Flower Class with BLOOM

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One of Olivia’s absolute favorite hobbies has to be creating stunning floral arrangements whenever she gets the chance. Fortunately, Olivia, Eddy and myself were lucky enough to take part in a flower arranging class with our favorite florist shop here in NYC, Bloom Flowers with their Manager/Designer Christopher whom not only taught us how to create their fabulous ‘eternal’ arrangement above but gave us some exceptional tips and tricks – from the proper way to trim your flowers, to the correct way to keep them and even how to get them to bloom faster – that anyone can use. So check out the easy steps to recreate the bits and pieces of our arrangement and look out for more incredibly useful tips as we pick Christopher’s brain for more posts to come!

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Although it may look complicated – and trust me, being a floral arrangement novice I was unnerved looking at it – in the end, this elegant display was made up of some very really simple steps that you could bring into any arrangement.

1. To create the beautiful base of seamlessly wrapped greenery – a Bloom staple – Christopher provided us with a Thai leaf (the second one will be used for the back of the arrangement). In order to be able to roll them so they don’t break, lay them flat with the back of the leaf facing you and with a sharp blade, shave down the stem along the center back of the leaf until you can easily mold the leaf into the shape of your vase.

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2. Once the rolled leaf is in place you may have excess above the top of the vase. All you need to do is line up your scissors along the top of the vase and cut straight across to make a clean finish at the perfect length.

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3. To create the rolled leaf effect in the back of the vase, take the second Thai leaf and roll from the top of the leaf about 1/3 of the way down and simply staple it so it keeps its shape. Lastly, just position it into the back of the vase.

– Tip: Place the staple as far center as you can so it is hidden within the arrangement.

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3. Now it’s time for the flowers. For this arrangement we used roses, calla lilies, cymbidium orchids, and lily grass. First step is we need to properly prep them as all flowers need to be trimmed at the bottom of the stem so they can take in water. To do this correctly there are two methods. One, you can use trimming shears which can swiftly snip off stems, buds and thorns. Or, if you don’t have this equipment on-hand, a classic sharp blade will certainly do the trick. Hold the stem of the flower with your less dominant hand with the blade in the other. Hold it as Chris displays below (with your thumb pressed under the stem and the handle of the blade under your other four fingers) and with a downward motion, cut the stem leaving an angled cut.

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To gauge exactly where you want to trim your flowers, line them up next to help you judge the best height (always be more conservative as you can always cut more but can never add back!) and vary their height slightly from one to the other (shorter ones should go closer to the outside of the vase while longer go towards the back and center).

For this specific arrangement, move your roses to one side and add the calla lilies into the center. From there, clip off a group of the cymbidium orchids and place them on the opposite side of the vase, (if there are any gaps you can fill them in with single orchids cut from their stem).

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– Tip: When handling roses, taking off the outside petals will give you a much cleaner presentation as the first layer tends to get bruised in transit.

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– Tip: To help your arrangement last as long as possible, be sure to use cold water when filling the vase and keep it in a dry cool area in your home, away from direct sunlight. Also, make sure to frequently change the water so bacteria doesn’t develop which will kill the bouquet quicker.

– Tip: On the other hand, if you need your flowers to bloom quickly for a specific event, then you’ll want to do the opposite. Place your cut flowers into a vase filled with hot water and put them in a spot with direct sunlight and within 24 hours they should bloom beautifully.

About the Author

Jillian Magenheim is the Editorial Director and Director of Partnerships for OliviaPalermo.com. She is also a digital media consultant for various fashion and beauty brands. You can follow her thoughts on Twitter @Magenhaz and on Instagram @jillianrose_m