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And so gardeners who are savvy about growing but little versed in tabletop composition are heading off to class. “Flower arranging has become much more popular in the past couple of years,” says Nicolette Owen, who, along with Sarah Ryhanen, runs the Brooklyn, New York–based Little Flower School, which offers courses like Ranunculus Revisited and Dutch Masters. And across the East River, in a shop in Midtown Manhattan, enrollment among twenty- and thirtysomethings is up at FlowerSchool New York. “It used to be like the garden club, but it’s become more hip,” says director Eileen Johnson. “People are interested in entertaining, and there’s a lot of crossover between cooking and entertaining and flowers.”
LONG-LASTING FLOWERS AND GREENS
1 Philodendron Waxy and tough, these leaves stay fresh for ages if you change the water regularly.
2Calla lily Place several stems, cut to the same length, in a vase to create a clean, modern arrangement.
3White Gerber daisy An alternative to the standard daisy, it bends playfully in different directions.
4White chrysanthemum To avoid rot, remove all leaves that sit below the surface of the water. This applies to all flowers.
5Anthurium Leave stems long and arrange in a tall, narrow vase.
6Protea A single stem works well in a tall bottle or cut short in a bud vase.
7Cymbidium orchid Float flowers in a low bowl, or mix whole stems with assorted leaves.
8Button chrysanthemum Use these blooms to add an informal wildflower note to arrangements.
9Star of Bethlehem Arrange a few stems in a tall, narrow-neck vase. Cut fleshy stems regularly to keep flowers fresh.
10Carnation Trim short and use to cover a mound of floral foam set in a low bowl.
11Sea holly Its intense texture and blue color can offer a great contrast to more delicate blooms.
12Waxflower Kept tall and loose, it adds a pretty, organic touch to a mixed arrangement.
13Baby’s breath The parsley of flower arrangements, this often discarded floral garnish is very dramatic when massed in a black urn.