Photo courtesy Bubbles & Blooms.

Flower power: Bubbles & Blooms’ tips for starting a floral design hobby, and why you should

For years, I have dreaded the ice-breaker question of “What are your hobbies?” The simple conversation starter has always felt more like an inquisition. I rack my brain for any activity that I could stretch into “hobby” territory–do baths and wine count? But this year, I am putting an end to the anxiety. I am adopting a hobby.

After following the Bubbles & Blooms Instagram account for months, I was inspired to engage my creative side and bring fresh floral design into my home. Eager to get started on the right foot, I reached out to Courtney duQuesnay and Molly McWhorter for their go-to advice when it comes to floral arranging. Read on for their tips:

Courtney duQuesnay. Photo by Marcella Laine.

1. What are some of the best stores to get flowers and greenery?

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are our favorite local grocery stores to pick up non-wholesale flowers and greenery. They have a unique selection, and you can find some incredible deals at Trader Joe’s.

2. What should you look for when deciding which bunch to take home with you?

When choosing flowers, think about the occasion you’re buying for, and that will guide your selections. If your event isn’t for a few days, look for tighter buds that haven’t quite opened yet. Most flowers will open quickly after a fresh cut.

3. What are some of your go-to combinations to use for arrangements?

When designing an arrangement, we don’t seek out specific flower combinations so much as a nice mixture of large and small blooms, complementary greenery and textural elements that really pop. We love color, but if you’re just learning to arrange flowers, keeping your selections monochromatic can ensure a clean finished product.

4. Do you have go-to tips for arranging flowers and greenery? What is your advice for people just starting out?

Our go-to tip would be to not get too hung up on the “rules” of floral design, and buy flowers you love! It sounds cheesy but we always tell nervous amateurs at our workshops the same thing: fresh flowers are beautiful, and the good news is there’s really no way to make a fresh flower arrangement look too bad, so relax and enjoy it.

5. How can you extend the life of your arrangements? Are there any flowers that last longer than others?

Always use the plant food that comes with grocery store flowers. It has antimicrobial properties that extend the vase life of cut flowers. There are a few flowers–carnations, for example–that tend to last longer than others. Our advice is to choose quality flowers with tight buds and firm stems that aren’t browning. The fresher the flower, the longer it will last, no matter the variety.

6. Why do you find floral arranging to be a great creative outlet?

It’s a great creative outlet because it ignites the senses! Touch, sight and smell are all involved. Creating something beautiful is very grounding and gets you out of your head. Plus, flowers lift your mood. Arranging flowers as a hobby gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to bring joy to others by gifting your creations.

7. Why do you think flowers are worth the money?

Flowers bring the beauty of nature indoors and add a soft, calming element to any space. There’s a reason why real estate agents use flowers when staging a home. They instantly call to mind beauty and order, and they strengthen our relationships with those we love. All elements of a happy space or home!

Learn more about Bubbles & Blooms, order an arrangement or book a class at