Flower arrangement tips from 1952

Arrangement of flowers is an art form. And as our May 1952 issue proves, it’s been around for a long time. From how to properly cut stems to pretty ways to display your flowers, these timeless tips still resonate today. You might want to take some notes.

1. For a breakfast or lunch table, fill the egg cups with daisies and place a cup at each setting.

2. Study your garden plants before cutting them, so that you will cut off any flowers or foliage that curves in the right direction for your arrangement.

3. Line a basket with a cake tin and fill it with small bunches of spring flowers tied together with string.

4. Small-stemmed flowers, such as blueberries, sweet peas and daisies, are easy to handle if tied up in small bunches before being placed in an arrangement.

5. For a summer centerpiece, stack green apples on a breadboard; among the apples insert test tubes with white flowers from the garden; then garnish the arrangement with parsley.

6. When you want long stems, it is not necessary to demolish a plant. You can assemble the rods by wiring them to another rod that will secure them to the bracket and keep their cut ends below the waterline.

7. Paint a wire egg basket white and fill it with red cherries and daisies.

8. Don’t be afraid to use fine thread to hold main lines and special flowers in place. All the experts do it, but they are careful not to let the thread show through.

9. Make a wreath of blueberry or boxwood leaves; place it in a flat bowl and arrange the fresh flowers in the center.

10. When using a clear glass container, attach a sheet or two to the stand to hide the flower stems and the stand.

11. For an afternoon party, fill Victorian tea cups with small bunches of violets and place a cup at each setting.

12. Use clear tape to hold tall branches or foliage in place. Secure it to the side of the container, at the back, where it will not be visible.

13. Make a pyramid of strawberries in the center of a flat container, using toothpicks to hold the berries in place. Surround it with ivy stems.

14. Make a bottom line of durable foliage and only use a few flowers to form the focal point of your arrangement. When the flowers wilt, you can remove them and replace them without disturbing the greens.

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15. For a barbecue table, arrange two large bunches of bananas, placed on the edge and facing each other, in a flat wooden bowl. Fill the space between them with ivy or other greens arranged on a needle holder.

16. If you want flowers or foliage to hang from the sides of a container, place them in orchid tubes (available from florists). You can tilt the tubes as you want, as long as they are not visible.

17. For dinner, arrange garnet roses in champagne glasses (use toasting) and place a glass at each setting.

18. Use angel food baked in a tubular cake pan. Fill a jelly glass with water and place it in the center of the cake. Then ice the cake and arrange the flowers in the glass. For a bride’s lunch, use white frosting and white flowers. For Christmas, use red flowers and small colorful balls for the arrangement.

19. Do not use too many flowers in your arrangements. The piling up of flowers detracts from their charm and beauty.

20. To shape a Scottish broom or similar foliage, wrap it with fine wire and bend it to shape and bend as you desire. Keep it wired overnight. When you remove the wire, the curve will remain.

21. For an Easter feast, arrange tall branches of forsythia or clumps of flowering fruit trees in the center of the table and pile colorful eggs at the base of the arrangement.

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22. You will have less difficulty arranging the flowers in a container with a narrow neck if you do not use a stand. Form the arrangement in your hand, connecting the ends of the stems together when you place the flowers.

23. If you have an old spice cabinet, pull out two or three drawers and make small arrangements in each. You can attach them with ivy stems.

24. Remember to use the right foliage. Flowers look best when highlighted by foliage or branches.

25. Remember that flower arrangement is simply about displaying the flowers to their best advantage.

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