The Insider's Guide To Perfect Flower Arrangements

Florists are artists, and we work in a perishable medium. We love what we do and often have favorites that are not your run-of-the mill flowers. If you're not a flower expert, the best way to get the most for your money at the flower shop is to let the expert choose the ingredients and use their artistry to create a one-of-a-kind design just for your needs. Give them some basics — any favorite colors, a little about the occasion, and some style bits about the person (like "It's for my grandma, and she is very old-fashioned," or, "It's for my 14-year-old niece, and she loves bright colors!") and let them do what they do best!

Here are some tips for chatting with your florist and getting a designer's choice arrangement that meets your needs — and your budget!

  • Don't be container-specific. Let the designer design to the container they think works best with their look. 
  • Give them a budget. Your florist can make a $15 arrangement or a $1,500 arrangement. They need to know what a client wants to spend, and then they can create the right piece for you.
  • Let them go seasonal! In the fall, the mums, fall leaves, calla lilies, and dahlias are absolutely gorgeous. In the spring, the hyacinth may be to-die-for. Let the florist choose what goes in the arrangement, as they know what came in the prettiest from the growers.
  • Use the same florist regularly; they'll get to know you, and they'll get to know your recipient — and what their favorites are!
  • Use general terms to describe your needs — modern, traditional, bright, seasonal, tall, etc. This will give the designer an idea of what you're looking for without cramping their style.
  • Give them an idea what the occasion is or a bit about the person. That way the florist will know who they are designing for, or what the setting is.
  • Give them a day's notice at least so they can get you the best flowers available instead of using leftovers in the cooler. 
  • Ask for long-lasting flowers if you want them to last a while. The florist can use things like tropicals, hardy mums, and other long-lasting options instead of tulips and dahlias, which have a shorter shelf life.

This article is courtesy of Lilli Black, Owner of Bella Calla in Denver, CO and florist on the flower delivery site, BloomNation.You can go to to find the best flower shops and independent floral designers in your area.