How to guide - floristry

Welcome to our ultimate tips & tricks guide! From arranging your Vela letterbox flowers to getting the most out of your blooms, we’ve got loads of floristry advice for you.

First things first…

Un-packing Your Flowers

A box of Vela letterbox flowers

You’ve received a box of Vela flowers through the letterbox - lucky you! Here’s what to do next.

  • Carefully unwrap your blooms. Some of our flowers come with a protective netting that can be gently pulled over the petals.
  • If there are roses in your bouquet, we often leave the outer ‘guard petals’ on these to add a bit of natural protection. You can carefully pull any of the discoloured outer petals off.
  • Trim around 1cm off the end of each stem at an angle. Make sure to use sharp scissors or a knife to do this - using a blunt blade can crush stems, meaning that they will struggle to drink water.
  • Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the stems to ensure that none of them sit below the water line.
  • Some foliage comes with multiple stems. You can snip these down into separate stems to help fill out your bouquet.
  • Sprinkle a sachet of Vela flower food in your chosen vase, and fill it two-thirds full with fresh, lukewarm water. It’s really important to make sure your vase is clean - flowers can be fussy!
  • Make sure you recycle all your Vela packaging!

Next - you’re ready to start arranging!

 

Arranging Flowers

how to arrange a box of flowers

Before we get started on how to arrange, here are a few of our top tips…

Size Matters - Trim some stems a little shorter and keep some longer to add fullness and variation to your arrangement. It might be tempting to put your blooms straight into the vase, but having them all the same length can make them look sparse!

Don’t fight Mother Nature (ever) - If some stems lean a certain way - let them! Flower arrangements should look natural and fluid, so don’t try to force stems into place - instead, put them where they can lean nicely out of the vase. 

Consider the Vase - Not all vases work for all flowers! We recommend a vase with a narrower neck (like our Vela Vase) to support the stems and help your arrangement to look full. There’s more on vases below.

Choose a Side - Your arrangement should look nice and full all the way round, but if you’re displaying it against a wall you can use this to your advantage! Choose a side and build this up with your star blooms to create an absolute showstopper.

 

Flower Arranging Techniques

There are a number of different techniques to arrange your blooms into a gorgeous display - here are a few of our faves!

 

Tape It

This is the easiest way to create a gorgeous floral arrangement, using a bit of a cheat...

All you need is a vase filled with water and flower food, a pair of scissors and some narrow tape.

Arranging flowers using the tape methodFirst, create a crosshatch with cut strips of tape on your vase, making sure to keep the tape fairly high up to avoid it showing under the flowers. Vase with crosshatch tape

Start by adding stems of foliage around the edges before adding in your flowers asymmetrically by colour or type. Don’t bunch too many of the same bloom in one place - you want to try and keep them nicely spread throughout the arrangement!

How to arrange your letterbox blooms

Keep adding in stems until you end up with a natural, full-looking bouquet!

Rose bouquet

Three is the Magic Number 

Another great flower arranging technique, working in threes is a simple way to make your vase of flowers look fantastic!

Starting with the foliage, add the stems spaced evenly in the vase, crossing over each other to add stability to the arrangement. Next, choose a filler flower and put these stems in between the others. Continue in this way until you have a full-looking bouquet!

arranging flowers three method

Stand back and take a look at your arrangement - if there are any stems that look out of place, or too many of the same variety bunched together, now’s the time to adjust them.finished bouquet of letterbox flowers

By Hand

This technique can be a little fiddly (especially if you only have little hands) but it creates a beautifully put together arrangement. 

Remove the flowers from their box and lay out your stems by type so you can see what you’re working with.

Start with a focal flower (usually a larger flower, like a rose) and hold it facing away from you. Begin placing flowers around this stem, working outwards and turning as you go. Make sure you’re using a good mixture of stems to ensure there aren’t too many of the same variety in one place.

Vela flowers arranging handtied bouquetRemember to vary the height of the blooms - don’t worry about the stems being different lengths at the bottom. Once you’ve got a bouquet you’re mostly happy with, measure it against the vase and decide where to cut the longer stems.

