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Secret Pro Tips for Cut Flowers – Part II

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Flower Arrangement Biltmore
Flower Arranging Biltmore Foliage Cutting

Last week we looked at the first part of my series Secret Pro Tips for Cut Flowers where Molly Reed, head florist and all-around flower superstar (above), gives us a tour of the floral department in the basement of the Biltmore mansion with tips for floral arranging. Above you see Molly collecting beautiful foliage from the gardens on site.

Molly and I discussed flower design and its effect on wellness. Fresh scents of cut flowers can bring joy to someone who is stuck inside over winter or can relieve stress and anxiety for office workers. Further evidence of this wellness factor comes from a study done by Rutgers University which shows that people receiving flowers reacted with more genuine pleasure and remained emotionally connected for days after with the giver of the flowers. Below are flower arranging tips from Molly which will help you design and keep fresh flowers longer.

Flower Arranging Biltmore Vase Water

How to Create a Flower Arrangement


  • Vase
[Illustration Credit – UT HS –]
  • Floral tape
  • Scissors
  • Flowers and foliage stems
  • Floral food or Homemade Anti-Bacterial Formula
  • Water
  • Tips:

    1. Cut all flowers and foliage stems at a 45 angle under running water
    2. Pull off any leaves that will be below the water line to prevent bacterial growth
    3. Fill vase with floral food or homemade formula
    4. Add water (right)
    5. If you do not have a floral frog or placeholder of some kind, cut floral tape and criss-cross a grid over the top of the vase in order to hold stems in position
    6. Start with greenery or foliage (Molly got hers from the gardens at Biltmore Estate above) – do an outline shape first, followed by accent pieces second. As an estimate – height of the design should be 1 1/2 times the height of the vase
    7. Shape the floral arrangement in the design you prefer (see right)
    8. Add smaller flowers and accent bits first and finish with large focal flowers
    9. Molly recommends carefully dumping the water mixture out once the arrangement is finished, then adding new before displaying. Do this every couple days to maintain clean water with low bacterial growth

    Thanks for joining Molly and me for our secret pro tips for cut flowers. Biltmore is known for its Victorian-era beauty and emphasis on gardens and flowers – a passion of the Victorian’s that continues on today. If you would like to learn more about the Victoria Language of Flowers, check out this LINK from Biltmore. I hope you’ll gather some foliage and flowers this week and brighten up your season.

    Flower Arranging Biltmore Tape Grid
    Flower Arranging Biltmore Design
    FTC Disclaimer

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    One Comment

    1. Hi Shawna, Very Useful tips. That Home-made Anti-Bacterial Formula is awesome. My flowers used to lose their bloom too early. Now they are lasting longer. Thank you so much.

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