🎭 Amy's Floral Kingdom
Let Amy show you how to brighten up your home and your life with floral arrangements!
Hello, I'm hoping that this is working. There's been some Internet connection issues today, so I'm really hoping that this is a live broadcast and that people can see me.
So I'm Amy Bibeau and I am here to do a little floral arrangement tutorial for Cloudflare TV today.
And again, I'm hoping that my Internet connection doesn't let me down.
So yeah, so I have been designing floral arrangements fairly regularly for the past two years since I have been working at Cloudflare.
And I think that the main thing to think about when you're, you know, obviously we love flowers, it's like a big thing in our world to, you know, to have flowers for special occasions, give them for gifts.
We have them at our weddings and funerals.
And I think it's a reminder of the beauty, you know, of the natural world.
And so I think flowers hold value just in and of themselves like that. And, you know, it's something that humans are really drawn to.
It's a beauty that we really can't even understand.
So I was doing some sourcing of my flowers today. And I think that's the, you know, first place that we start when it comes to any kind of arrangement is where are you going to buy your flowers?
So firstly, I recommend the first step is if you have a local farmer's market to go and support your local vendors directly.
So if you live in a climate like I do in California, we can have local flowers year round at our markets.
And even other flower markets in other cities, you know, a lot of the flowers are going to be imported.
Some of the benefits from getting your flowers from a local vendor, you know, at a market is, you know, maybe you can get them and they're not wrapped in that annoying plastic, you know, because it's like here we love the earth, we love flowers, but like every time we go to get our flowers, they're wrapped in some kind of like plastic.
So if you buy them at the market, they might not be wrapped in plastic. So that's a bonus.
You're supporting somebody local and you know where they're coming from.
Some of the flowers that we get are being shipped all over the place. I tried to source some localish ones today.
I went to Whole Paycheck and Amazon Foods, Whole Foods, and I was a little disappointed at their selection.
I could tell that they're cramming too many flowers in and then when somebody comes in to take out the flowers, it's destroying the other ones.
And so what you want to do is when you go to get your flowers is look really carefully at the heads of all of them and make sure that they're not broken off.
Make sure that you can, that there's the leaves aren't rotted.
It's a really good way to tell if the flowers are old is if the leaves are falling off or a grace.
Check and make sure that none of the stems are broken because it's disappointing when you pick out some flowers and then you get them home and you open them up and they're like stinky and like slimy and you're like, no, I just, you know, spent $17 on these or $20 or however much you're, you know, you're buying the flowers for.
So it's disappointing when they're not, when they're not good.
So check them. I think one of the things when it comes to making an arrangement is to give yourself plenty of time and have patience.
You know, you don't, even when you get them home, you're not in a rush.
If you, if you rip the plastic open too fast, you might damage one of your little flower friends and then you might.
So, you know, always check what you're buying and, and make sure that it's what you really want.
So these are some like palms and they're, they're usually pretty, pretty affordable.
You can get one of these for like five bucks and they make a, they make a nice filler and they look nice with some of your like more expensive flowers.
I didn't find any roses that I really liked today when I was sourcing. And, you know, I'm not always a fan, like the carnation kind of gets a bad rap.
Like people don't always love them, but these I picked because they're a really pretty color.
They kind of match my dress. And they last a really long time. So if you cut your flowers regularly and keep the water fresh, your flowers can last a long time.
Carnations can last for two weeks. When I was doing the flowers for Cloudflare, like on the regular, I would go in the morning and I would, I would just pile up a bunch of, you know, what I wanted, what was fresh, what was good that week.
And then I would go back and I would, I would take all the flowers that were still good from last week and incorporate them into new arrangements.
So if you pick the right flowers right away, they can last for a long time.
Lilies is the same thing.
Like when you buy your lilies, make sure you buy them, you know, closed up and, and they could last for really long time.
Now with something like a lily, you're going to want to pull off the stamen.
I didn't buy any lilies, but the stamens on the flowers are those, you know, they have the pollen on them and the dust.
And when you have a lily, you're going to want to toss those stamens away because they, when they open up, not only does it, the flower doesn't last as long if you leave the stamen on.
I've heard this is, I totally just heard someone say that and I'm repeating it.
So this is not the gospel. So, but also that stuff goes everywhere.
So it's nice if you can pop those stamens off and, and if you don't want to get on your hand, you can use a paper towel or I'll use a little scissors and just like snip them off into the trash.
So today I picked out some thistle. I'm a huge fan of this stuff.
If you were in Cloudflare before we went to working from home in the San Francisco office, you would see these a lot in my arrangements because one of the other things that we're talking about when we're putting together flower arrangements is the texture.
It's like you have something like smooth, like this little tulip friend, and then you put it with the thistle and it really adds a lot of like flair and beauty to your arrangements.
