Effortless Entertaining: Beautiful Blooms

Hello!  It is Erin from Fig + Cotton, and I am here today to share my recipe for gorgeous floral arrangements on a budget. Beautiful arrangements — for your home or for your soirees — need not be fussy or expensive.   I tend to lean towards shades of white and green, but your choices are endless. A quick trip to your local supermarket — everywhere from Costco to Whole Foods — can easily provide you with drool-worthy arrangements in no time.  This post will give you five no-fail tips on how to do just that.

When perusing the floral department in your local supermarket, look for blooms that are in a similar color palette.  You can use flowers ranging in price, but keeping them in the same hue will give your arrangements a look of luxury.

Think outside the box when choosing what to arrange your blooms in once you get them home.  I love using my collection of mercury glass candle holders (below), burlap-wrapped vases, mint julep cups, or vintage milk glass.  Think silver tea pots, colorful canisters, pretty bowls, compotes, your favorite stemware, and even candle holders of all sizes and shapes.  This simple tip can add a lot of interest to your simpler budget blooms.

Choosing blooms in varying sizes, heights, and shapes helps keep it interesting.  Try a non-traditional flower — such as a billy ball or spider mum — or an unfamiliar flower that is locally grown.  Or choose just one high-dollar bloom — such as a peony — among some less expensive flowers to get more bang for your buck.  Flowers of all shapes and sizes grow right along side each other in beautiful gardens and landscapes, so keep that in mind when making your selections.

I love starting with big hydrangeas.  I often begin with white hydrangeas then add in white roses inside and around the hydrangeas.  Beginning with the largest blooms, grounds your arrangement.  From there, keep moving on to the next bloom until you are ready for your small greenery and “filler.”

With such classic blooms like roses and hydrangeas, adding a bit of whimsy to your arrangements can be done through filler greenery.  In the arrangement below, Bells of Ireland fit the bill beautifully.  In addition, hydrangeas have large, dark green leaves that were a perfect contrast to the white petals.  Eucalyptus, aspidistra leaves, heather, holly, banana leaves, myrtle, hypericum, and ferns are great fillers as well.  Herbs such as rosemary and lavender can also add something very special for a low cost.

  • Change out your water in your vase regularly.  When the water becomes cloudy, switch it out.
  • Add a few drops of bleach in each vase to keep the bacteria from taking over.
  • Don’t be afraid to “clean up” your arrangements so that they last longer.  I frequently go through a pull out blooms that are not holding up well and rearrange the existing blooms.
  • Make sure you trim all your stems before placing them in the vase.
  • In a pinch, use all identical blooms.  Sometimes the most beautiful arrangements are the simplest.
  • Strip off all leaves that will fall below the water line.  This helps keeps the water fresher longer as well.
  • Use odd numbers in your arrangements.
  • Look around your yard.  Magnolia branches and wildflowers can make the most inspiring arrangements.


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  1. Excellent Erin, these are all wonderful tips and what a differnce a small, yet dramatic arrangement of blooms makes!

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