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April 18, 2014

How to Prep and Arrange Hyacinths

With their high-impact color and shape, hyacinths can make quite an impression -- if you know what to do with them. Design expert Kevin Sharkey shares his top tips for working with these bold, beautiful blooms.

Kevin Sharkey
Executive Editorial Director Decorating, Home, and Style
behind-the-scenes-flower-arrangement-7740-d111053.jpg
Photography by: Mike Krautter

Stem Surgery. Before you do any arranging, cut off the white base. Like tulips, hyacinths will continue to grow in water. If they become too top heavy, their stems will split. Trimming the base impedes the movement of water through the stems, which will keep them right where you want them.

behind-the-scenes-flower-arrangement-7592-d111053.jpg
Photography by: Mike Krautter Prepping the stems.

One of a Kind. Hyacinths don’t play well with others. They’re low and compact, which makes them tough to pair. Luckily, they’re striking enough to stand on their own -- always in monochrome, please.

behind-the-scenes-flower-arrangement-7669-d111053.jpg
Photography by: Mike Krautter One shade is better than two.

Keep It Contained. Hyacinths are like wallpaper -- a fun, colorful statement that’s best in small doses. Put them somewhere you’ll pass through quickly, like an entry hall or powder room. Because they’re also very fragrant, I wouldn’t recommend using them anywhere you’ll be eating or sleeping.

For more on Kevin's floral philosophy, come along for a flower market tour and shopping tips -- then get inspired by Kevin's favorite spring floral arrangements.

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Kevin Sharkey
About the Author
Kevin Sharkey is Senior Vice President and Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, and Executive Creative Director, Merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omninedia, Inc. (MSLO).A designer and all-around creative expert, he plays a vital role in shaping MSLO’s editorial content and product designs. Mr. Sharkey came to MSLO in 1995 from Parish-Hadley, a venerable New York City ... Read More

Comments (1)

  • 26 Apr, 2014

    Thank you Kevin, very handy, as Autumn has just begun here and have myhyacinths hiding in a wardrobe until they shoot, but now I know the right size vase to look out for and how to trim them. many thanks.