We’ve talked a lot of flower shop on SMP.  Because we think flowers have the ability to totally transform not only your space – but your soul. And amidst tips on arranging flowers to those on making grocery store stock feel special, it’s time now to hear from Holly & Mandy‘s on what to look for when buying flowers. So that all of our fresh flowers look gorg and make everyone around them smile.

THE PALETTE:  I like to pick out my favorite flower first and then use that as my palette inspiration. From there I choose others that are in a similar color family and compliment well. Contrasting colors can be nice, but I think it’s simplest to begin by working tone on tone.

FRESHNESS: This is so key in making your flowers last longer. Always try to choose the freshest looking flowers at the market. Stay away from any browning, wilting petals or anything that just looks a little tired. When you get home immediately clip 1-2 inches off of the stems at an angle and place your flowers in clean containers full of fresh water. If possible let them drink for at least an hour before arranging them.

TEXTURE: I think it is ideal to have some nice textural variation in your arrangement or bouquet. I love ruffley flowers like the ranunculus and peonies in the photos. That said, I think ruffles stand out even more when accented by a contrasting texture – for example I wired a little pine cone into this bouquet to mix things up a bit. Using mixed greenery is another way to layer in various textures.

FORAGE: Remember that every ingredient in your arrangement does not have to be bought at a flower shop. Clipping greenery from around your neighborhood is a great way to have your finished piece reflect your natural environment. It brings the outside it. I always incorporate some greenery, vines or branches from my yard.

LOOSEN UP: I feel like this is as important for us as it is for the flowers. Just remember to relax and leave the perfectionism at the door when you start playing with your flowers. There is no perfect technique so let the beauty of the flowers speak for themselves. When you arrange, keep it loose and flowing – it’s more fun for you and each flower will stand out more that way!

Photography: Mandy Busby | Floral Design: Holly Carlisle