Flower Prep: Cleaning Up for a Bouquet
Hi everyone I'm cheon underwood um I'm very happy to be here today I, uh have ah loved flowers since the day I was a little girl hanging out of my grandfather's garden and um it was continued with my mother who had her own garden and I always wanted to have fresh flowers in her home and so it's they've always been a part of my life. Um I haven't always been a floral designer I actually have a masters degree in international policy and economics, but once I had children that kind of was put back on the back burner and I had to figure out something else to do with my life that made me happy and so I started turning my passion into a business, and today I couldn't be happier with what I do for a living. I love it every moment of it. Um I'm passionate about making flowers floral design that outside the box that's designs that are organic and um made with flowers that you would pick out of your garden or just the walk in your neighborhood um I think those were the ones that are generally un...
ique and I consider them just a work of art in general so today I want to teach you um or make with you bouquets and bouquets and bouquets will making three bouquets with all sorts of different fun foliage on flowers that I think would look organic um I wanted to go over what I think would be the difference between what a regular what we're used to seeing okay is so this is the bouquet I think it's beautiful but it's pretty classic and you pretty much see that a lot of weddings and just normal but I think that this is a little different and so today will kind of learn how to make something like this versus this and I look forward to showing you how to do that I want to start by going over kind of what foliage amusing and why I think that most of the time people think that foliage are just fillers and that doesn't matter what you're using I don't think of it that way I think that every piece that you use in a bouquet is important because that's what makes it unique so today we have all sorts of different flora and fauna to use I'm going to start with this lovely um little bit wilted but this one this is plum and I love it because in early spring it's so fresh and shiny and I love the color so I want to use this today this is explosion got grass it looks really pretty within arrangements it's just the way it looks I think it's lovely I have some dusty miller which is always wonderful nice and velvety then I have some sage which in two different colors which will be really lovely inside of okay especially with these tones and then we have some geranium which some of you might be family have you have you guys seen these? I love these are my favorite geraniums are in gentle on my favorite, but these ones are really lovely and I I like to use them whenever I can and I'm lucky enough that those guys are the flower mart always have them so I can when I do it's ok, I like to start basically cleaning up all of the the flowers because that's what makes it easy for me to start my my bouquet if I'm goingto start with started and then just kind of take this and they will hold on I got to take this down I can't I have to clean it up first that way it's all ready to go so I'm actually going to start doing it when you start cleaning up thes and take some of the leaves I'm getting it prepared for my okay this is going to be the bridal bouquet that I'll be making something very special and unique star basically of the wedding day I love us still b this is a still be I think it's so beautiful they grow them here in california but the ones that come from holland are usually amazing and I believe these air from holland you ask and start doing it too huh yeah started right away start cleaning because you have a lot of cleaning to do count you're basically just taking off the excess lee yes sometimes if the leaves look nice I'll keep them because it's so nice to incorporate them within the arrangement but if it's if they're dying then there's no point so I've cleaned up these I don't like the way the leaves look on these I'm just going to clean him up and get him ready for my bouquet same goes with a dusty miller like these leaves over here I don't likethe um I'm going to take them off and you prefer just to work with your bare hands instead of using gloves or anything like that sometimes I use gloves when I'm dealing with um roses roses are so beautiful but they have so many thorns so I use we pre prepared these roses ahead of time so I use gloves for these but yes um I like to use my bare hands in general it's easier to maneuver yeah it's easier to maneuver I think there's something nice to just get your actual hands in there a little bit cathartic to just rip those leaves off and have some tension is one step away from being in a garden is cleaning all that up if you can't pick your own flowers, clean your own flowers and just get into that experience absolutely good point I mean, this is what I would be doing in my garden to write I go around in my garden and looking see what leaves are falling off for some of the roses are dying you caught those and get ready for the next set bloom same thing with a six sage sage is very delicate so you want to make sure you don't have any wilted ones in there and it smells amazing and the one thing we should talk about is in the aroma of a bouquet if the bride doesn't have any allergies it's always nice to incorporate um leaves are foliage or even flowers that smell good wait, you have a couple of questions about availability of of the flowers like you're saying you could walk around in your neighborhood and find a find you know, find flowers I guess maybe ask your neighbors you can pick them sometimes not that late at night. You yeah, uh yes so dizzy wants to know is the foliage foliage that you're showing on ly