There is no better way to bring the joy of spring indoors than with a homemade flower arrangement. No better way, unless you can also convince an expert floral designer to share his secrets for creating a masterpiece.
We used the excuse of our new Public Storage blog to introduce ourselves to Peter Otero at Silver Birches floral and event company in Pasadena, CA. Among other projects large and small, Peter’s team produces the annual Oscar and Emmy parties for Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation. Only the best for our readers!
Our new best friend showed us how to make a professional-quality arrangement out of flowers, shrubs and grasses many of us already have in our backyards. The romantic-looking custom result makes a perfect gift for your best friend’s bridal or baby shower.
“It’s completely personal. If you say ‘I just picked this for you from my garden’, who isn’t going to be so appreciative,” Peter said.
Novice DIY flower arrangers often try too hard or take projects too seriously. For the best results, don’t overlook common plants such as iceberg roses, jasmine vine, bear grass, pittosporum shrub, Mexican sage, foxtail fern, or kumquats. We used them all.
Once you gather your plants, remove the leaves that would otherwise be under water, and cut off any thorns. Then cut the stems again, this time at an angle so the plants can take in water and stay fresh.
You can place them in a second, staging vase while arranging. Add Floralife or another flower preservative to the vase you are using for your final display. Then start with a green base layer of shrubs. Peter even rolled up large bear grass and stuffed it into the bottom of our vase, to make it look interesting and to hold up the flowers.
Then he layered in lots of white and blush flowers, topping them off with brighter flowers in the same color family or with flowers of different sizes. To copy the loose, wispy style of his gift arrangement, you can even add flowers by the uneven fistful.
As a last step, he added jasmine vine, grasses and Mexican sage plumes, giving the project a professional flair.
Finally we were done and ready to leave with our arrangement. What was the best part of this assignment? Being able to bring home the roses at the end of the day, of course.
by Ann Griffith