Flower arranging 101

Hey guys….hope you are all doing great whether you are in the sunny south or battling out those brutal temps north of the border!!

This post was meant to go out last week but as luck would have it my photos would not load from my phone to my computer! I swear…I did something in my past life that prohibits me from using any technology! I have a little tech-devil that sits on my shoulder and waves his little pitchfork just to mess me up!

Onward – With Valentine’s day coming up I thought it would be fun to try my hand (again) at DIY flower arrangements. As luck would have it there was a class being offered in our community by Alice’s Table.

Our teacher was such a gem and brought a lot of enthusiasm to our class.  I have already signed up for the next two classes.

As you will see below I took a lot of photos. As we moved through the class I tried to take a photo of each step so that I would remember how to make these on my own.

At each place setting, we were supplied with the necessities….apron, snippers, watering can, rose strippers, clear tape and green florist tape (not in photo) and a small glass vase that Alice mentioned were available at our local dollar store…and you know me…I love the dollar store.

This is waterproof ribbon….did you even know there was such a thing? The great thing about this is that when this arrangement is kaput I can simply wash this ribbon and pat it dry…I can reuse it in another arrangement. It’s made in Italy and is available through Royal Imports.

Next, we placed the ribbon inside the glass container, partially filled with water and sectioned off the top with tape. The more sections you make the more controlled the flowers will be…so if I had of used more than this I might have only been able to place one stem per hole as opposed to putting 2 or 3 in each section….there is no right or wrong to it…more of a preference.

The first thing that goes in is the base of the arrangement…your greens is your frame for your creation. You don’t have to do this step but if you don’t I think you would use a lot more flowers…I loved using the eucalyptus. I chose to leave mine a bit on the long side so that it hung over the sides.

Next we used a single Hydrangea as the show stopper. We removed all but one leaf.

I am sure most of you already know that the stem has to be cut on an angle. The reason we do this is to make a greater surface area on the stem for the water to soak in. For Hydrangeas, it was suggested that we also make a cut right up the centre of the stem thus allowing even more water in. This is a really bad cut…lol…I had to snip and redo.

When using Hydrangeas it is really important to spray them…seriously we sprayed them every few minutes…I was surprised how quickly they soaked up the water.

Next, we used this handy little gizmo to remove all of the thorns from the roses…this clamps around the stem and then you simply tug your way down and voila!! All gone! No worries if you don’t have one of these, you could easily use a small paring knife.

They went from this……

To this…..Before we go ahead and cut the stems there is one more step…we peeled off all the outside rose petals. These petals are called guard petals. When you buy roses at the grocery store you should remove these when you bring them home…they are not as colourful and can be a bit droopy looking….if you purchase roses at a floral shop the florist should remove them before sending you home with them.  Good little tip right? You’re welcome!

OK…so next step…because the Hydrangea is the wow flower you will want to cut your rose stems slightly shorter. You should also cut them at varying heights so that you have more depth and dimension to your arrangement…OMG…you guys are learning so much from me!!!

Once you have cut your stems to your desired length you can start inserting them into the arrangement. We used 5 roses. I had to take a couple out and re-trim until I was satisfied with how they looked….and again, this is personal preference. Some of the ladies taking the class left their stems a tad longer and their arrangements looked a whole lot different than mine.

I placed one of the roses right inside the hydrangea.

After our secondary flowers were in place we added the smaller white roses to start to fill in the arrangement. We were given 2 stems each of these roses…if I had purchased the roses myself I for sure would have used another one at the back of the arrangement as this was not one-sided.

Woops….I skipped a photo in my arrangement. We all received hypericum berries (top right) to continue to fill in any gaps.

For an unexpected wow factor we added one single succulent. Below I will walk you through how to add a stem to a succulent. If you were making a boutineer you would follow these same steps.

The first thing you need to do is remove enough leaves to give yourself a sizeable stem to work with. Pinch the leaves and pull them off. Don’t throw out the leaves that you picked off. Once you notice the edges getting dried out you can place them on some soil and grow your own succulents! They are very ‘in’ right now. In fact, my next floral arranging class is making an arrangement out of succulents. I’ll be sharing that info with you as well.

Using a piece of floral wire you want to pierce the centre of the stem. Not too far up or it will become wobbly… it is a little bit of a hit and miss. If it breaks or is too wobbly you will likely have to cut the stem off and remove more leaves to give it another go.

Once you pierce the stem you can pull the wire through to the centre point and then squeeze the two ends together and wrap them around each other.

Using a wooden skewer….push it into the middle of the stem being careful not to go too far in – or else you might stress the stem…from here you will wrap the wire around the skewer and then cut the skewer to the required length and insert into your arrangement. Wait a minute…whoops again!! Another missed photo…because we are professionals at this we want to do it right…using green florist tape you want to wrap tape around it – from the succulent stem all the way down the skewer so that it looks like a green stem…THEN you can put it into your arrangement. *TIP…when using the tape cut to the desired length and then give it a good tug on each end…that’s what makes it sticky.