available in san francisco? Well, right now, spring everywhere and that's the beauty of spring a lot there's a lot available I don't know exactly where they're from, but here in san francisco yes, we had these air I've seen these in my neighbor's garden um I have seen these down the street from my kid's school a still be dusty miller is very much around in california um pretty much all year around I've seen it um these beauties are all over the streets right now so there's a clone these air plum tree branches so in california they're available and I have I mean, if you're in the east coast yes, if you're in the south I'm willing to bet that they have these so this is a good time of year any other questions? There's another followup question here about when you're taking the leaves off of the stems is there ever one is too much? Have you ever taken off too many leaves and then having and look to bear when do you know when it's too much to take the leaves off? Well, I don't initially take all the leaves off, but for example, with this, maybe once I put it in a bouquet, I'll realize that oh well, this is going to be hidden or just in the way and then I'll take it off, but it excuse me initially I'll keep as many as they look good on this until I decide once I start building my bouquet that this is what you know I want to take some off I don't want the leaves but to keep as much as you can that's actually looking good is a good idea, so I'm almost done with these are all your leaves done? Dusty miller have you gone through your dusty miller yet? Okay, I'm taking too long I guess there's air faster than I am. These girls were good. Yeah it's interesting that the flower name is dusty miller you know and you know ask from wonder you know why things they're called what they're called is just it's like a it's like having a street named after you I guess there's a story behind every flower oh um have you got did you guys go through your arm branches you're plumb branches I've got some wilted ones here that I want to get rid of now these plum branches these air the same plums that we eat it's the same fruit that half of the plan yes, I would have had some with, um the plums if I was using this in an arrangement. Okay, but I feel like with for a bridal bouquet full of heavy tio have plums on there. Um anyway, some of these some of the plums aren't really coming out yet. So I just really wanted the color of these leaves in here because it complements the inside of these peonies and that's another thing I'll go over is the palette that you choose on the colors that you will you know, you have to make sure that colors uh you know, have harmony and your bouquet and I guess that plays a role into selecting what foliage you're going tio what kind of harmony want to build and actually snapdragon says eyes there are there any suggestions on how to decide which foliage plants in our garden might be good to use? Yeah orwhat we should look for well, you know it's anything can be used from your garden I mean there's nothing that's not good anything from succulents too tree branches to fruit I've got a couple of blueberry bushes in my garden that I can't wait for the blueberries to get a little bit bigger so I can use um I think it all depends on what color palette you have chosen with respect to what you can use in your garden so if for example, this it could easily come from my garden because I have one of these and I've chosen this to go with this now if I wanted something more green I would use green branches from my garden if I wanted something a little bit wilder on dme or aromatic, I would take some honeysuckle from my garden which is growing right now so that I mean to me you could look inside your vegetable box if you have some vegetables, you can use those I have kale that I'm waiting for it tio grow bigger and I'm going to use those leaves and usually they're the cables are purple's so it would look great in an arrangement with some accents of purple does that answer the question you think yeah it gives it gives a good place to start really stay tuned for more information about the color palette yet yeah we've had a lot of questions coming in about how to prep your flowers before arranging them and this question asked how do we get bugs off the plants that we picked from the garden is there a special trick if you see certain plans with a lot of bugs so the way it works for me is that I make sure I try to keep a bug three garden but of course that's almost impossible um what I usually find from my garden coming in the house are um spiders because you just you can't get rid of those on dh those guys from the time you take him from picking me up from the garden to time you bring him to your house they're going to be falling off or something I mean you can't really do much about that there's going to be bugs in the garden I found some slugs and I just simply take them off and then there's a fits on if you're really keeping a good garden you really shouldn't be having any if it's on your roses if you ask me so that's what I do with respect two dogs sometimes if I bring in some, uh, wisteria they have bungled these all around them, but usually the bumble bee manages to stay away, stay outside the house and that's actually interesting point about the eighth ids I actually used to volunteer at a botanical garden, and they gave me a duty for the day, which was to pull all of these plants out because they were infested with a vid, and I felt like it was like that that raiders of the lost ark thing where she has to stick her hand in the whole of all the bug it's quite it does get a little bit infested those air the pill bugs, right? Yes, the problem with a fist is that even if you take care of the efforts in your garden, you can't guarantee that your neighbor is going to do