City Cafe

Flower Cutting and Arranging 101

Credit Kate Sweeney / WABE

  If you’ve spent the summer in the yard, it may be that you have a garden full of flowers, ready to be cut and arranged. But even for those of us who’ve never planted a single flower, horticulturist Geri Laufer is here to provide some tips on creating floral arrangements indoors.
On one recent sunny morning, we paid a visit to Geri’s home garden, where she taught us flower arrangement—from garden to table.

Broadcast version of story that aired Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

More Flower Arranging Tips From Geri

Homemade Flower Preservative Solution

(courtesy of the Perdue Department of Horticulture)
  • 2 C lemon-lime soda (with sugar)
  • 2 C Fresh Water
  • ½ teaspoon Chlorine Bleach
This is a version of the powder preservative that comes with cut flowers.

  Use disinfected, sharpened bypass pruners or a clean, sharp knife to harvest garden flowers.Immediately plunge the flowers into the bucket of water and flower preservative. Re-cut each stem UNDERWATER on an angle, to increase the surface area and ensure that it won’t sit flat on the bottom of the vase. Trim off any buds or twigs that will be submerged under water so they won’t rot.

Arranging and Maintaining Flowers

Position the flowers with a floral frog, chicken-wire mesh, pebbles at the bottom of a vase, or oasis floral foam. You can also create a grid “tic-tac-toe” pattern at the mouth of a vase using gardening tape, or even medical tape.

Remember to arrange odd numbers of flowers; this is more pleasing to the eye. Change your water and floral preservative each day, and enjoy your arrangement away from direct sunlight.