ISSUE 10  |  Color Academy

Supermarket Tulips Transformed: A Ten Dollar Bouquet

March 11, 2016 6:00 AM

BY Erin Boyle

There are benefits to supermarket flowers, the first being that they make grocery shopping feel less onerous and the second being that they’re on the affordable end of the price spectrum. At $8 a bunch, I could pop these tulips into my grocery bag without hesitation. Even better, tulips are so lively on their own that they don’t need anything extra to look impressive. The trick is in how you arrange them:

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Above: When you select tulips, choose flowers with petals that are still relatively closed, but not so tight that you can’t peek inside. I sometimes shy away from very brightly colored flowers, but this orangey-red was so spunky that I couldn’t resist.

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Above: Like most cut flowers, tulips like a fresh cut once you get home. Some people swear by cutting tulip stems under water, but I’ve had luck just giving them a quick trim. Use clean scissors to cut your stems at an angle. If you need a good pair of shears, see our favorites in 10 Easy Pieces: Floral Scissors.

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Above: Next, remove any damaged leaves by stripping them off the stem. Tulip leaves add nice greenery to a simple bouquet, but too many can overpower the flowers in an arrangement.

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Above: Tulips prefer cool water, so fill your vessel with a few inches of cool tap water. I have a soft spot for antique ironstone pitchers. You can get a similar White Ironstone Pitcher from a vintage shop on Etsy at a range of price points.

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Above: One of the most delightful things about tulips is the way they swoop in every direction. I like to arrange tulips in wide-mouthed pitchers so there’s ample opportunity for them to lean and swoon. Cutting my stems to a variety of lengths and adding them one at a time helps me to get the shape just right.

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Above: Surprisingly, tulips can continue to grow after they’ve been cut. Give your tulips a fresh trim and fresh water every day to prolong their life.

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Above: Kept away from the heat, a bunch of tulips can last up to eight days. I can’t say the same for my groceries.

For more of Erin’s easy floral arrangements, see DIY: The Ultimate Disguise for a Plastic Florists’ Pot and Bouquet of the Week: Splurge on Black and White Anemones.

This is an update of a post that originally ran on April 12, 2013 as part of our Bring on the Spring issue.