Flowers for Your Book Club

You don’t need to spend a fortune on flowers – many grocery stores carry inexpensive bunches of mixed blooms that you can easily transform into a beautiful small arrangement for your next book club gathering.

When you bring your flowers home, get them into water as quickly as possible, even if this means ripping the bottom of the paper wrapping and immersing the bottom few inches of the flowers in water in your kitchen sink. If you’re not pressed for time, find a clean bucket or large jug, fill it with a few inches of cool water, and place the flowers in it.

When you’re ready to arrange your flowers, have everything ready: your scissors or floral shears, material to bind your posy, and a small vase or container filled with fresh, cool water.

Now, take three to five of your largest or prettiest blooms and hold them loosely in your non-dominant hand. Fill in the spaces between them with secondary blooms and foliage, tucking them around, below and above the larger flowers. Make sure to rotate the bunch as you work and look at it from all angles. When you are satisfied with the overall effect, bind the stems together firmly with florist’s tape or plain kitchen twine and trim the stems so the arrangement fits your chosen container.

Here are some more tips to help you make the most of your flowers:


– Make sure the amount of flowers is in proportion to the size of the container. If you only have a small bunch, use a small container.
– When in doubt, cut stems short and mass blooms tightly.
– Mix expensive flowers in with cheaper blooms.
– Think outside the vase and use unusual containers such as an empty jam jar or vintage creamer.
– Don’t fix it and forget it: refresh the water in your arrangement every few days to keep your flowers happy.
– Be aware that many commonly available flowers, lilies in particular, are extremely poisonous and can kill your pets or harm your children. If you are in doubt about the safety of any given flower, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has a list online of toxic flowers and plants.