Fallon’s Spring Flower Arranging Tips

Fallon Manzella-McReady, Staff Reporter

Since March, the world has been sort of flipped on its head. There haven’t been as many social events or places to go, and a lot of us don’t know what to do with ourselves. 

Don’t worry, though. I have the answer: flower arrangement. 

Now, hear me out, I never was in favor of indoor flower arrangements because of the whole thing where the plants just sit there and die, but this year, I feel like it’s something I’m really glad that I got into because it’s so calming. 

When I arrange flowers, cut the stems, cut the leaves, put the plant food into the water, it feels like the world slows down. There are no deadlines or late assignments — my arch nemeses — in the flower-cutting world. 

For starters, you don’t need a vase. Yes, it’s true. Honestly, I think that vases are overrated, and they really don’t matter that much to the arrangement. Unless your entire focal point is the vase — like if you have a colorful vase and white flowers — then what’s holding the flowers doesn’t matter all that much. 

Mason jars, wine and water glasses, and tea cups have done the trick. I’ve even used smaller glasses for flower heads that fall off. Some even prefer the rustic look of a mason jar or the delicate, cottagecore vibe of the teacup. Really, my tip is this: Don’t worry about the thing that you put the flowers in, because that’s all it is, a flower holder. The flowers grab your attention, not the dinosaur cup you put them in.

Tip No. 2: Measure once, cut twice. This is another tip to not overthink, as it’s true. Whether you’re cutting the stems — bonus tip, cut the stems diagonally — or shearing away at leaves, the beauty of this is that you can go back, and no one’s gonna notice. Unless you cut the head off or something, you really can’t go wrong. You made one flower too short? Now you can just put right in the arrangement and give it “depth.” Or, you take your little baby stem and put it in something else. A small glass, a flute, you can put it into anything and then — bam! — two for one deal, you get an arrangement for your coffee table and an arrangement for your desk. 

Really, you’re going to have to cut once or twice because no matter how you try to measure the stem up to your glass, it’s gonna be moving around when you put another in, and they always end up diagonal anyway. It’s a battle.

Tip No. 3: Should I change the water? Eh, listen, I made an arrangement of irises and chrysanthemums in mid-January, and the irises died in three days while the chrysanthemums are still alive. I have yet to change the water. Why? I really just don’t want to, and hey, if they’re thriving, why should I? 

This may be more of a testament to the strength of the mighty chrysanthemum, but I’m going to pretend that these flowers like my lack of care. Basically, change the water if you feel like it (or if your carnations start to grow mold like mine did) and don’t do it if you don’t want to. Who’s gonna say something?

Tip No. 4: How to pick flowers. Now listen, here is another one of these things where I encourage you to be a little willy-nilly. But I also know that red carnations with pink hydrangeas might be a little much. 

What I like to do when picking out flowers is find one light color, one highlight color and one focus color. My light color is almost always something white. Any sort of fluffy white flower that you want to incorporate into a sea of yellow, or little baby’s breath that you want to use to fill in the gaps, I recommend starting out with a white, a light green or a pale pink.

For my highlight color, I usually go with yellow. That’s not just because my mom really likes yellow, but, as you can see, I like to buy three bouquets of flowers, and oftentimes that means that I have a lot of flowers leftover, which makes a lot of arrangements. There’s no rule that you have to use all of your flowers in your arrangements. Say you buy a blue, a pink and a green, you can make one blue and green, one a pink and blue, and then one arrangement that is three-in-one.

How many times do I have to emphasize this? There are no rules.

Now you have your two colors, and you can either stop here or go crazy. 

So, let’s just say you need to choose another flower. What do you choose? If you chose flowers with a lot of petals, like chrysanthemums and hydrangeas (I stan hydrangeas), you could do something like baby’s breath or lillies, which can serve as your filler or focal point. It’s up to you, but I usually go with a filler and let the colors speak louder than the leaves.