When creating an arrangement, also consider the number of flowers you'll need—less can often be more. Some of the most stunning and evocative centrepieces can be made with a single flower. A lone bud bouquet is also a great way to get the most out of your flowers as they begin to age, droop or wilt; just cut off a blossom and display it on its own in a shallow, crescent-shaped container for an unassuming, but elegant, display.
Five tips to help make your blooms last
1. Choose stems with buds that are just beginning to open; full blooms mean the plant is nearing the end of its life. Make sure leaves are shiny, not dull.
2. Cut stems at a 45-degree angle before placing flowers in a container to increase water intake and extend their lifespan. Use a sharp knife or scissors; a dull blade can injure stems and keep them from getting nutrients.
3. Strip the lower leaves, ensuring none are below water level, which can promote bacteria growth.
4. Use lukewarm water for most flowers. Change water every two days.
5. Keep your bouquet longer by adding floral food. Mix one teaspoon lemon or lime juice, a teaspoon sugar and a few drops of bleach for each litre of water.