Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Grocery Store Flowers Upgraded

Your supermarket stocks fresh-cut flowers that cost a fraction of what the florist charges, but the bouquets lack grace and style. If you take apart those banal bunches of blooms, however, and remember a few quick lessons, you'll be able to transform the most common supermarket flowers into charming centerpieces.

Divide and conquer. Carnations, chrysanthemums, Oriental lilies, roses, golden solidagos, and a few stems of greenery — is typical of those sold in supermarkets. It's a confused mishmash of colors, textures, and sizes.
Contrast colors.Red roses and red carnations seem more vibrant when accented with a few sprigs of bright yellow solidago.Lesson: Never mix more than two contrasting colors in the same vase.
Go monochromatic. All the bouquet's pink blooms — alstroemeria, carnations, lilies, and daisies — are pulled out, cut short, and rearranged in a cylindrical vase.Lesson: Assorted flowers of different sizes and shapes can be mixed when they're all in the same color family, such as reds and pinks, yellows and oranges, or reds and purples.
Contrast textures. Orange alstroemeria is paired with hypericum berries for a lush and bold autumnal bouquet. The marriage of smooth, round berries and spiky flowers proves that opposites attract.Lesson: When pairing two dissimilar flowers, choose varieties with distinctly different textures and shapes.
Cut and edit. Red roses are always available, and more often than not they're sold with unnecessary greenery and baby's breath. For a dramatic arrangement, cut the stems short and place the roses in a simple frosted cylinder vase. Let the stems rest against one another to create a perfect mound of red. Lesson: Don't be afraid to discard unwanted accents or chop down long stems.
Make it mass. Carnations are sold in almost every shade of the rainbow, and because they're inexpensive, you can buy two bunches for the cost of one of another flower. Cut the stems short and stuff a vase, leaving no space between the blooms. Lesson: Common flowers look more sophisticated in large quantities.
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