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With this five-step guide to arranging bouquets, you can skip the florist and head straight to the flower market (or better yet, your garden).

My ideal self does a lot of things well. I speak different languages fluently, I never drip paint on the floor while doing simple touch-ups and I arrange flowers effortlessly and beautifully while wearing a lovely apron and telling some charming joke.

flower arrangingWant flower arrangements like these? All photos: Amy Preiser

And now, thanks to floral subscription company H.Bloom, I'm one step closer to my ideal self. As a preview of the new flower arranging classes they're offering in their New York and Washington DC locations, they invited me and a friend to a tutorial with their experts -- and wine and cheese. I can't share the snacks (sorry!) but I can take you through the step-by-step guide.

flower arranging

Flower Arranging Step #1: Pick your flowers. Pick your color palate. Choose flowers in groups of threes.
We chose ours from a mix of big blooms like Yellow Spider Mums (yellow flowers with lots of skinny petals), Coffee Break Roses (dark roses), Free Spirit Roses (bright orange roses) and Esperance Roses pink-and-white roses) and then moved onto accents like Happy Romance Hypericum (red berries), Erica Pink Bliss Heather (fluffy pink/purple stems), White Hybrid Waxflower (small white flowers on branches) and Yellow Solidago (fluffy yellow stems).

But when it comes to your bouquet, remember this: Just pick what you like, and what you feel goes together best.

flower arranging

Flower Arranging Step #2: Clear everything off of the stem, except the good stuff on top.
That includes the leaves. Toss all the extra aside and only focus on the long stems with beautiful leaves and flowers up top. Not only will this give you a healthier arrangement but it will look better and be easier to manage.

flower arranging

Flower Arranging Step #3: Start with one flower in your hand and place the second flower's stem diagonally across it. Slightly turn your hand, then add the next flower.
This is really the key for arranging a hand-tied bouquet. You're always turning your hand and "crossing" a new flower into the mix. This is the creative part -- use your eye to continuously try to fill out the bouquet to make it look round and full, while keeping the flowers at similar heights. Make sure to alternate between the flowers to keep the mix interesting. And when it looks just right, use the leaves to surround your bouquet.

flower arranging

Flower Arranging Step #4: Tie things off and cut the stems
It's easiest if you have a friend to help you. At H.Bloom we used Oasis wire, but if you're doing this at home, try stealing a twist tie from a bag of bread. It has a similar consistency and gets the job done. Once your bouquet is secure, snip off enough of the stems so it will fit in your vase.

flower arranging

Flower Arranging Step #5: Line the vase with broad leaves.
We used Aspidistra leaves. See how only two leaves lined in there cover the glass so that you don't see the tied-off, naked stems? It's a tiny touch that makes things look super professional.

flower arranging

I'm grinning here because I'm so proud of my first flower arrangement. Not bad, right? And check out the pro-level arrangement made by my friend Nicole!

And now -- more exciting news: For those of you who still prefer a florist's perfect touch, H.Bloom has generously extended a special offer for DIY Life and ShelterPop readers: If you're in New York or Washington DC, head over to H.Bloom and use the coupon code ShelterPop25 for 25% off any floral subscription's first delivery!

Still have flowers on the brain? Check out...
America's Most Fascinating Public Gardens

Celebrate Spring at Home like Eva Mendes
April Flowers: What's Blooming?


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