I was inspired by this arrangement, thrown together from some of my left-overs, in time for a Boxing Day gathering. The stars of the show are the amaryllis, which were purchased for a wedding that took place on December 17th, a full week before this was created! Not only are the amaryllis more than a week old, blooms that had opened earlier were plucked off and used for the Bridesmaids’ bouquets. In other words, only half of the stems are present, and they were purchased 13 days before this photo was taken! The other flowers are parrot tulips, quite a bit larger and a bit more expensive than regular tulips, but their presence speaks volumes.
So, would you pay $12-$15 for a stem of amaryllis? Before you gasp and say “I would never pay that for a single stem”, consider the size of the flowers, 10-12 inches across when fully open, and the longevity. They are what I call investment flowers.
Cheap flowers are readily available, and easy to buy. Carnations and roses are packaged by the dozen, and are often the same price as our lovely amaryllis. But do they have the same value or visual impact? Those bunches of carnations and roses are often loss-leaders, and are almost always of a lower grade, meaning that the blooms are smaller, and the varieties are the most basic. No stars here, just a cheap and cheerful mass, destined to be arranged hap hazzardly with the filler greens that came with them.
Keep it Simple
Talking with everyday consumers and brides, a frequent comment is “but they’re expensive, aren’t they?”, usually in reference to a flower that is either exotic, such as an orchid, or something with a very large bloom, such as hydrangea. Well, they may cost more per stem than another flower, but it takes several smaller flowers to make up the volume and impact of a single hydrangea. For weddings, the look and longevity of a just a few, carefully used orchids more than justify their cost, compared to the number of smaller, cheaper flowers that it will take to achieve the same size and beauty of bouquet. Having a dinner party? You can try to make something out of a mixed bouquet, with a stem of this, and 2 stems of that, some sort of tall, pokey flower, and some airy, piddly fern, or you can you use one or 2 hydrangeas for a simple, elegant effect. Cut. Plop. Fabulous. The same with a gorgeous stem of amaryllis, or a beautiful stem of orchids.
Dress to Impress
For my corporate clients, I will always suggest a single over-sized, attention-getting tropical flower, like a heliconia, paired with a chunky stem of bamboo, and a large, shiny leaf, over several small flowers for maximum impact. One 12- 15 inch stunner in red or orange beats out a few of this and that. Hands down. Lasts longer too.
I Hate Yellow Roses
At least I used to. Maybe you’re not a fan either, of any roses. Most people I know who say they don’t like roses, or that they don’t last very long, have only purchased or received the everyday, run of the mill types. The ones usually carried by grocery stores, discount retailers, and old-school flower shops. They are varieties that are plentiful, and are usually very basic colours. When, and if, they open, they are smaller, and not very interesting. They are the “B” varieties, and I’m not a fan of most of them. These are not what I use in weddings, or sell to my customers, because they often have low petal counts and smaller heads,and so, once again, they have no impact, no “wow” factor. I’d rather hear “oh my gosh, LOOK at that rose”, than, “oh, roses…”. There are yellow roses to die for! Large, ruffly blooms with hints of green or cherry red. And the same for peach and pink varieties. The rose, revisited. Just a couple glamour beauties are far more stunning than a whole dozen of whatevers. And skip the baby’s breath. Unless you have a whole bunch of it. In a single vase. But that’s another topic.
Oh, and the amaryllis? It’s now day 16, and 3 out 4 blooms are still with me. That’s what I call an investment flower.
Tags: corporate flowers, eco-chic events, eco-friendly, heliconia, Hydrangeas, Kitchener Florist, Kitchener Waterloo flowers, Kitchener Waterloo wedding flowers, locally grown, orchids, roses. amarylliss, seasonal flowers, Waterloo florist, Waterloo weddings, wedding bouquets kitchener