When making a flower arrangement with tulips, choose several colors with mixed petal shapes to create a pleasingly complex arrangement. Martha often fills her bowl with tulips in colors ranging from pale-green to yellow to crimson, some with stripes or contrasting borders, with frilly, fringed, pointed, and cupped petals.
Upon purchase, if tulip stems are bowed, wrap them tightly in wet paper and place them in water with a source of light directly above them.
Since the tulips are brightly colored and look best in large arrangements, choose a yellowware bowl for a container. To hold the stems in place, place a metal flower frog in the bottom of the bowl, first padding the bottom with lumps of floral clay to avoid scratching the treasured dish.
If you don't own a floral frog, you can cut a piece of chicken wire a bit larger than the diameter of your container, fold the edges under, and insert it just inside the top of the container to hold the stems.Scrub the vase you intend to use with a 1:10 solution of bleach and water to kill any bacteria that could hasten the flowers' spoilage.