And then I also bought these little friends.
I didn't catch the name on them. I don't know the names of all the flowers.
There's a lot. I learned a lot in the last two years. You know, I usually make my own little names.
I would call these like little red berries, you know, and they look nice in a seasonal.
Obviously right now we're in the holiday season.
So people are looking at your reds and greens and berries and stuff like that.
So yeah, I got, and then I have these tulips. And one of the things that people have trouble with when it comes to a tulip is, so when you get your tulip and it's wrapped in some kind of wrapper and then you cut, cut the stems, if you take it out of the wrapper and just cut the stems and put it in water, your little tulip friends, they might get all droopy and sad because the tulips are stored oftentimes out of water so that they last longer.
As soon as you start putting your tulip friends or even other flowers, like for example peonies, they'll keep the peonies out of the water during like the marketing, you know, the moving and the transport so that they don't open up and then you're losing your inventory.
I worry about flower vendors because it's a really delicate inventory, you know.
It's like if you don't sell them and they go bad, you know, you're losing your money and, you know, we don't want that for any of our businesses.
So you don't want to rip the leaves off a tulip.
Like one of the other things when it comes to flower care is like what do you do with the leaves and like defoliating them is a good idea.
But so basically what I was saying, getting back to my embryon, is when you bring your tulips home, leave them in the wrapper, put them in water and make sure they're really upright for at least four hours and then the stems will have a chance to harden and then you can start pulling them out and doing arrangements with them and then that way they won't go floppy and sad.
So this one I'm putting some of the tulips in the jars.
Another reason that you want to defoliate your flowers when you're doing your arrangements is the more leaves that you leave in the water, the more that those are going to decay in the water and then you're going to have bacteria and the water gets stinky and your flowers don't last as long.
So I'm a big fan of defoliating.
You want to leave some leaves just for the like the like effect of having something green.
But for the most part I'm a big fan of serious defoliating of my plant friends.
I'm going to do that now. I didn't do ahead of time so I could kind of give examples.
Now you don't want to rip, you don't want to like rip the tulip because again then you're going to destroy the stem.
But I'm going to cut off all those guys and put that in there.
And when it comes to making a really nice arrangement, so we're looking at color and we're looking at texture and those are I think the main things.
And then how many flowers do you put in each arrangement?
You don't want to crowd your arrangements and have them, you know, like it's like you want it to be full but you want each flower to be able to have its own personality like shine through.
Kind of like when you're in a meeting you don't want like one person in the meeting, you know what I mean, to like take all the focus.
So unless like you have just a couple really stellar flowers that you're trying to showcase.
Like you know a lot of times with like gladiola those are really tall and so you might just do an arrangement with just gladiolas.
And then it's like the heights.
You want to have a variety of your flower friends have like a variety of heights when you're putting them in the arrangements.
And I normally use a like a I guess like a like a cutter.
Like it's not a scissors, like a flower cutter.
And I recommend that if you're going to be serious about your flowers because the scissors doesn't always work.
It's not going to cut like a woody, a really woody stem and then you're you're struggling.
So usually I like to make my most beautiful flowers like the tallest but that's not a rule that you know anybody needs to follow.
Normally when I do my Cloudflare TV segments I have a guest and so you know now with it just being me doing flowers you know I'm a little nervous and hopefully my Internet connection is still working.
And I'm not just making all this up you know but for myself.
So maybe I'll move this closer and you can see I'm putting the little thistle friend in there again because he's really cute.
We're getting some. So also you're looking at when you're doing your arrangements the width of your the neck of your vase.
So because you want your flowers to be pretty upright usually.
So I usually if I'm using a jar I'll try to find the more narrow mouth jar because that is just it's just easier.
Well this is a cute little carnation.
I didn't even know it had like multiple on one stem.
That's pretty cute. And again taking off the leaves is important so that you don't you just don't want anything extraneous in the water like to be able to decay there.
So this is the one we're building right now.
And I think another thing about doing the flowers or like making your own arrangement is it is a moment of zen for yourself.
It's like you get to just when you're not like turning back and forth to a like a screen that you're you're working on.
It's like you get to just be in your own head and connect with that like beauty of nature as I was talking about earlier.
So here is I would add maybe one more little palm friend to this one.
And again like when your flower friends are all like together you just really take some patience because they're delicate.
And so you don't want to you don't want to rush.
You want to just be patient. And I just I clean up later.
I'll just like throw the leaves. If anybody remembers from seeing this in the San Francisco office I would take up the entire giant counter of the all hands and fill it with flowers and flower remnants.
And it brought a lot of joy.
It was definitely my favorite part of the week was coming in on a Monday and beautifying the office and knowing that it brightened the space.
It brightened people's days.
It was my chance to have those organic actions I think that we're all missing with our colleagues.
