Flower Power: Blooming Floral Trends
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- Previous Next7 of 12Jeff Leatham
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- Previous Next9 of 12Jeff Leatham
- Previous Next10 of 12Courtesy of Eric Buterbaugh
- Previous Next11 of 12Courtesy of 1-800-Flowers
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Oh, Baby!2 of 12
By Emili Vesilind
Baby's Breath—the wispy white flower that, after showing up in prom corsages for decades, had all but exited the high-end floral design market—is back. Paris-based florist Jeff Leatham recently festooned the entire entryway of fashion designer Alexander Wang's new store in New York with the sweet little flower and tells us, "I love it, as long as you use it in a monochromatic way."
Fill 'er Up3 of 12
Now that Baby's Breath has taken center stage in arrangements, hydrangeas (which bloom from June to October) are the new ultimate filler flower, according to Leatham, who notes that the dome-shaped blooms are pragmatic because they "take up so much space in a bouquet and hide stems so well."
WATCH NOW: How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh
Leaves It4 of 12
Another stellar filler—and one that transcends the seasons—is foliage. Aim for a mix of branches and leaves for a wild, natural look. Mulligan likes myrtle, coffee bean branches and fern leaves. "Greenery itself is as pretty as a flower," she says, and suggests floating a lone monstera leaf "in a simple cylinder."
Swiss Miss5 of 12
Cutting flowers with traditional shears—called bypass pruners—is ideal, but if you're not in the mood to invest in good ones, then you can always use a Swiss Army knife to shorten stems. More than a few floral pros rely on the trusty tool.
Going Green6 of 12
Some of the hottest new hybrid (or engineered) flowers are nearly as green as their stems. Roses and carnations in varying shades of emerald are currently among the most in-demand blossoms, says Julie Mulligan, lifestyle expert for 1-800-Flowers. The Green Trick carnation, which resembles a ball of moss in its fuzziness, is especially popular.
Case Closed7 of 12
Rule number one in protecting your arrangements in the heat is to keep the doors closed. "People want to open the doors and let the air through," said Buterbaugh. "But it's actually not helping your flowers at all." The crisper the air, the longer the shelf life of your arrangements. So if you do leave your doors open, then consider placing flowers at a safe distance.
Simply Done8 of 12
Fussy arrangements are so passé, says celebrity florist Eric Buterbaugh, who likes a "less packed, more loose" floral configuration, using a single flower type. "I like to get a bunch of peonies and set them loosely in a vase," he says.
Hold Everything9 of 12
New to flower arranging? Leatham recommends building a collection of three vases: a square vase for flowers that "can lean in one corner of the vase," a round bowl vase "to float rose heads or a head of hydrangea in," and a cylinder vase for long-stem roses. Because "there's no sense in buying flowers unless you have something to put them in," he says.
Color Cue10 of 12
Clear is classic, but colored glass vases are wonderfully dramatic. Buterbaugh loves using black glass in particular because "it makes all flowers stand out," he says. Another of his favorite new looks comes from pairing a brightly colored vase with flowers in a contrasting (but equally bright) hue. Arranging fuchsia peonies in a bright orange vase, for example, is super chic.
Clip Tip11 of 12
Cutting flower stems in the open air can lead to an air pocket that results in a stem folding in half like an ironing board, says Anita Finkle-Guerrero, a horticulturalist with New York Botanical Gardens. Clipping flowers underwater, called "conditioning," will ensure that they stand up firmly.
Quick Change12 of 12
Make sure you pay attention to your arrangement's water supply. "Dirty water in a clear glass vase is my pet peeve," says Leatham, who recommends changing an arrangement's H2O every couple days. And always use those little preservative packets that come bundled with arrangements—they keep the water bacteria-free, lengthening the life of the bouquet.