn’t know that you can cut up a potted plant just for flower arrangements. Of course, I had to pick off small plastic glitter balls first. A ‘high-end” florist would never use Baby’s Breath or some other kind of filler…..I prefer the monochromatic red roses and cranberries with just a little bit of green pine poking through.
One good clean clip, about 10 inches down the stem is all it takes….
A few of these in the vase filled with cranberries and cool water is the start of the process…I rinse off the cranberries in a collandar first to keep the water clean. Just one mushy cranberry will give the water a pink tint…..Not good.
It’s important with all flowers to cut them at an angle, so there is more surface area to absorb water. This also prevents the stem from sitting flat on the bottom of the vase.
I cut all of the roses to about the same length and started inserting them into the pine pieces to make a dome shape… Be sure to pull off most of the leaves…because these will just rot in water. About 36 flowers later, I ended up with this…..
I guarantee this would have been about $200 dollars at one of the florists that I worked for…