And I would basically call this one I would call this friend done.
So here is the first arrangement that we made here. And I think it's pretty cute.
I don't know. I just got a message from Zoom that my Internet connection is unstable.
So hopefully you guys can still hear me. I guess I missed out putting our little berry friends in this one.
So I'll add one of those. But again I'm going to take off the leaves.
See that kind of fills it in nicely. There was a little gap. Now there's a little berry friend.
And I think it's cute. I'm going to make it a little shorter.
I don't want it to overpower the thistle friend. And if I had a guest I would ask them what they think of my bouquet.
But I'm just going to assume that you guys love it.
I know that my aunties are watching. I don't normally promote my club for TV segments.
But I did invite my auntie Carol and my aunt Jeannie to watch my show today.
So I definitely am going to give a shout out to them.
I hope that they're watching that. Obviously we're all getting ready for Christmas during COVID.
And that is maybe our holiday isn't the thing that we normally plan.
And so maybe buy yourself some flowers if you're doing something this Christmas and you don't get to have as much like festive time with your family and you're wondering how you can make it more special.
You know why not buy yourself some really nice flowers and make some arrangements at home.
It doesn't have to just be about the Christmas tree.
Again the whole paycheck flower selection today at Walnut Creek was a little bit less than what I normally want to see.
I've been pretty spoiled to be able to go to the San Francisco flower market.
And that is not the same experience as going to the Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.
I found a better selection at Trader Joe's.
I think Trader Joe's is a really great spot if you're not getting flowers from your local market.
I think Trader Joe's tends to have a nice selection.
And it's a good price. And of course you know when we talk about the flower industry it's not necessarily the greenest or most sustainable industry.
So if you can again support your local people or check in.
I will say that some of the flowers I got at Whole Foods today were like whole trade.
And so hopefully that means that the people that are growing these flowers are being compensated you know in a way.
And that the workers you know are able to have a living wage.
Because I think when we're sourcing anything in this modern world you know paying attention to that is always a bonus when we can be mindful.
So again I'm going to add these cute little pink carnations.
Again carnations get a little bit of a bad rap because they're not very expensive.
But I think they can really add a lot of color.
The back of my head is probably not as photogenic.
But I only have a one camera set up.
I'm just one Amy Bebo doing this segment from my cottage in Lafayette. So I don't have a production team here with me.
So it's like which you know am I going to make the focal point of this arrangement?
I guess what I've selected since I kind of made them the tallest are these cute pink carnations.
And again you don't want to overdo it. I think less is more in a lot of times when you're making an arrangement.
Especially if you're new to flower arrangement.
I would just pick maybe two or three of your favorite flowers that you like at the market.
I love dahlias but again they're not going to last as long.
And same thing with like a peony. Once the peony opens up it maybe doesn't have that long of a shelf life but it's worth it.
And that brings me to another like common issue that people run into with flowers is like well what if you spend all this money on flowers and you buy them and then they don't open right?
Like you buy these beautiful roses and then they don't open.
Or you buy these gorgeous hydrangeas and suddenly they all wilt.
Wilting is common in flowers that have a woody stem.
And so there's a couple different techniques you can do if you're going to be really serious about your flower arranging life.
You might buy a thing called quick dip where you when you cut the ends you actually dip it in this chemical and then that helps.
So what happens with the woody stems is when you cut them it's like an injury so the sap covers over the stem.
And the stem you need to draw water.
When the stem draws water the flower friends is happy. So with the hydrangeas if you don't if you have a hydrangea at home and you cut it like you have a bush and you cut them and you bring it.
A really easy trick if you want to buy a chemical is to just take the stem and gently crush it with like a knife or something so that you're breaking up the bottom of the stem and you're allowing more pathways for the water to draw into the flower friend.
And then you're not going to be sad.
I can tell you that in order for me to learn that I had to be disappointed several times with flowers that I bought at the market.
These hydrangeas and I bring them back and I'd be like they're wilted you know they didn't they didn't last.
And then I learned I was doing something wrong. So it's good when we can learn when we're doing something wrong and then have a have a solution for that.
So make another one. I also um I created I again I'm having some connection issues but I did create a little presentation that I'm going to show you guys now of some of the flower arrangements that I did in the past.
So let's see if that works.
Okay so so the flower program born during the Christmas season of 2018 which was my first year and Corey my boss at the time said hey I want to have centerpieces on the on the tables for the team lunch this year.
And so I volunteered to make the centerpieces and that involved me going to the flower market and um and you know making a bunch of different arrangements.
So that begat you know that idea um I haven't done a lot of these presentations.
How can I go back? There we go.
There you go. So the Christmas ones um so as you can see here some cute little carnation friends some little thistles.
I put um you know I bought a bunch of greenery.
