So you've stopped by Ampersand to pick up some fresh flowers... now what? Here are a few quick tips to make sure your flowers really stand out once you get them home and put them in a vase.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

- Always cut the stems at an angle, which will allow for maximum water absorption.

- Remove any leaves that will fall below the water line. Bacteria in the water, usually from stray leaves & debris, is what will cause your flower to wilt faster.

STEP 1: Put your FOCAL FLOWER in the vase

- Your final creation can be up to 2x taller than your vase... but, the shorter the stem, the less visual space you'll need to fill in.

- So when you're only working with a few flowers, in a tiny vase, it's OK to cut the focal flower relatively short.

- Start small though! You can always cut more off the stem. (The opposite? Not so much.)

- In the above photo, the rose is considered the "focal flower." You CAN have more than one focal flower... just remember that odd numbers usually work best.

STEP 2: Add your FILLER FLOWERS

- You are using these flowers to literally “fill in” the rest of the arrangement.

- In the above photo, there are three different "filler flowers": the light purple mum, the piece of thistle, and the limonium (which we prefer 100% to baby's breath!)

STEP 3: Add your GREENERY

- Be sure to pick out at least one stem of greenery when you're here at Ampersand Flowers & Events. (All of our greenery stems are only $2 each.)

- One stem of greenery can go a long way! Our greenery can usually be broken down into smaller pieces, to help you get more bang-for-your-buck.

- In the above photo, just one portion of one stem of some baby blue eucalyptus completed this look.

- This means you'll have more eucalyptus leftover to put somewhere else in your house! (And we just love the smell of fresh eucalyptus on a nightstand or bathroom counter.)

STEP 4: Enjoy your one-of-a-kind creation!

- Remember, arranging flowers is an art. And this is your work of art. So there are no wrong choices here! It’s 100% subjective.

- But if you ever need suggestions, stop by the shop anytime! We're always happy to answer questions or offer advice.

- We're open 11am until 7pm Tuesday through Friday, and usually from 10am until 2pm on Saturdays, unless there's a private event.

- Please be sure to look at our Facebook page on the day of your visit, to make sure there aren't any closures due to a private event.

LASTLY:

- To keep your flowers fresher longer, try to change the water every 5 days or so, whenever you notice the water getting cloudy.

- Each time you change the water, be sure to cut another little bit off the stem of each flower (again, at an angle).

- Cut flowers actually prefer cooler temperatures. So there's no harm in popping your vase in the fridge overnight.

Still have questions? Need help with larger arrangements? Looking to host a "Girls' Night Out" where you can create little bouquets without making a mess of your own house? Give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to help!

We host monthly workshops for only $35 per person, we can create arrangements for any kind of events (including weddings, same-day deliveries, and holiday centerpieces), and we feature "Build-Your-Own-Bouquet Occasions" starting at only $20 per guest.

Updated: Nov 7

You don’t need to break the bank to set a gorgeous holiday table

Let’s face it, the turkey is the real star of Thanksgiving anyway—or, if you’re like me, the pumpkin pie. With that in mind, here are 5 quick & easy tips to help you create a beautiful centerpiece that’s actually affordable.

1. Use Several Small Vases

A trio of tiny vases

Why use one vase when you can use lots of vases! This look stays cohesive by using similar flowers and colors in all three vases.

As long as each piece is connected in some visual way, your vases can (and should) be different shapes and sizes. For this look, we spray-painted everything white—but rose gold is always a good idea too.

Just remember: Odd numbers work best. So use 3, 5, or 7 vases (vs. 4 or 6). The same rule holds true for the flowers themselves. For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest board “Hold Me Closer, Tiny Vases.”

Side note: You could also create an arrangement with dried flowers. There are actually a few mixed in here. They tend to be pretty cost-effective... and they’ll last about 100x longer than the leftovers will.

2. Large Vase, Small Opening

An extra-large vase with an extra-small opening

Think about it: The smaller the opening, the fewer flowers you’ll need to make it look full. Let the vase itself be the star.

Here, it only took about 7 stems to make this lovely ceramic jug look complete. We did splurge a bit on the vase, though: It was a closeout special for $16.75 at Afloral.com.

3. Find a Shallow Vase

A short, shallow vase with one big bloom & a few accents

Centerpieces don’t need to be huge.

In fact, the taller they are, the more trouble your guests will have carrying on conversations—as they’re literally trying to talk *over* your flowers.

A short, shallow vase doesn’t necessarily need a ton of flowers either. If you use just a few extra-large stems, the vessel will still appear full.

In the example above, that lavender ruffled cabbage really shines—because, as local supplier Sunny Meadows Flower Farm puts it, “Cabbages are flowers too!

4. Pick a Statement Flower

The infamous Cafe Au Lait

This massive Café Au Lait Dahlia does indeed make a statement. But our favorite statement flower can be summed up in one word: Protea.

Native to South Africa, they’re not exactly local—but they are conversation starters.

Worried about talk at the dinner table turning toward politics? Just create a centerpiece that features something a Banksia Protea. Problem solved.

5. Think Outside the Vase

This ceramic pitcher does double-duty as a vase too

You probably have a dozen different items lying around your house right now that you could put some flowers in and call it a “vase.”

We love using unique vessels to hold flowers—like ceramic pitchers and old-fashioned milk jugs, teapots and copper kettles, wine bottles and pilsner glasses—you get the idea.

Be creative! And if you do make an amazing display using a non-traditional vase, tag us on Instagram @ampersandflowers and show us what you come up with.

We love seeing our customers’ creations!

At Ampersand Flowers & Events, we sell our flowers “by the stem,” which means you can buy as many or as few as you’d like. They start at just $1 each, so we have something for every table and every budget. And we always try to stock as many seasonal, local blooms as possible.

You can even B.Y.O.V.: bring your own vase into the shop, and we’ll create a gorgeous custom arrangement just for you—at no extra charge. We normally try to have it ready in less than an hour, but during the holidays, please give us at least 24 hours’ notice.

Let us help you set an unforgettable holiday table. We’re open 11am-7pm Tuesday through Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays. (But please be sure to check our Facebook page for closures due to private events.)

Looking for more inspiration and ideas? We’ll be hosting our first official workshop, Fall Bouquet Making 101, here at our flower shop at 5594 N. High St. on Thursday, November 21 at 7pm.

Tickets are $35 and include everything you’ll need to make a lovely Thanksgiving display—plus delicious cupcakes from Happy Flour 614. Hope to see you there!

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