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Creating Beautiful Bouquets

pink bouquets of fresh flowers

Meandering through the gardens and hand-picking a collection of fragrant fresh flowers is a dreamy task. At Wānaka Lavender Farm, we love showcasing the flora that grow here through the seasons and creating beautiful bouquets with them is all part of the job.

We are fortunate enough to be able to source the flowers ourselves, and if you have a flourishing garden at home then you'll have the joy of picking some of your favourites and showing them off too. Even if you aren't growing your own plants, it's possible to head to the local flower shop and make your own creation from their selection.

We've found that including flower displays in our spaces can add a touch of beauty and tranquility to our lives and we want to share the joy of having that with you. So here are some of our tips on creating beautiful bouquets...

a staff member at wanaka lavender farm picking fresh pink flowers from the garden

Be mindful of the colour combinations

It's easy to start throwing flowers of every colour into a bouquet and expecting it to look impressive... we've all done it! Yes, the flowers may be stunning individually, but not all of them will work well together. Choose a few colours that complement each other and don't over do it. If in doubt, keep it simple.

Take note of shapes and textures

Ideally, you want to pick flowers with long stems so that they sit nicely in a vase (and so that they can be tied together effortlessly if you're offering them as a gift). Looking at the heads, you may want to include a variety of different textures e.g. baby's breath's wisps, a rose's sturdiness and lavender's length together create a harmonious combination of colours and shapes. Be careful not to choose fragile flowers that lose their petals easily.

freshly picked flower laid out on a table, ready to create the perfect bouquet

Pick the flowers at the right time

When you're creating a bouquet, you want the flora to be fresh and to maintain their good looks for the longest time possible. The way to do this is to pick the flowers when they are almost at their blooming point, not when they have already opened up. Doing so will give you an extra couple of days with a lovely, aromatic bunch. It may go without saying but avoid flowers that have already started to wilt.

Cut the stems and leaves

It is recommended that you cut the stems of flowers at an angle instead of straight across. This is so that there is more surface area to absorb the water when they sit in a vase. It also looks much neater when the flowers are bunched together. For the flowers to remain looking clean, you'll also want to remove any excess leaves from the stems as they will end up wilting quite quickly and making the water look dirty.

tips to create beautiful flower bouquets: cut stem at an angle like this on a cone flower

Arrange flowers strategically

Some people have an artistic flare that allows them to instinctively gauge the best way to position the flora in order to enhance the bouquet's beauty. Others may not be as gifted and struggle to pull the bunch together, but don't fret if you're one of those people, it's always possible to learn through trial and error! To get acquainted with the best techniques for arranging a bouquet, we recommend talking to a florist or taking inspiration from the internet.

Add some green for even more depth

If you have a bouquet that's looking pretty but needs filling out, using greenery is a fun way of doing so. The leaves from trees such as eucalyptus will work well, but at the farm we collect any foliage we think looks good and will stand up when we put it in a vase.

For a rustic look, try a dried flower bouquet

If you've visited the farm and have had a browse around the shop you might have seen the dried flower bouquets that we craft. Not only do they look as wonderful as your classic bouquets, but they have a rustic charm to them that can add an edge to a space.

Although dried flowers won't have as much of a fragrance as fresh blooms, they still contain a hint of aroma. The main purpose of these bunches is to enjoy them for longer period of times and especially through autumn and winter when there aren't fresh flowers to be picked. Since the flowers have already been dried, they don't wilt, so you can keep the bunch in your home for as long as you want.

fresh lavender being hung upside down to dry at wanaka lavender farm

For creating dried flower bouquets, there are a few extra steps to take before you can start arranging. Firstly, you will need to pick or buy flowers when the heads are open. For a clean look, take off excess leaves from the stems. Then, hang them upside down in small bunches in a dark, dry, well-ventilated room for two to three weeks. This is done to keep the structure of the flowers sound and so that the petals stay intact. The space you use for drying should be clear of movement to avoid the flowers being touched or brushed and crumble in the process. After a few weeks have gone by, prepare your bouquet accordingly... assemble dried flowers very gently!

Bonus tip: drop a few drops of essential oil on your dried flower bouquet for fragrance.

Now you have beautiful bouquets for your home or to give away as a special hand-made gift! From here, you can play around with different arrangements and species of flora to find your favourite flower combinations.


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