Four Steps to a Beautiful Holiday Bouquet

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year for flowers. Winterberry, amaryllis, paperwhites and tulips are abundant everywhere from the grocery store to the local florist.
 
This weekend I grabbed some flowers from a local street stand and put together a quick holiday arrangement for a cocktail party I'm throwing this week. (Already the lilies are making my apartment smell wonderful!) Here's a quick how-to on creating your own beautiful holiday bouquet.
1. Start by placing your greenery and larger flowers in to your vase (I used a simple glass one). These add structure to your arrangement and help support the other flowers. In this case, I layered the lilies and amaryllis first. (Tip: Make sure to take any leaves off the would touch the water to avoid creating bacteria.)
 
2. Next, add any flowers with a wood stem or branches -- these lend height to your arrangement. I started by adding winterberry and white lilac. If your branches have an odd shape, or are very dense, feel free to remove some of the extra branches. Again, make sure to remove any of the smaller branches that may touch the water. (Tip: Cut wooded stems on the diagonal and then split up the middle to allow more water to reach the flower.)
 
3. Layer in some of the smaller, more delicate flowers. Try to place pockets of color around the arrangement, varying height and texture to add some visual interest. In this case, I added some French tulips, paperwhites and Star of Bethlehem. (Tip: Most people see arrangements at eye level on a table, so don't forget to add flowers around the base of the arrnagement.)
 
4. Continue to layer flowers with varying heights and texture. You can also use evergreens to help fill in some of the holes. Make sure to turn your arrangement around and look at it from every angle to make sure you have all sides covered.
 
Flowers used in this arrangement (most can be found at a local grocery store or florist)

-Star of Bethlehem
-Red amaryllis
-Winterberry
-French Tulips
-Casablanca Lilies
-Paperwhite Narcissus
-Lilac
-Peonies
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