giving you props

The monthly meeting for Home Stager’s Atlantic was held last week at Props Floral Design (1664 Granville Street /

I can’t tell you what a treat it was to walk into the shop on such a grey, dreary and cold day. My spirits lifted immediately when I entered into the world of light and freshness surrounded by incredibly beautiful colors.

It’s an amazing feeling to step into the world of living, breathing flowers.

Props has been in Halifax for 13 years. And they handle more than 40 weddings a year…not to mention a number of other special events. They also do rentals if you are looking for vases and other items for a limited time.

We covered a lot of information, tips and tricks over the course of the evening. But there was one major theme…and that is how you can make a big impact with simple things. The key lesson of the night was repetition, repetition, repetition.

A few ideas for you to try out:

•Tulips and lily grass are a wonderful sign of spring. As tulips naturally tend to flop over, use that to your advantage. In fact, take them out of water for a few hours so they are soft and easier to work with. Then bend them, along with a little bit of lily grass and place them down inside a fish bowl vase. Fill with water and enjoy!

•You can cut of the head of almost any flower and float them in your vase. My favorite, the gerbera daisy, is a great choice for this. Try two or three short, wide glass vessels and put one flower head in each. Add a few rocks on the bottom and some lily grass…and voila! This will last about a week or so.

•I really dislike carnations, but was won over by a simple carnation display that surprised me. You take 3 small square flower pots of different size, full them with a square of green floral sponge (soaked), cut down the flower stems to approx 3 inches and stick them in the sponge. Place them in really close together so that none of the sponge is showing. Using an intense color of flower rally makes this little display pop. This will last 2-3 weeks.

Here are some of the highlights:

•Use a big vase to make a statement.
•Vase jewelry (a silver rim with dangling jewels that slides over the rim of your vase) is available in a variety of sizes, if you want to add some glam to your flowers.
•Instead of mixing flowers and colors, use the same flower in the same color. Whether is a bunch or just a few, your flowers will have more impact this way.
•You don’t need to add greenery to your arrangements. If you choose to, keep it simple and use one type sparingly.
•The best type of greenery is lily grass. It’s cheap, long-lasting, and the most flexible to use in a number of different ways.
•Daisies are cheap, come in lots of great colors, look wonderful on their own in a large bunch and will last about 3 weeks.
•You can also submerge any flower for a beautiful, simple and stunning look. Uplighting your vase really makes this type of arrangement sizzle. (uplighting that can fit under almost any tall cylinder vase is reasonably priced at Props)
•Monastery leaves make for great foliage.

And a few tip & tricks:

•Use Polident Denture tabs to clean your vases. Yup…that’s right. Drop a couple of tabs in a dirty vase with fresh water and let it sit. Watch as your vase – even all the little hard to reach parts – suddenly sparkles.
•Don’t use flower food to extend the life of your flowers. Instead, keep your water fresh and clean by replacing it every day or two get the most out of your flowers.
•To assess the freshness of your flowers, feel them. Just like fruit. If they are rubbery and “squeaky” then they are fresh and will last the longest.
•If your foliage is rubbery, it will last. If it is woody, it will not.
•Always use a knife to cut fresh ends on your flowers. Never use scissors.
•Except for anything on a branch, then you should smash the ends of the branches before putting them in water.

And the best tip of them all? It’s one of the city’s best kept secrets…Props has “Cheap Flower Fridays”. Just as it sounds, Props sells off flowers for a small fraction of the regular price every Friday…it just depends on what is plentiful in the shop that week.

So go on, treat yourself to some flowers…and don’t be afraid to try out all kinds of arrangements and displays. It will lift your spirits and you may surprise yourself!

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