The art of arranging flowers doesn’t always come naturally. We asked a couple of Greenville’s talented floral experts to break down the beauty of spring bouquet-making, sharing the secrets you need to create your own arrangements for any occasion.

1. KEEP IT CLEAN
Did you know the presence of bacteria can cut two days off your arrangement’s vase life? Be sure your vessel, water, and most importantly, clippers are very clean before you begin.
—Melissa Smith, Flower Therapy

2. PALETTE PERFECT
Color is a great place to start. A no-fail formula: one color you really love, plus two complementary hues. Other ideas? Bring more colors to the mix, work with just one hue for a modern, monochromatic look, or if you feel lost, add white—it goes with everything.
—Melissa Smith, Flower Therapy

3. EASY AS 1, 2, 3
1. Start with filler greenery—add in all around the vessel or at three opposite points.
2. Place the focal flowers. Vary the heights for dimension and use an odd number for best results.
3. Fill in with smaller blooms, accent flowers, and more greenery. Tweak until you’re happy.
—Susan Ashcraft & Jennifer Haley, Blithe Floral

4. VIBE CHECK
The vessel you choose can say as much as the flowers themselves. Think beyond traditional vases and try building arrangements in vintage ice buckets, lined wooden bowls, pitchers, or a grouping of tiny bud vases.
—Susan Ashcraft & Jennifer Haley, Blithe Floral


Photography by Paul Mehaffey

5. ANCHOR + STABILIZE
Florist tricks like creating a grid across the top of the vessel with clear floral tape, nestling chicken wire into the bottom of the container, or using rocks to anchor stems give your arrangement stability and structure.
—Susan Ashcraft & Jennifer Haley, Blithe Floral

6. PICK YOUR BLOOMS
The healthiest flowers are those grown closest to you. If you can, source seasonal blossoms for your arrangement from area flower farmers, which you can find at local markets or scupstateflowers.com. Fill in with greenery and other blooms foraged from your yard. And if you need to shop national supermarkets for flowers due to the season or other constraints, look for the “American Grown” label.
—Melissa Smith, Flower Therapy

7. THINK SMALL, WORK SLOW
Flower arrangements reveal themselves through trial and error. Take your time to appreciate nature’s beauty as you work and make small adjustments along the way. Sometimes the tiniest tweak can produce the best arrangement. Patience is essential.
—Susan Ashcraft & Jennifer Haley, Blithe Floral


Photography by Paul Mehaffey

Blithe Floral

“Working with flowers is calming and therapeutic,” explains Jennifer Haley, co-founder of Blithe Floral. “It allows me to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature.” Her business partner, Susan Ashcraft, feels the same way, and their common love of flowers lays the foundation for Blithe Floral. Both women were freelancing as independent florists and found themselves working together on so many of the same events that they eventually formalized the collaboration in 2019. Today, they are a full-service florist team, creating floral designs for weddings, large events, intimate gatherings, and individual bouquets. “Flowers breathe life into a home. They make every day special,” says Ashcraft. Follow along at blithefloral.com or @blithe.floral on Instagram.


Flower Therapy

A former graphic designer, Melissa Smith knows a thing or two about color and design. Eager for a career change that could get her away from a computer and into the dirt, Smith began farming flowers nine years ago. Her farm has grown steadily over the years, and she now sells seasonal blooms wholesale as well as retail through her bouquet pop-up and delivery service. She is also the co-founder of SC Upstate Flowers, a community of regional growers that works to support each other and promote locally grown flowers. “Lots of people think arranging flowers is only for creative or artistic people, but just try it! It’s a fun, relaxing pursuit.” Find Smith’s flowers at fraylick.com or @flwrtherapy on Instagram.

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