I bought these little red berries and bought all these jars and then I we had all these flowers and we had all these jars and we realized that it was a fun thing and that is how we kept going with that.
And so um these flowers are from when we opened the London office um or they're the second phase of the London office and um these are ranunculus which are super beautiful.
Again they're not that hearty um so it's like you can buy your your more sturdy flowers that are gonna last a little while and then you can buy your like specialty flowers and like put them in and then you know maybe in a week you get some more special flowers.
Also like these little orange ball ones they kind of remind me of like beaker from the Muppets with the little orange heads.
I think those are really cute. Um I used to buy those all the time.
Um little yellow ball friends are cute and the proteas are also really cute.
Um and then again here's some tulip friends and some roses um and and again the gladiolas.
So with this with a really simple arrangement where I just um the tall little green ball friends which I think are really cute.
So yeah that is um something I made to show you guys.
So you know hopefully when we're back in the office we can have more flowers and it gives you some ideas as you see like how you can combine different flowers together um and and make something like kind of unexpected.
And uh I guess oh I pushed space and I was just doing it on its own.
I haven't done a lot of presentations but like we're all learning together.
Um so yeah so I'm gonna go back. Actually I think I'll just leave these slides up because they're cute.
And I'm gonna bring us back to the Christmas ones because it's holiday time.
So yeah here's me in the corner um working on this other arrangement here.
And again if I was in the office I would have picked out a lot more um options and then I would be able to make several different arrangements.
But now it's kind of like we're gonna get four iterations of the same arrangement.
But those are we have.
I think one of the things also I think I said that's fun of flowers is selecting nice bases.
Um I really love this vase. This is my um this is my favorite vase. I think what I got today really is as tall as I want for this one.
Um but we're since we're getting a little close to the end I guess I'm gonna I'm gonna move into my taller vase.
And again the really important thing always cut the ends of the stem.
And I would cut them every time you change the water. And I would change the water every three days.
Um and if you end up going back to that person you can support your community.
You can always ask our vendors questions. Um like it's nice together and it's really fun to express um your creativity.
So we have this little vase.
I'm gonna try to pop them just around on the um level of the vase.
And see how that works. I guess I should have some like special like music playing for when I'm like very thoughtfully um you know just placing the flowers in the vase.
See this one is too short.
Like I'm gonna take him out. Yeah I'm gonna put him in a in a one of these little things.
I might tall for that. And again like just gonna cut. I'm dealing with the height issue.
I'm just very um well cut cut anywhere from an inch to more off of your um off of your flower arrangement.
So yeah I hope everybody's doing good.
My Internet connection is stable. Zoo keeps telling me not just a connection you know.
I know my emotional state you know. You're experiencing like lacks of stability during COVID.
Um but ultimately I think remaining optimistic.
Finding the things that we enjoy. Um figuring out how we can share those things you know with our community.
With our friends. Uh someone nominated me to do this segment.
And so whoever you are thank you. I hope that you're watching.
Um because you know it's I haven't had fresh flowers actually in my house for a while.
Like not since I moved into my new place. And so this uh this uh flower flower arranging segment definitely was the uh impetus to mean that I'm gonna have some beautiful flower arrangements at my place you know for the next uh you know however many days they last.
I'm gonna put these little berry friends in here.
Because they're pretty tall. Okay and then once again I think we're gonna have to these little.
So what I don't love about this is I want them to be taller.
So that means I actually have to cut these guys shorter.
Because I can't make the carnations taller. Do not have that kind of magical power.
But the height playing around with the height of your arrangement I think is really really important to figure out um like what you're doing.
You know like because maybe you don't like how it looks and then you just change like the height.
You cut something a little bit or you you know you or change the vase.
I mean you can't do anything wrong. Um but obviously we're we're doing this because we want to end up with something beautiful to appreciate.
And you know that is.
Okay so then here's this stuff. I was going to mention like what do you do with all this little random plastic?
Um this helps they call it flower food.
I'm not sure if it's really food um or if it just helps like the bacteria doesn't grow in the in the bases.
Normally I would mix a little bit of this in before I start.
But um today you know I'm gonna have to mix it in after. I don't really feel like um it's it's like super great television to watch me mix a little packet you know into my flowers.
I could be wrong. Um yeah and then I've got a few more of these friends left.
Again they're all tangled up together. I'm gonna try to extract gently.
So many entanglements you know. So many entanglements. Little flower friends.
These guys traveled pretty far. I think these tend to come from like Columbia.
So again um when you have your choice and you can try to buy from your local people because it's a little more sustainable.
And I think with that we are pretty much done.
So thank you for anybody who had a chance to watch and um I really appreciate Cloudflare TV.
Happy holidays and I will catch you guys next year on my home office TV show.
Thank you so much.