Budding TalentPublished on April 14, 2009

  • Photo by Etienne Ranger

  • Photo by Etienne Ranger

  • Photo by Etienne Ranger

  • Photo by Etienne Ranger

Nothing says spring quite like a colourful array of fresh flowers. So to awaken your budding instincts, gather up your favourite blooms and learn some tricks of the trade to arrange your own floral bouquets like a pro. Sharon Theberge, senior floral designer at Scrim's Florist - an Ottawa institution that's been creating elegant arrangements for more than a century - shares her tips on how to choose, cut and design a beautiful arrangement of spring flowers that will brighten up your home in just minutes. Choose flowers for the key elements of colour, texture and harmony.

Sharon's colourful spring selection includes red tulips, purple anemones, freesias, heather and muscari with assorted green foliage. A sprig of eucalyptus adds a unique, scented element.

Always cut the flower stems on an angle.

This creates a bigger surface area for water to enter. Pull off the lower leaves to ensure they are all above water level, to prevent bacterial growth and prolong the life of the flowers.

Arrange the flowers in the cup of your hand.

This is a "handy" trick that allows you to build the arrangement in a spiral design until the arrangement fits the chosen vase. Sharon placed larger blooms in the middle and finished filling in with smaller pittosporum foliage at the edges.

Cut the flower stems to a uniform length and tie them with waxed twine.

This holds the bouquet together without cutting into the stems.

Vase selection.

Generally, the size of the vase should be about one-third of the length of an arrangement and should match the shape of the floral design. Written by Jane Whiting

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