I put the succulent right into the hydrangea.

DIY flower arrangements. Visit www.savvysnowbirds for step by step instruction on how to make this beautiful flower arrangement. Perfect for you next tablescape.

And here is the finished arrangement. Who knew I could do this?!!! It turned out so pretty.

Our class was two hours long and we worked on the arrangements the entire time. I am sure once you make a few you will cut some time off of it. It really became obvious though that when ordering beautiful table centrepieces you are paying for the expertise of the florists. Typically you can buy 3 hydrangeas for $10 and half a dozen grocery store roses for the same, add two more fillers like babies breath and greens which is really cheap…and you could easily whip up a few arrangements for much less than you would pay at the florist for a single arrangement of the same size.

I hope I have inspired you to give flower arranging a go! Don’t think too much about it…just jump right in.  It’s fun and if you don’t like it you can simply take it apart and redo it. In fact, Alice recommends that we take these apart when it starts to wilt and recut all of the stems and put it back together to get even more time out of it.

Unfortunately, the photos of the entire class did not turn out…but you can see with these lovely ladies how different their arrangements are.  Everyone’s was unique to them. It was fun to see how different all of our arrangements were at the end of the class.

Teacher’s pet!!! LOL…

I am excited to get started on some Valentine’s arrangments and I have a couple of crafts I will be sharing with you too…but first…I am off to Universal with the little ones for a fun-filled week of amusement parks, swimming, arcades and of course lots of nana snuggles!



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  • Reply
    Jackie Wells
    January 26, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Hey Marion Girl! It’s friggin freezin today in Burlington but the lesson on your lovely flower arrangement has warmed up my day! Love the explanation and will make one myself! We are not in Florida as of yet but hope to get there in April for a month. In the meantime, enjoy beautiful Bonita Bay! Looking forward to seeing your Valentine creation!

    • Reply
      January 26, 2019 at 7:09 pm

      Hey Jackie….your message made me smile!!! I do hope you are staying warm….if it makes you feel any better it is chilly here today as well…and by chilly I need to wear a sweater!!! LOLOLOL….sorry….couldn’t help myself! I would love to see your flower arrangement if you make one!!! You can private message a photo of it on FB and I will put it on Savvy’s FB page!!! You take care of yourself. Thanks a bunch for checking out the blog today and for the comment too…they make my day!

  • Reply
    Roseamond Scherle
    January 27, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Loved your blog Marion and your flower arrangement. Have fun at Disney with the kids. We are so lucky to be in the sunny south. Hugs, Rose

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      Happy Sunday Rose. Not much in the way of a sunny south today is it? With all the rain today it is the perfect day to go buy some flowers and try one of these arrangements out for yourself…get Ted to help:) Thanks for stopping by Rose and for leaving a comment. I love knowing your guys actually read the blog! LOL

  • Reply
    Mary Lynn
    January 27, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Another great post and i would love to say i was going to whip one up myself however not happening, just a little too brrr🥶🥶 here in Oakville. You are one talented lady, never stop. Can’t wait to get together in Palm Springs☀️☀️☀️🍷🍷😘

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Good morning Miss Feenan!! It is yucky all across Florida today! The entire state is getting rain. My pool is maybe 2-3 inches from overflowing. All I could think this morning is thank goodness this isn’t snow!! We’d be snowed in for a month!!! Anyways…no worries about not making your own floral arrangement…your local florist is a phone call away!! Let them battle the elements! Looking forward to PS as well. At least the weather there looks promising!
      Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Steve Duffield
    January 27, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I am so lucky to have a wife this creative. Our home is always warm. Now, can you please go get groceries!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      HA HA….right after I make the beds, do the laundry, pack for our trip…etc, etc, etc!!!
      But thanks for taking the time to comment….luv ya!

  • Reply
    Mary Peterson
    January 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Love your arrangement! And thanks for the helpful hints!!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      Hey Mary…Thanks for the compliment. You should sign up for the next class. Have a wonderful day…and stay dry my friend!!!!

  • Reply
    marion hunter
    January 27, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Always such a pleasure to read your blog Marion. Have taken a flower arranging class years ago at rbg but your pics are so much better to learn by and your sense of humour always brings a smile . Cold and snowy here so this blog is a welcome site (sight). Bravo

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks, Marion. I am happy to know that I explained it all ok…I worry about being all over the board.
      Stay warm….it is a rainy day here…but I am not complaining. I am taking advantage of it by hanging in and watching chick flicks!
      Stay warm Marion and as always, thanks for the lovely comments.

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