How to cut flower stemsWhen you place the bouquet in the vase, you’ll see that the stems will fall quite naturally. Now’s the time to perfect it! Re-adjust the stems until you’re happy with how they look. 

For a ‘neater’ looking bouquet, you can use some garden twine to tie the stems together before you put them in the vase. 

How to tie a hand-tied bouquet of flowers

This is great for ceramic vases, where the twine won’t show - or (if you can tie it nicely) it will look lovely in a glass vase!

A finished hand-tied bouquet made with Vela letterbox flowers

Try out these techniques for yourself and order a box of our beautiful letterbox blooms!

 

Vases

Not all vases are created equal! There’s plenty of choice when it comes to the vase you pop your flowers in - but we think some are better than others.

Vases and vessels for flowersAs a general rule, a vase with a narrow neck (like our Vela Vase) is the best kind for displaying flowers using the techniques mentioned above. This helps to support the stems and create a full-looking arrangement, and fits a box of our blooms perfectly.

PIC - Vela Vase

If you’ve going for ceramic or coloured glass, we suggest a neutral colour that allows the hues of the flowers to shine through.

Don’t have a vase? No problem! Jars & jugs do just as good of a job.

Use a jug as a vase

And if you’re left with a few stems as your bouquet comes to its end, you can use dainty bud vases and small jars to display them in.

 

Flower Care Guide

We’ve given you the top tips on properly unpacking and arranging your flowers, but what about making them last as long as possible? We send a lot of our flowers in bud to give them a long vase life. With proper care, our blooms can last for weeks! Here are our top care tips for your Vela letterbox bouquet. 

Perfect Positioning

Where you put your flowers is more important than you might think! To get them to last longer, make sure that your blooms aren’t in direct sunlight or over a heat source (like a radiator). Keep them away from your fruit bowl, too - fresh fruit and flowers don’t get on, because fruit releases a gas called ethylene as it ripens which can cause flowers to wilt! 

Re-trim the stems every few days and change the water

Use a sharp knife or scissors to trim the stems at an angle. This will re-open the stem and allow the flowers to drink properly. When you change the water, make sure to clean the vase thoroughly and add more flower food to the water.

Droopy blooms

If you notice some of your flowers are prematurely drooping, this may mean that they aren’t able to drink properly - but you can easily perk them up with a little hot water! Trim the ends of the stems at an angle first, and change the water in the vase to make sure everything is fresh and clean. Boil the kettle and fill a jug with hot water. Next, dip the bottom of your stems in and leave them for 30 seconds, making sure the flower head isn’t in the steam. You should see bubbles escaping from the end of the stem - this is because the boiling water will force any air bubbles from the stem, leaving a clear pathway for your blooms to have a healthy drink. Pop them back in a vase of clean water and they should perk up in no time!

Dealing with fading stems

When flowers start to fade, they release a gas called ethylene. This causes the other flowers around them to wilt - which is why it’s important to remove any stems that are past their best. We suggest taking these blooms out of the vase and either swapping the remaining flowers into a smaller vase or using posy vases for individual stems.

Feed your Flowers!

We always include two sachets of Vela flower food with your bouquet, and it’s important to make sure you add some to the water. Not only does it feed your flowers, it also helps to keep the water clean and make your flowers last longer!

If you’ve run out of Vela flower food sachets, you can easily make some of your own!

Just add the following to a vase of fresh water and stir -

  • A teaspoon of sugar (to feed the flowers)
  • A teaspoon of bleach (to keep the water bacteria-free)
  • A teaspoon of an acidifying agent such as vinegar or lemon juice (to balance the pH) 

Lovely Lilies

Lilies are beautiful and we love to use them in our letterbox flowers - but they can be dangerous to pets, which is why we offer a lily-free option for all our bouquets. If you have lilies in the house, ensure they’re out of reach of the dog and don’t let the cat rub against them!

The pollen of lilies can also stain clothing and furnishings - so handle them with care! Once the petals open, you can gently remove the pollen-covered stamens by hand to avoid any staining mishaps.



Now you know how to properly care for your gorgeous blooms, you can fill your home with flowers! Treat yourself to a Vela letterbox flower subscription, or spoil someone else with our Vela Gift Vase.

Want to know more? We love to chat - send us an email!