March 16th, 2022

DIY Floral Therapy Presents: $30 Bouquet On A Budget

It’s no secret that plants and flowers have a affect on our mental health. A study at Texas A&M showed that “keeping flowers around the home and in the workplace greatly reduces a person’s stress levels.” The study further stated, “Natural aesthetic beauty is soothing to people, and keeping ornamental flowers around the home environment is an excellent way to lower levels of stress and anxiety.” (1) But what about the activity of arrangement?

The art of arranging flowers can be dated all the way back to 2,500B.C. (2) Within the last few years more studies have been conducted on how mental health benefits from the act of arranging flowers.

Clinical studies have been made proving positive results for arranging flowers and mental health. Those studies confirm a link to the act of arranging flowers and the promotion of calm feelings. (3) Other benefits include cultivating a sense of beauty, stimulation of positive emotions, being more aware of our environment and meaningful connections. (5)

A study in Japan found positive benefits for those with neurocognitive disorders such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, finding improved motivation and cognitive abilities with flower arranging activities or what they referred to as (SFA) Structured Floral Arrangements program. (4)

Simran Mohinani, a Hong Kong resident, offers free workshops every month for flower art therapy. She uses this to help with her general anxiety disorder, and teaches the art after she noticed the art was beneficial for her mental health. (5) According to RHS (Royal Holloway, University of London) director of science Alistair Griffiths, ‘It’s called the theory of flow. You become so engaged in an activity – such as harvesting and arranging cut flowers – that you enter into an almost meditative state. It distracts from everyday life and allows you to reboot and restore yourself.’ A recent survey by the RHS found that 71 per cent of people say nature has helped their mental health during lockdown. (6)

For our floral therapy project, we are going to use a spring green and winter white theme. Emerald foliage, chartreuse blooms, and flourishing textures mix with creamy whites and delicate ivory that project calm, peace, renewal and a little bit of romance.

This flower arranging project is based on a full sensory experience to immerse your mind, leaving no room for anxiety or negativity.

For our project, I stopped by to see Brenda, at Brenda’s Biddle Avenue Florist. If you are not a current client of mine and live out of the area, Brenda gave me this advice; with current world events, prices and availability, prices on certain flowers are fluctuating. The flowers we put into this project are most likely readily available and are in season for early spring or common flowers or foliage a florist would keep on hand. Brenda advised these flowers for vase life, cost consideration, availability, and aesthetic presentation. The result is a stunning floral arrangement that will last two to three weeks for around $30.00!

Choice of Vase For Your Project

For the vase, I have an old La Boutique De Fleurs Enamel Jug with a handle I use for small to medium floral arrangements. Its one of my favorites.

The shape of your vase will help determine the overall shape and look of your arrangement. Bottom heavy vases work well for this project.

 White Flowers

White Daisies are long lasting with a vase life of just over a week. White daisy’s symbolize gentleness and love. This is a popular flower as stems have multiple blooms and they are available throughout the entire year.

White Carnations are classical, wholesome and symbolize purity, pure love and good luck. The cabbage shaped flower showcases a unique texture with curves and ruffles. Carnations have a two to three week vase life if cared for properly and are available throughout the entire year.

White Alstroemeria, also known as White Peruvian Lilies are a very popular flower that symbolizes love, strength, support and purity. These flowers have a vase life of around two weeks or a little longer with proper care and are sensitive to ethylene damage so make sure to keep any leaves or petals out of the water. Alstroemeria have multiple blooms on each stem, lending to create fullness in your arrangement. Alstroemeria are available throughout the entire year.

 

Green Flowers

Chrysanthemum Green Buttons symbolize hope, cheerfulness, rest and optimism. These flowers have a vase life of up to 14 days with proper care. This flower is wonderful for adding interest and texture, but also assisting in creating fullness as each stem has multiple blooms. Chrysanthemum Green Buttons are available throughout the entire year.

Green Foliage

Seeded Eucalyptus is a cost effective filler that if cared for can last for a week before it beings to dry. This foliage is one of the most popular green floral additions in the world. The almond shaped leaves feature a dusty green coloring while the clusters of seeds provide a distinct texture and subtle sage color. This foliage is available all year, but limited April-June due to the seeds popping and cupping

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus is a long lasting foliage, with a vase life of two to three weeks. This foliage is more distinctive than seeded due to the spaced out round flat leaves. Often both kinds of eucalyptus are mixed together creating flair and texture. This foliage is available throughout the year.

Baker’s Ferns, also known as Leather Leaf are a popular for vase filler choice as they are in season all year and last 1-2 weeks with proper care. These emerald greens have strong stems that help keep your arrangement structured.

For this project you will need the following:

1 Vase of Your Choice

1-2 Spray Painted Branches (Make these at home)

4- White Carnations

3- Chrysanthemum Green Buttons

3- White Daisy

3- Baker’s Ferns

3- White Alstroemeria

2- Silver Dollar Eucalyptus

2- Seeded Eucalyptus

There are no rules for this flower arrangement. Remember this project is personal to you and how you create your vision.

That being said, here are just some things to take into consideration:

  • This is a “front facing” arrangement, if you would rather have a 360-degree display, you will need more flowers especially to add to the bottom and balance out. By doing a “front facing” arrangement, you save on overall cost.
  • Focus on balance for your arrangement to be visually impactful. Its not so much about symmetry but finding the beauty in balance. Symmetry is impossible with flowers as no two flowers are the same size and shape. Experiment with different heights to create impact while playing up interest.

Tips on Keeping Your Arrangement Beautiful & Long-Lasting

When putting your floral arrangement together, make sure you condition your fresh cut flowers as this step will prolong the life of your blooms. Cut stems underwater preventing air from entering the new cut. Use warm water to assist in hydration. After cutting, quickly transfer your blooms to your vase. Stems should be cut at a sharp angle.

Using a floral preservative can prolong the blooms up to twice their normal lifespan. The preservative contains sucrose that acts as a source of nourishment with carbohydrates kept away from energy providing sunlight. Biocide in preservatives will kill any bacteria or fungi. Acidic additives mimic the pH of the plant sap, assisting on stabilizing the colors of your blooms.

By changing the water every other day, your helping to prevent fungi. Don’t forget to add more floral preservative and take this time to also remove flowers and foliage that are wilted.

I would like to thank Brenda at Brenda’s Biddle Avenue Florist for time she spent with me to educate on flowers and foliage, care, and showing me how to make an arrangement. Brenda, your expertise and passion for your craft are very much appreciated!

2848 Biddle Ave, Wyandotte, MI 48192

(734) 285-2444

https://biddleflorist.net/

How did your arrangement turn out? Email me at hello@theavalondayspa.com with comments and images of your arrangement I can add to this blog! I would love it if you shared your joy with me!

References:

  1. https://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_flower_arrangement
  3. https://www.psychreg.org/flowers-mental-health/
  4. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01328/full
  5. https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/3161388/how-flower-arranging-helped-chronic-anxiety-sufferer-and