How to make grocery-store flowers look custom

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On a recent trip to Kroger, I picked up these beautiful peonies. Everyone loves peony season, right? My arrangement went from there. I like to pick tightly budded flowers when buying them at the store. That allows longevity of your arrangement because they are typically the freshest. When buying flowers for an arrangement I also love to pick out my stars first, like these peonies, and then build off that. I also picked up eucalyptus (a personal favorite), carnations in this lovely pink/cream ombre, and one stem of hydrangea. 

Things that I always do when arranging flowers is choosing my vessel wisely. It helps if you clean anything you keep flowers in really well after you are finished. I have found that a few drops of bleach alternative (I love 7th Generation) along with soap and water really keeps the ‘gunk’ out of my vessels. This not only helps your flowers last longer, but it helps come time to wash up as well.

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I also always cut my flowers at an angle on the stems. This helps them not to sit flat on the bottom of your vase where they would not be able to get any water. It helps to have really sharp scissors so you can snip the stems as well as strip any leaves that would fall underneath the water line of your vase. Not only do the leaves in the water contribute to murky water, but removing them allows the flower food in the water to only go to parts you can see. Win-win.  Tip: if you have any longer leaves, save them in a pile to add in later if you have an empty spot.

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I am a huge fan of odd numbers and asymmetry when it comes to most things, but especially flowers. I always start with the filler greenery arranging it for fullness and giving a base to put the bulkiest, most show stopping flowers in the vase. In this arrangement I used eucalyptus because I love how it rambles and flows everywhere. The stems are usually pretty long so you can get a lot of bang for your buck with these. The next item I add to any arrangement are the ‘filler’ flowers. These are usually the cheapest and most plentiful thing I put in an arrangement. I found these stunning carnations for a steal and scooped up the last bunch they had. Carnations come in so many variations and I think they are pretty under-rated. They work really well due to their clustered nature to fill in any blank spots of your arrangement, they are cheap, and they last for well over a week. The final step are my showstopper flowers. Typically these don’t last as long as the other flowers in arrangements so putting them in last also lets you remove them and still have a decent arrangement if they fade faster than the rest. In this case I cut the 5 peonies I had to varying heights and then the single hydrangea to a height where it would drape over the side.

Just remember to change the water, to assemble with love, and to not be afraid to re-arrange and your grocery flowers will look like a million bucks even though you only spent $15. Do you have any flower tips or favorites? I would love to hear them in the comments.

My favorite grocery stores to get flowers are Trader Joes and Kroger. The Kroger clearance florals sometimes have GREAT bargains if you are wanting something for a short time like an event.

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