Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in Flower‘s March-April 2019 issue. Due to worldwide efforts to contain COVID-19, availability of flowers at your local grocery story may vary. However, we hear reports of well-stocked floral departments.
There’s one more item to add to your grocery list, and that’s flowers. Ready-made arrangements from the store can sometimes get a bad rap, but all you have to do is disassemble a few bouquets, and voilà! You have all the materials for some pretty designs that can be made to your taste.
When shopping the floral section, look for what’s freshest and most colorful. Go for a bouquet with more blooms in it, as opposed to one with more greenery, and don’t be afraid to squeeze the base of a bloom—the firmer, the fresher. Here, I was able to create four beauties with my Whole Foods bounty, including one that looks especially at home in the kitchen.
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Arranging Grocery Store Flowers, Step-by-Step
- Bells of Ireland
- Hypericum berries
1 | This arrangement is going on a large kitchen island so I pulled out a pitcher, which is the perfect scale. Begin with the greenery. I’m using two types of eucalyptus, but this seeded variety is up first.
2 | Follow with more greenery (another variety of eucalyptus or something similar), but this time make it really spray out. Some greenery will fan out on its own, which makes things easier. Add some bells of Ireland here and there around the edges, after stripping the lower part of each stem that will be underwater. Now it’s time for some color! The bright-pink stock is just what this design needs, so add a few to the center of the arrangement.
3 | I was able to find a ready-made arrangement that included snapdragons in two colors, pink and yellow. Once again, be sure to fully strip the stems of any lower leaves. You don’t want any leaves to be under the water level because bacteria can go wild with foliage in there. Now is a good time to go ahead and pull off any brown or wilted blooms; just carefully remove them. This same method goes for the stock and really any element included in the design.
4 | Introduce more color, starting with yellow roses. Strip the lower leaves off before snipping the stems to the desired length. Add a few stems at varying heights throughout. Bring in another snippet of green with the hypericum berries, followed by the strawflower in the much deeper pink. The bright colors here make the overall design a happy one.
5 | Tulips, the finishing touch, were sold as a bunch in the store and not in a ready-made arrangement. They give great movement, mirroring the fanned-out eucalyptus. Snip each stem to the desired length, pull away the lower leaves, and place throughout. The end result should look loose, not tight.
By Mimi Brown | Produced by Abby Braswell | Photography by Becky Luigart-Stayner