The Morning Team gets "flowery"

February 13, 2009 4:18:30 AM PST
As much as people like flowers and chocolates for Valentine's Day, let's tell the truth: a pocketful of posies tied in a ribbon is boring.Click here for a link to Robertson's Flowers, which was gracious enough to teach us a thing or two about arrangements!

Long stemmed roses in a box are kinda sexy...until you have to tromp off to find your gardening shears, gloves and a vase, all to wrestle them into an arrangement. But in this recession, who has the money to ante up for something different or expertly arranged?

Turns out you can hit any nice grocery store or nursery and turn a handful of flowers into something artsy and exquisite. Proof of that: The morning crew headed off to Robertson's Florists in Wyndmoor to try our hands at a little arranging. While Tam loves to muck around in a garden, the rest of the team described their thumbs as more black than green! If we could make Valentine's Day magic, well....

Designer Morgan Bedore usually turns her talents to wedding displays. She met us with four examples of Robertson's special V-Day creations: Matt would take on something called "Wishing and Hoping." David had the "Flirt." Tam would recreate "The Lady in Red" and Karen would fashion "At Last."

Could we make our versions look as nice as the ones done by professional artists? Matt was up first, with a design based on the elegance of simplicity. He had tulips, hyacinths and roses. The trick was artfully trimming each type of flower down and wrapping them in colored tissue paper, then arranging them in a vase.

David had simple pink tulips. The hard part was learning how to wrap elephant ear leaves and placing them in the vase, so they become an underwater screen for your unseemly roots. Tam had a similar challenge, using the finer bear grass to wrap inside the vase. But she also had to figure out how to make a cone of roses.

Karen got really close to nature, interspersing tree branches with roses and decorative grass. How to make it look pretty, not wild and unruly?

Turns out that all we needed was a little instruction and about twenty minutes. Matt learned that if he held his flowers on the side of the table, he could get a perfect estimate of how high they'd stand, letting him know where to cut his stems. David simply wrapped his elephant ear around his hand and placed in his vase; when he let go, it expanded out and created a gorgeous natural wrap for his tulips. He also foud that after you insert a handful of your flowers with their foliage, you completely strip down the rest of your flowers of leaves. That lets you work in more flowers in the arrangement.

Tam found that making her cone of roses was really easy. You just start with one and ring it with other roses, about a 1/2 inch down. Keep repeating, droping down 1/2 an inch; voila, a cone!

Karen discovered that you can make some stunning in just moments. A few rocks in the bottom of her vase anchored the tree branches and roses. She looked like she'd made an art installation more than a flower arrangement!

Here are some final tips: Cut your stems at an angle before placing them into water; they drink up more moisture this way. Change the water every day. And keep flowers out of direct heat or sunlight.