Thorns, No More—We Asked a Rose Expert How to Create the Perfect Bouquet

<p>The Spruce / Autumn Wood</p>

The Spruce / Autumn Wood

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a classic bouquet of freshly bloomed roses? Not only are they the most sought-after flower for gift-giving (especially when it comes to romance), they’re practically synonymous with the holiday. 

If you’re looking to add a little pep to grocery store bouquets or want to try your hand at thoughtfully creating your own arrangement, there are a few rose-related tips you might not know about.

Gracie Poulson, founder of Grace Rose Farm, is an expert on arranging roses. Here are her best tips for getting the most out of your bouquets this season.

Meet the Expert

Gracie Poulson is the founder of Grace Rose Farm, which ships garden roses locally and around the country.

Choose a Large Vase

<p>Grace Rose Farm</p>

Grace Rose Farm

Gracie’s first tip is to choose a vessel that will give your roses enough space to fully open up—if they’re packed in too tight, they won’t bloom as fully as they would otherwise. This makes vessels with wide mouths the best option for rose bouquets.

Gracie recommends fluffing up the roses to make sure they’re not pressed together or squished.

Add Support Using a Tape Grid

<p>The Spruce / Alyson Brown</p>

The Spruce / Alyson Brown

One of the best ways to add a little extra hidden support to any flower bouquet is by creating a grid across the opening of your container using clear tape (or string/wire).

Leave enough space for a few stems to fit through the individual squares on the grid. The sides of each grid square will support the stems of your flowers, making sure they stand upright and don’t leave any gaps in your bouquet. 

Gracie recommends using clear floral tape for clear vessels. If you’re working with something opaque, this leaves you more options for support grids, since they won’t be visible from the exterior of the vase. Gracie opts for chicken wire or a flower frog to help perfectly arrange your roses. 

Trim Off the Leaves

<p>The Spruce / Leticia Almeida</p>

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

When you’re finally ready to add your roses (and other complementary stems) to your arrangement, Gracie has an important reminder: don’t leave any leaves in the water of your vase. When leaves are beneath the water line of a vase, they’ll muck up the water and cause your bouquet to fade more quickly.

Not only is it important to change out your water regularly, but keeping the leaves of your bouquet dry will lend more life to your arrangement. Make sure you trim the leaves off the bases of all your stems before adding them to your bouquet.

Gracie starts by adding supporting greenery to rose bouquets first (if you’re not planning on creating an all-rose bouquet, that is). When you’re ready to put in your roses, Gracie starts with the shortest stems first before working her way up to the largest stems.

Layer Your Bouquet

<p>Grace Rose Farm</p>

Grace Rose Farm

Bouquets are all about definition and visual intrigue. Gracie uses the “push and pull” system to add more depth to her arrangements. As you continue layering in your flowers, push certain stems in and pull some out for a more striking look.

Again, this type of arrangement mimics the natural growth of the rose bush; some flowers will grow close to the plant, while some will reach out from it more. With these tips, you can make any bouquet look professionally arranged in no time.

If you can’t get enough of Gracie’s arrangement advice, we can’t either—fortunately, her first book, Garden Roses: The Complete Guide to Growing and Arranging Spectacular Blooms, releases on March 26th; just in time for spring.

Still not sure about arranging your own blooms? Grace Rose Farm also offers cut-to-order bouquets of the most spectacular rose varieties.

Read the original article on The Spruce.