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How to Make a New Arrangement

by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three

This month when you’re buying your fresh flowers for Valentine’s Day, Tom Heath, owner of Garden District Flowers, says to pay attention to the flowers’ freshness, quality, and care.  Flowers can brighten up any room or anyone’s day, so you want them arranged to look as beautiful and last as long as possible.

Quality of the flower – Heath says it’s important to buy your flowers from a reputable flower shop.  You can even buy loose flowers to create your own designs at home.  The floral industry has spent exhaustive hours of research finding the right chemicals and processes to extend the life of a flower.  “Floral shops have the means and the technology to process and care for our flowers, which means your arrangements will last longer,” Heath says.  “It’s important to know who you’re buying them from, if you want to get some lasting quality.  Make sure they have been properly cared for.”

Care, handling, and processing after a flower is cut – To add extra life to your flowers, Heath says to cut the stems and change the water daily.  “Within in matter of a minute or two, flowers form a barrier that won’t allow water to go up into the stem, so cut them immediately and every day,” Heath says.  Another tip he suggests is instead of putting your flowers in plain, old tap water, try using equal parts 7UP or Sprite and water.  The sugar gives the flowers extra nutrients for sustainability.

Designing 101 – Heath says if you buy loose flowers to arrange yourself, you can save money. Floral design is an art and takes years of study and practice, but for the do-it-yourselfers, Heath gives some tips.  “The general rule of thumb for designing your flower arrangement is that the flowers should be one and a half times higher than the height of your container,” Heath says.  He also recommends studying a color wheel to find complementary colors and keeping abreast of popular floral trends.

For more information and to see some of Tom Heath’s unique creations, please visit ;

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