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How to Liven up your Dining Room in Three Steps

By: Megan Tjandrasuwita

What is a better way to brighten someone’s day than an elegant bouquet of flowers? In fact, an exquisite arrangement of fresh flowers created by yourself will always bring a smile to your loved one’s face. However, many people tend to avoid arranging fresh flowers as it seems like a complex technique that only professionals can achieve.  In reality, it is a simple three-step process that anyone can complete.

First of all, to create a 36-inch tall by 30-inch width bouquet, you need a dozen of gladiolus flowers and a bunch of lush greenery such as curly fern bush or lady’s mantle. You can buy flowers and greenery at Trader Joe’s or any grocery store. With each stem towering at 40 inches tall, gladiolus flowers are not only a great pick for a grand arrangement, but they also come in a variety of colors such as red, pink, purple, blue, and green. For each dozen, you can choose either a one-color or two-color bunch. Popular choices are 12 reds, 12 pinks, or 6 reds and 6 pinks. Next, find a container or a glass vase which can accommodate a 36-inch tall bouquet. Following a general rule of thumb, a proportional vase should be about one-third of the arrangement height, therefore you need a 12-inch tall container.

After gathering all the components, you are going to shorten the flower stems. Gently tie all the stems together with two large rubber bands. Then, with a kitchen knife, mark two short lines on the stems, one at a 32 inches, measuring from the top of the flowers, the other at a 36 inches. Now, shorten all 12 stems by slicing the bunch at an angle from the 32-inch mark to the 36-inch mark. This leaves stems at different lengths, ranging from 32 inches to 36 inches long. Later during the arranging process, the uneven lengths provide opportunity to create a fuller and natural bouquet. Additionally, cutting stems at an angle gives the newly cut stems larger surfaces to absorb water which in turn will help the flowers last longer.

After the flowers are cut, it is time to arrange them. Remove the ties and place the stems around the edge of the vase with the tallest one at the center of the arrangement. To give your bouquet a round and natural appearance, vary the heights of the flowers by placing stems of different heights next to each other. Finally, fill the gaps between flower stems with greenery, and make sure the flowers spread in all directions.

Step back and take a moment to admire your new artistic creation. You have just accomplished a stunning 36-inch by 30-inch grand floral bouquet. Next time, instead of sending your teachers or loved ones a typical, plain, boring card, brighten up their day with an exquisite fresh floral arrangement.

About Megan T

Megan is a senior at The Harker School. She is interested in applied mathematics, computer algorithms, artificial intelligence, cognitive vision science, and economics. Outside of school, she is a tutor and mentor at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (BGCP), a regular volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB), classical pianist, and an avid figure skater. In her free time, she enjoys exploring hiking trails in the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe, reading science fiction books, WIRED and The New Yorker magazines.

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