Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Go With the Flowers

Everyone likes to receive a bouquet of flowers- it's one of those human universals like blinking or yawning when someone else does. But not everyone likes to pay for pre-assembled bouquets that contain a lot of fillers and tend to die quickly. That's more subjective, like whether you like reggae, or creamy or chunky peanut butter. In case you are wondering, the answers for me are yeah, mon and chunky and I hate buying those bouquets. But by the time I usually get around to purchasing a bouquet, I'm typically already late to the dinner party, or the airport or the hospital, or piano recital or whatever, and my options are typically limited to whatever they are selling at my corner deli.

Deli flowers might seem cheap, but if you know what to look for, you can walk out with a fresh, beautiful bunch that isn't expensive. And with minimal labor, you will be able to transform it so it looks like it came from a fancy florist, with no one the wiser.  And as a bonus, you can pick me up some chunky peanut butter while you're there.

1. Read my tips for choosing the freshest blooms at the deli, then go buy some. I got all of the flowers above for $25, and that included a splurgey bunch of renunculus that I just couldn't resist.  Try to stick within a color palette- I chose a springy mix of yellows and pinks- it will keep the bouquet looking sophisticated.

2. When you get the flowers home, remove the plastic protector sleeves and rubber bands.

3. Remove any wilty leaves from the stems, as well as any that branch off from the lower half of the stem. This will keep them from rotting in the water and shortening the flowers' lifespans.

4. Mix up the blooms, aligning the blooms at the same height. I like to put clusters of similar flowers together, and make sure the colors are roughly evenly distributed. Trim the stems to the same length at the bottom.

5. Wrap the bouquet in tissue paper. Start with the bouquet on a diagonal across a few sheets of tissue, then fold the bottom corner up over the stems and wrap the sides around the bouquet tightly. Tie with a pretty ribbon to keep it all together.

6. Present them to the sick, pregnant, traveling, pianist hostess, and watch her delight!

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