Hand-tied bouquet for mom
I think it is fairly safe to say that all moms appreciate flowers. I am sure there must be a few moms out there who are not interested, but I'll bet the numbers are not huge. Recently my daughter Lauren and I got together with our friends Jenni and Debbie for a night of mother-daughter flower arranging. We also ate a great salad and drank Moscow mules, so the night was as good as it gets: good friends, mother-daughter time, flowers, good food and a very tasty cocktail.
Hand-tied bouquets are not just for weddings; they are a beautiful and practical way to give flowers. Next time you bring flowers to someone try this simple method of arranging them. All the person receiving the flowers has to do is drop them in a vase. At the very most they may have to shorten the stems.
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You can use any kind of stemmed flower for these arrangements. We chose to use roses and some filler flowers. For one of the bouquets we tucked in some rosemary sprigs from my yard for another layer of fragrance.
De-thorning and removing leaves
The first step is to remove the thorns and the leaves from the rose stem. You will love this handy tool. This stripper makes removing thorns and leaves quick, easy and pain free. No more pricking your fingers on thorns.
Hold the flower stem in your left hand just below the flower. Loosely clamp the stripper around the stem and pull down swiftly, stripping the thorns and leaves away. (Note if you are left handed, reverse the hand positions.) You may need to break off very large thorns by hand, but for most part this stripper does a great job.
Cut a piece of waxed string
Before you begin the arrangement cut a 30" piece of waxed string and lay it on the work surface in front of you. Once the flowers are arranged you will use this string to tie off the flowers. Don't wait until after the flowers are arranged to cut the string. If you have to set the flowers down to cut the string you will lose your arrangement.
Begin arranging the flowers
You are going to arrange the flowers in your left hand, using the crook between your thumb and your index finger to hold the flowers. Start with three flowers.
Your dog may want to help you out with this. Again, these directions are for right-handed people. If you are left handed, reverse the hand positions.
Add more flowers
Now start adding flowers one-by-one. After you add a flower or two, turn the bouquet a quarter turn and add a couple more flowers. Give the bouquet another quarter turn and add a couple more flowers. Keep turning and adding flowers so that you build the bouquet out on all sides. Your center flowers should be the tallest and the flowers around the edges will be the shortest.
As you add flowers you may need to use your right hand to pull a flower out a bit more here and there to get the shape you want. You are trying to create a rounded, dome-shaped bouquet. Keep adding and turning and pulling until you achieve the size and shape you want.
If you want, you can add a collar of greens. I like to use rosemary to finish off a rose bouquet by adding a few sprigs around the outer edge of the bouquet.
Tying off the bouquet
It really helps to have an extra set of hands when you are ready to tie the bouquet. Once the bouquet is arranged to your liking, hold the bouquet while someone else ties the bouquet off. Wrap the string around the stems below the flowers and tie securely with a square knot. Tie the knot so you have an equal distance of remaining string on each side of the knot.
Tie tight enough to secure all the flowers in place. Don't tie too tightly or you risk pinching off the flower heads. For roses you can tie off fairly close to the flowers, about 4" down from the flower. For other flowers with more delicate stems you may want to tie off a couple inches lower so there is less pressure on the stems right below the flower.
Securing the stems
Now lay the bouquet down in front of you. Take hold of each of the strings and wrap the string around the stems in an x-fashion, alternating X's on the front and back of the bouquet, and working your way down the stems. Once you have secured 4 - 6 inches of the stems, tie another square knot and trim the loose pieces about 1/2" from the knot.
Trim the stems
Now you are ready to trim the stems. Using sharp gardening clippers or better yet floral scissors like these beautiful Kotobuki flower arranging sheers, trim the ends with a diagonal cut.
You can add a ribbon bow if you like.
Drop into a vase
Drop the bouquet into a vase and you are good to go!