that. Unfortunately, they're just ready and waiting to attack in springtime, and so if you know my garden could be a fat free but two doors down, I walk every day and I just want to go and grab those branches on kill him, but they don't have the same feeling about it as I do so that's just the way it is now, I want to go over my flowers a little bit with you guys, does anyone know what these are? These are narain lilies, and I absolutely love them because they're fluffy and they're just so beautiful inside bouquets so if I can find them you will be sure that I'll get them to make it okay with you these are peonies and, um there must in springtime I mean, who doesn't want peonies and when when it's spring so many different variety is available so I'm just going to take some of the leaves off of these and, um, because I know I won't be using these although they look good, they will get lost inside, okay? And garden roses are a must um in california, david austin's are always available that's the beauty of, uh, living here and I believe that they shit everywhere also for those of you who don't live in california. So, um I always, uh, use them they're just beautiful, they smell amazing and they come in all sorts of different, uh, colors run oculus can't go wrong with these beauty's um, I think that they are the other beautiful rose um I have if it's if they're in season, I'll use them and most of the time in california they are available on this. It gets too warm when it's too warm ran on killers are no longer available on I'm just going to take some of these off as well, some of them they have the yellow leaves on them so there's a lot of preparation that goes into actually making a bouquet as you can see and then we'll get to the good part we have a few more questions coming in sure now you mentioned the preparation you go to the store with certain flowers in mind or you just sort of less than see what's there and get inspired it's a great question you know um I don't quite have the what they call a recipe for what I do because you know, I've tried to do that and then I'll go to the flower mart and then I changed my plan because there is just so much available and I'm usually just inspired by the availability of amazing variety at the flower mart so no answer your question I don't really plan on it plan on what I'm going to buy I know that what colors I want and then I'll just see what what is available in those colors so I just kind of wait to be inspired by what's available to me on the day or two days before our wedding and that's why I tell my clients to that you know, if they say they want this hair that I said well, I will try on order those for you but I can't promise that we can have them or that I want, you know, replace it with something even more beautiful when I find it and that that goes back to the trust, I guess, you know, and trust in yourself that you're going to come up with something that meat, that inspiration that you may have in the moment we do have another question about purchasing flowers and foliage potentially online. Yeah, dragon wants to know what's the difference between doing that or going to your local florists well, or your march for, for those of us who don't, who not lucky enough to have it available to us, I think it's a great service is great that you can order flowers online. I've never ordered flowers online from anywhere because I live here. However, didn't I have ordered flowers from my favorite local wholesale florist to be shipped to new york? I did a wedding in new york on dh I went to new york flower mart, I didn't like it as much on dh I didn't find half assed much variety as I wanted there, so I had my two favorites are brennan street on torch your nursery and those guys are amazing? I was absolutely amazed with the packaging that they did and how perfect those flowers were when they got to the venue in long island, so if you want to order flowers, I would say, order him from people like and actually that's a good point, because I when I mentioned earlier that I had decided to do my own bouquet that ordered flowers online and there was a tremendous amount of prep involved I actually had to, like, dunk them in the water and, like, do all of that. And if somebody could have taken that part out, it would have been easier. Well, that's where your friends come into, oh, my best friend, yeah, like yesterday, I had all of you guys hear a creative live helping me prep all of this. I mean, believe it or not, we did some preparation for this, and so now I can begin showing you a little bit about how I start, you know, online audience might appreciate knowing is that you can, if you can, go to your local florist and ask them to special order things for you. So if you don't have access to a wholesaler, so you live in a region where the wholesale location is pretty far afield, you you do likely have a floral design studio, our florist that you can collaborate with to get those special orders. So while they might not keep those options on hand for you when they go to the wholesale market, they could pick them up, and so the wholesale markets tend to be regional in something that florals designers come from all around in order to access rachel, that collective brain here way. All have great, great suggestion. Yeah, I mean, I think it's important to establish that relationship with your local florist if you are going there regularly. And I think that in most cases, they will be willing to help you out in order, something they don't have it, and just getting that relationship going with people who love flowers love to talk to other people. Exactly. That's true. Well, for me, my local florists are those guys at the flower mart that's who I'd go to. And if they don't, have it bill ordered from japan or the netherlands, or anywhere they can.