Floral Arrangements: How to Choose Your Flowers

Fresh flowers are a splurge that can really brigthen up someone’s day and their home! A great way to save money locally is learning to arrange them yourself versus ordering delivery. I also like being able to pick the colors and variety in my flowers. Depending what is in season, you may save a little money selecting the individual flowers versus a pre-mixed bouquet.

Where to Buy Flowers

In my experience, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and farmer markets or flower marts offer the most affordable, high quality fresh flower options (for both bouquets and unarranged bunches). My local grocery stores (Publix in this example, and Kroger) also have a pretty good selection, and frequently run sales or BOGO deals that make them budget-friendly as well. Publix typically has a 3/$12 section and a “special” bouquet that is cheaper than the others. Kroger often has a clearance section of flowers – some are about to age past their prime, but I’ve found great steals for arrangements in excellent condition they are just trying to rotate out of the display,

Types of Flowers

This is astrolomeria

Think of your flowers in 3 different groups: stars, fillers, and greenery. The stars are the flowers that will stand out in your bouquet, typically from size, color, shape, or all of the above. These are your roses, sunflowers, stargazer lilies, etc. Typically this is the most expensive part of your flower arrangement.

The fillers are typically smaller flowers that are meant to fill the empty spaces around your arrangement so it looks lush and full. These are typically cheaper for the amount of flowers in the bunch. Common filler flowers include astrolomeria, mums, carnations, and daisies.

I used to dislike astrolomeria (or Peruvian lilies) because some of the colors are a bit softer and more subdued than I prefer for flowers. However, these are now one of my favorite filler flowers. They are very inexpensive, come in a ton of colors, and each stalk has multiple flowers and leaves so you get a bit of bonus greenery with these. They also sit really well in a vase – you don’t have to manipulate them a lot. Because each stem has multiple flowers, they fill in pockets really easily versus a single flower that you have to place with more intention to avoid holes in your arrangement.

Greenery is your literal green leaves or non-flower components that completely fill out your flower arrangement and provide extra color and texture for contrast to the other flowers. Common greenery in floral arrangements includes eucalyptus leaves, myrtle leaves, and fern leaves. I also count baby’s breath in this group. Even though it is white and can be used as filler, the way you can spread and almost drape baby’s breath makes it behave more like the leaf and green components.

Selecting Your Flowers

A simple formula is to pick one flower from each category above. If you’re feeling fancy or you want more volume to your flowers, select a second filler. In this example I picked roses from the star group, astrolomeria and carnations from the filler group, and some eucalyptus leaves for greenery. The roses were on BOGO at Publix, so half off since I just got one bunch!

For colors, I prefer to let my star flower have the boldest color (bright pink, purple, yellow, etc.). For fillers, I’ll either go with white flowers or a complementary pale pink or purple. This is an easy way to pretty much guarantee that everything “matches,” versus selecting competing colors or colors that are almost but not quite the same across the entire arrangement.

Most stores will have the filler and greenery grouped together. You can also look at the pre-made bouquets for a little inspiration or to see how different flowers look grouped together!

If you are going for a really big arrangement of one type of star flower, you may not need very many or any filler flowers (just greenery or something small). For example, a really large bouquet of roses, sunflowers, or peonies can look great with just some greenery or a bit of baby’s breath.

In my next post, I’ll talk about how to arrange those flowers once you get them home!

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