If floral designers seem to have the magic touch when it comes to transforming a spindly pile of cut flowers into something breathtaking, it's because many of them do. Take Lewis Miller, also known as the Banksy of floral design, for example—he's famously turned something as uninspired as a New York City trash can into a billowing piece of flower art. While the arrangements he fashions out of humble event leftovers may seem improvised, Miller's approach to floral design is actually very calculated, and it hinges on a few tried-and-tested flower arranging techniques. The same can be done with that box of blooms that has arrived on your doorstep.
Here, Miller shares his best tips for upgrading your boxed flower delivery in order to create something unexpected and beautiful.
Don't Skimp on Prep
"Delivery blooms are packaged in such a way to keep them safe with as little stem damage as possible, but the downside to this is that once they're out of the package, they tend to look frozen," Miller says. To give them some life, the first thing you'll want do to—this goes for any bouquet, really, but especially those that have been cooped up in a box—is to give the stems a quick cut and place them in fresh, cool water. Next, Miller suggests removing any broken or damaged blooms, old petals, or leaves. Last but not least, remember to fluff them out.
Rethink Where They'll Live
The key to getting a professional look out of a delivery bouquet is ditching the sometimes pretty, but more often generic, vase they arrived in. In a new vessel—consider bowls, pitchers, and even tumblers—give each stem their rightful place, separating each one out, allowing for some air and movement to get in between the flowers. "Your arrangement will look fuller and fresher," Miller says.
Mix in Some Greenery
Many bouquets come with fillers on the more verdant end of the spectrum, and you can use those stems to give your arrangement some variation in height and to break up a mass of single-color flowers. A few wispy fronds of seeded eucalyptus, for instance, can help lighten up a dense cluster of summer dahlias.
Play with Texture
If you've got it, flaunt it. And by "it," Miller means flower-arrangement add-ons that may be floating around your home, like buds, seed pods, and fresh cuttings from the garden. Produce may even come into play—like a vine of bright orange kumquats—or dried flowers, such as lavender or thistle, for a look that's a bit antiqued and surprisingly on-trend.