Photos courtesy Blucid Floral.

Make floral arrangements like a flower fest artist: Five tips from Louisiana pros

Spring into this new season by making floral arrangements, whether you’re plotting an Easter tablescape or simply looking to bring beauty into your home.

From selecting flowers to styling, it can be tricky to know where to start. 225 chatted with florists Brandi Charlot, owner of New Orleans-based Blucid Floral, and Dominique Rogers, owner of Fresh N Fancy in Baton Rouge, about how to turn springtime blooms into stunning creations. Both florists will be working amongst the flowers April 5-7 during the Flower Fest, where Charlot is the event’s floral lead and Rogers will be volunteering. The festival at Pointe-Marie showcases sculptures and creations from florists from all over Louisiana to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Here are some tips and tricks they shared on preparing DIY arrangements.

1. Follow a floral recipe.

Rogers recommends following a floral recipe, which can help to save money and prevent you from overbuying flowers. Think of selecting flowers like following an ingredients list. For example, if you plan to fill five vases with roses as the focal flower, first see how many roses will fit into each vase. If each vase can reasonably hold three roses, then you know you will need 15 roses. Then add style through greenery and filler flowers.

“That’s what I teach in all my classes. … I give them the basic concepts of how to design, but then I tell them ‘You use your own creativity,’” she says.

2. Trim and measure.

Charlot recommends first measuring your vase to ensure the flowers will fit inside. Then, cut the stems an inch-and-a-half from the bottom before placing them in water. Trim the stems at an angle, Charlot says. The slanted cut will allow them to last longer. Slicing straight across allows more air to get into the stem, Charlot says.

3. Grocers will be your go-tos.

Wondering where to purchase flowers? Charlot and Rogers agree that any grocery store is a great place to start. In Louisiana, florists need a license to purchase from most vendors, Rogers says. Instead, Charlot and Rogers recommend that amateur floral designers source their blooms from places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Alexander’s Highland Market.

4. Know your blooms.

Each flower is different and requires specialized care. When starting out, research flowers that are stable and have long lives, the florists say. For flowers that last, Rogers suggests working with roses. Statice is also a great filler that lasts, according to Charlot.

While hydrangeas are popular, they’re some of the hardest flowers to keep alive. If hydrangeas are a must, though, spray the heads with water to keep them fresher for longer. Similarly, gerber daisies and peonies are difficult to work with since they are so delicate, Charlot says.

5. Just do you.

At some point, you have to pick up the flowers and just get started, Charlot says.

“Go with your feelings. Choose flowers that make you happy, because it’s about your happiness,” she says. “And if you’re happy, someone else will pick it up and love on it just as well.”

This article originally appeared in 225 magazine’s 225 Daily newsletter.