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Living life beautifully could not happen without fresh flowers.  I always have fresh-cut flowers in the house.  It is true attainable luxury.  My good friend Stephanie of P e t a l o s Floral Design took the time to show me the ropes, give me some tips and mostly just enjoy a day together chatting, laughing and playing with flowers.  Between the flower market, lunch with a few cocktails (“The Lily”, how appropriate) and an in-depth floral design session we had a lovely day.

 Steph and I have become fast friends and met through the Portland Wedding community.  I really admire her work and am always so happy to collaborate with her on creative projects and photo shoots. P e t a l o s is the recipient of the 2011 The Knot Best of Weddings Award and so much of her lovely work has been published on Style Me Pretty, Ruffled Blog, and Veranda Magazine.

We met at the Portland Flower Market, I had been dying to go and it was such a blast.  I was like a kid in a candy shop. I would have taken one of everything.  The photo above is a flower I love called Lisianthus.

Calla Lilies at the Flower Market.

I was instantly drawn to these Tuberoses.  The smell is to die!  If were bottling a perfume it would smell like these.

What to look for when buying flowers:

  • The flowers should look like they are in good shape. Try to avoid picking any bruised or dying stems.
  • If you are having house guests or a dinner party I suggest buying the flowers 2 days before the event to allow the flowers to really open up.
  • If you are buying general flowers for the house with no occasion look for tight buds, that way they will last the longest.
  • Keep flowers out of the direct heat and sunlight to prolong their life. Proper air flow will also help.

Fresh Flower Care: When you first bring home flowers take them out of their plastic bags and strip off the leaves. Re-cut the steam at a diagonal and place them in water. The photo above is everything prepped and ready to go.

Above: Building a nice centerpiece for my dining room table with Hydrangea, English Garden Roses, Cabbage, Heather, Tuberose, Scabiosa and Lisianthus.

Here is the lovely arrangement. Building an arrangement is totally up to the designer, but here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Combine different shapes and textures.
  • Try to build a color gradient so there is some type of cohesion.
  • Fill any voids with greens or smaller filler flowers.  We used Lisianthus and Scabiosa for our fillers.
So beautiful!

The next project on the list was the making of a Bridal Bouquet!!! It was super intimidating, but I am proud to admit that I pulled it off…with help of course.  Steph reminded me to fill in the gaps and the voids, the key to making a bouquet look full and complete.

Almost there…now I really need some help finishing it off….

Just lovely.

More Tips and Tricks:

  • Experiment with different vases.  They don’t have to be a typical glass vase.  Try a martini glass, Mason jar, teacup or vintage tin can.  Pretty much anything goes, be creative.
  • A good, clean set of garden sheers. They should be dedicated to flowers only, that way it will cut down on any bacteria that might shorten the life span of the flower.
  • Use clean containers or vases; any bacteria will again just shorten the life span of your beautiful arrangement.
  • If you have an event the day of your flower purchase you can dip the stems into warm water to speed up the opening process of any flower.

If you are in Oregon and in need of amazing floral arrangements, wedding flowers, or styling for an event, contact P e t a l o s Floral Design. Oh, they also do destination weddings too!