Floral arrangements throughout a home add a note of elegance. Bringing the outdoors in with flowers is easy, and it's good for your garden as well. The more flowers you cut, the more flowers your garden plants will produce. While it's fine to simply pop those flowers in a vase, it just takes a few minutes more to make lovely floral arrangements.
Pick the flowers in the morning while the flowers are hydrated and the temperatures still cool. Use sharp pruning shears so the cells in the stem stay open to draw up the water. Crushed stems cut off the water supply. Place the cut flowers in a bucket of water right away. The sooner they get in water, the longer they'll last.
Strip off extra leaves, especially those that will be below the water's surface in a vase. Extra leaves use up energy and water that should be directed towards the flowers themselves.
Choose a vase that is in proportion with the height of the final arrangement. A good rule of thumb is for the vase to be one half the height of the arrangement.
Clean the vase with a solution of 1 gallon of water with 1 tbsp. of household laundry bleach. Rinse well. The bleach kills any bacteria in the vase that would cause the flowers to wilt more quickly.
Fill the vase with about 2 inches of glass marbles and ice water. The marbles stabilize the stems of the flowers and keep them in place.
Fill the vase with greenery, pushing the stems into the marbles.
Keep a triangular shape in mind as you place the flowers in the vase, tallest and biggest blossoms first, medium size next and filling in with the smallest flowers.
Fill the vase with another 2 inches of glass marbles and then with ice water.