Everyone loves the look of a fresh floral arrangement – the bright colors, the sweet scent. But its beauty is so fleeting, and it can bring on a bout of sneezes and itchy eyes for those with pollen sensitivities. So what do you do if you want the look of freshly picked flowers without any of the pitfalls? Go faux! You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite stems no matter the season.
To ensure you get a truly lifelike look with your faux florals, we went straight to the expert for tips. Our friend Mindy Francis Staton is the co-founder of Two Little Buds, a farm-to-florist business located just outside our hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
While Mindy was in college, she worked for local florists and fell in love with the art. She opened her florist shop in 2007 with her mom, Alice, who has always been an avid gardener. The two started Morning Sun Flower Farm in 2015, with the goal to grow as many flowers as they can to source for their arrangements. The farm not only provides the materials Mindy needs for her creations, but it is also a constant source of inspiration. “Witnessing the change in each new season, and seeing the crop of blossoms that appears, fuels my design work. We grow everything from tulips, daffodils, and ranunculuses in the springtime; dahlias, sunflowers and foxglove in the summer and mums in the fall,” Mindy says. While ranunculus is her favorite fresh flower to work with, when it comes to faux blossoms, she loves peonies. “They’re so beautiful and lifelike. They can stand alone or be mixed into a statement-making bouquet.”
To create a faux arrangement of your own, you’ll need a (very!) sharp pair of wire cutters for trimming stems and tape to create a grid on top of the vessel you’ll be using (this keeps the stems in place).
“Start by choosing a balanced mix of focal flowers and accent foliage,” Mindyrecommends. “It can help to establish a desired color palette based on the season or your home decor.” Then, lay out your materials so you can plan and build your design. Trim the stems so they fit into your desired vase, leaving a little more length than you think you’ll need. You can always trim a bit more later on if needed.
“Arrange a base of greenery first,” Mindy says, “then you can swap in and out your mix of statement flowers whenever the season changes or you’re ready for a new look.”
One of Mindy’s favorite things to do is add an unexpected element, like faux fruit. “I love kumquats. They’re great for mixing in any arrangement whether real or imitation. I have four branches in this arrangement so far, and I want more!”
While Mindy tries to grow as many of her own fresh flowers as possible, faux additions can end up coming in handy. “I once did a wedding where the bride wanted lots of cherry blossom branches to decorate the reception space, but they weren’t in season. Faux branches were just the right thing for achieving the look she wanted.”
Whether your heart belongs in the garden or you’re all about faux, there’s no doubt that Mindy’s arrangements are an inspiration. We just can’t get enough of the arrangements she put together using stems from our Flower Shop … and now we can’t wait to create some of our own.
Get more floral inspiration by following Mindy on Instagram @twolittlebuds. Show us your faux floral arrangements by following us @frontgate and using #frontgate to share your photos.