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Flower Arranging

As a hobby, flower arranging can be relaxing, rewarding and pleasant. As you work with flowers, you'll learn a lot about what works and doesn't work when arranging flowers. Flower arranging is a hobby that adjusts to fit your budget, and it's a great way to bring garden-grown flowers into your home.
With a few key supplies, you'll soon have a new appreciation for flower arranging. Your local florist and craft supply shops can provide you with most of the supplies you'll need to begin flower arranging. As a bonus, you'll be able to use your new flower arranging skills to work with dried and silk flowers as well.
To begin, you'll need a collection of waterproof containers. Vases, bowls, cups, glasses and other containers will work well. Your containers should not be too shallow, as arrangements in these kinds of containers will go through water very quickly.
You'll also need floral foam or floral frogs if you plan to make arrangements, rather than bouquets. A floral frog looks like a small wire basket. It's turned upside down inside the container and holds flowers in place. Floral foam is relatively inexpensive and holds water well. A floral frog is less expensive and more flexible in the long run. 
In addition, you'll want to get waterproof floral tape, scissors, floral pins, and sharp shears. A knife or scissors will do as long as the blades are sharp. You'll need to make clean cuts on the stems to enable water and nutrients to flow to the flower. Broken or crushed stems will inhibit water flow and make the affected flower fade fast. 
You'll also need flowers and greenery. Flowers can be anything you have or prefer to use. Greenery is meant to "fill in" the spaces where you have no flowers, and add color and visual interest to the display. Greenery is available from your local Pittsburgh, PA florist and can include Baby's Breath, Baker's Fern, Broom Stem, Eucalyptus, Mimosa, Moss, Queen Anne's Lace, Statice, or a number of other plants. The greenery should not be too large or too small, nor should it require different care than the flowers it is complementing. 
Cut your floral foam to fit the waterproof container. Approximately 1 to 2 inches of foam should rise up above the edge of the container. Submerge the foam in water until it is completely saturated with water. Place the floral foam in your waterproof container and secure it with tape, if needed. Add floral preservative to the container. 
Determine the shape of your arrangement before you start placing flowers. Cut all stems to the correct size for your arrangement and place the major flowers first. Fill in your arrangement evenly with smaller flowers and finally, cover any visible floral foam with greenery. The greenery should not extend past the flowers themselves.  You may also add ribbons or other decorations once the rest of the arrangement is finished. Fill the container with water and set your flowers in a cool location, away from sun and heat. Reduce the size of the arrangement as flowers begin to fade.
Oliver Flower Shop Inc
300 6th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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