So what exactly does a florist use to prepare flowers for wedding arrangements and party flowers? Not the typical items you might find in the garage or kitchen, but easy to obtain once you know what you are after. Here are the basic tools and supplies you need to make it easy to work with wholesale flowers.
The first and most important tool you need in your DIY kit is a good pair of Floral Scissors. They might look like ordinary scissors, but they are not. They are specifically designed to cut stems without mashing the ends which would prohibit proper water take up. For proper re-hydration of all dry-shipped wholesale flowers you really need these!
The only sure thing you will find in every person’s pocket working in the wholesale flower market is a sharp floral knife. Used for opening boxes, cutting woody stems, or removing thorns, this tool is always on hand. They come in fixed blade and folding varieties. The maker’s of those famous Swiss Army Knifes also offer a single blade folding floral knife specifically designed for floral work.
Preparing wholesale roses can be a little intimidating at first because of the thorns. They are the only flower in the cooler ready to draw blood from a novice and expert alike. While the experts probably use a sharp floral knife, the thorn stripper is the DIY flower preper’s solution. Its a simple inexpensive device that removes all the thorns with one pass down the stem. The excess leaves come off as well, making it very fast to prep a 25 pack of roses.
Next in the bag of tricks are the floral solutions. Most people think you need to add flower food to the water of fresh cut flowers, but flowers don’t really need food. What they need is fresh clean water that stays fresh and clean. Products like Aquaplus power keep the water clean and bacteria free longer than untreated water and that keeps the stems from becoming clogged. While it comes in packets for single vase use, keeping a tub or pail of it on hand is more ecconomical. If you want your cut flowers to last as long as possible, use a water treatment product.
Another favorite solution for florists is leaf shine. Like waxing the car after a car wash, leaf shine adds the finishing professional touch on all the greens and leaves in the arrangement. Wholesale greens and flower leaves often arrive dirty, dull, or with water stains. Using a spray leaf shine after the center piece or bouquet is made only takes a few seconds and restores the greens to a bright shiny luster.
Green floral wire and green floral tape are basic staples for all professional designers. The floral wire can be used to support weak stem flowers like gerbera daises or to add support to corsages and boutonnieres. Green floral tape is used to wrap hand tied bouquets and as a final stem wrap on wedding boutonnieres. Both are essential for the DIY flower tool kit!
Last but not least is floral foam and floral adhesive. Most people have seen the green foam in arrangements but have never worked with it. It comes in brick size blocks and can be cut and shaped to fit the vase or container being used and works to hold the flowers and other arrangement components in place. As light as a feather when dry, cut flower foam absorbs a large volume of water when soaked which then is available to keep the stems hydrated. Note there is also a dry foam that does not absorb water and is only or silk or dried flower arrangements. Floral adhesive can be used anywhere where components need to be be glued in place. Also a must for foam bouquet holders to keep the stems in place.
So if you are starting from scratch on a DIY flower project, or just want to use the right tools for the job, starting with these basic floral design supplies will make all your flower creations turn out right!
Many of us here in the Northeast long for spring, but the weather has not been very cooperative. We’ve had some serious snow lately, and more is predicted during the week. I guess this makes us all appreciate the warmer weather when it eventually arrives.
It seems like every March I start trying to make my own spring. Luckily, spring flowers are available SOMEWHERE, and can be brought to you with a little help from the Wholesale Flower Market. I just bought daffodils. In fact, I do this every year, and they look great with my green St. Patrick’s Day decorations. Did you know that daffodils are best in a vase by themselves? They secrete a sticky substance, which clogs the stems of other flowers and prevents them from absorbing water.
After my daffodils, I move on to Tulips and Hyacinths. Tulips are a great value and are wonderful not only in your home, but also as an easy centerpiece for a party or special occasion. They are always fun to watch, because they are the only flower that I know of that grows AFTER it has been cut! If you’re planning an arrangement with Tulips make sure you take that into consideration when you cut their stems.
Don’t be afraid of Hyacinths! They don’t just belong outside. These long-lasting flowers bring not only the beauty, but also the fragrance of spring indoors. And speaking of fragrance, practically nothing smells better than Freesia! If you have never ordered this lovely, cascading flower, wait no longer!
You may be surprised to know that the short-seasoned Lilac is also available right now.
You don’t have to wait until Mother’s Day. Get some now and then again for Mother’s Day!
Don’t suffer any longer from the winter blahs. Lovely spring flowers from the Wholesale Flower Market will give you that much-needed boost to get you through to the real Spring!
When our two daughters were little, as soon as the Holidays were over, I began planning birthday parties. With their birthdays in January and February, only three weeks apart, the task was sometimes overwhelming. How many things can you do with little girls in the winter? They had pretty much had it with Valentine’s Day themed parties!
We came up with the idea of a flower arranging party. We ended up with a “Springtime in January” tea and flower arranging party. Our oldest daughter loved the idea, but I wasn’t ready for the reaction from her friends. I can still remember the absolutely shocked and thrilled looks on their faces when they saw the flowers. “ Are we going to get to do something with THOSE?” they asked.
As “at home” birthday parties go, it wasn’t too difficult or messy. The flowers needed to be pre-cut and hydrated (this means letting them soak up water and can be done the day before). We worked at a table in our basement that was covered with a plastic sheet. When we finished, the plastic sheet and everything on it was picked up and thrown away.
The party also wasn’t very expensive. Wholesale flowers are a great value. For $100.00 you can buy A LOT of wholesale flowers that little girls love. We used plastic containers (the kind you buy at the grocery store for leftovers) filled with floral foam for the arrangements. They can be easily decorated with markers or stickers as an additional activity if you think you need one.
For a party of 10 girls, plan on buying the following:
10 plastic containers
Floral Foam (the green foam that florists use for arrangements, saturated with water) cut to the size of the containers. Flowers and Greens
The variety of flowers is almost endless, but consider inexpensive, seasonal flowers that are easy to work with. Roses with thorns may not be the best option, but Carnations, Chrysanthemums, Alstromeria, and Sunflowers are great. Filler flowers like Monte Casino Asters and Statice are also colorful and fun to arrange. Greens like leatherleaf fern are very inexpensive and are needed to compliment the flowers:
A sample of flowers and greens for 10 children would be as follows:
25 Pink Carnations
10 Red Alstromeria
2 bunches Yellow Pompon button mums (14 stems)
2 bunches Pompon Daisies (14 stems)
2 bunches Purple Monte Casino Asters (20 stems)
2 bunches Leather Leaf fern
One of the best parts of the party was watching the girls show their Moms what they had made. Believe me, a lot of them looked, shall we say, “less than professional”, but the girls thought they were absolutely beautiful, and their Moms did too!
Our oldest daughter ended up with the reputation of having the best birthday parties in her school. All together, she had three flower arranging parties, in second, fourth, and fifth grades. ! Our youngest daughter had one too, with equally successful results.
In fact, I had several Moms suggest that I go into the birthday party business!
If you have a daughter that loves flowers, (and I know there are lots of them out there!) and you are a “Do It Yourselfer”, consider a party that will be new, different, loads of fun, and beautiful too!