09 Nov2006


Creating floral arrangements for public spaces is a little bit more challenging than doing flowrs2stuff for one’s home because of the scale and need for presence or the “golpe de gulat” factor. Before the eyeball last Saturday, I had planned to make 3-4 large arrangements for Gourdo’s, but the lack of flowers in the markets forced me to scale back those plans. Instead, I opted for a large grouping or arrangement on an outdoor bar and one grouping for the indoor dessert buffet table. I miscalculated in that I expected most of the guests to get food indoors and move outdoors to sit and chat. But the lure of airconditioning was far stronger than the pain of standing for several hours at cocktail tables…then again, most folks were younger than me. Nevertheless, the larger and more intense arrangement was actually outdoors and most folks missed that; passersby at the Fort were probably wondering what the occasion was that warranted the flowers… In case you were curious, here is the arrangement that was outdoors and instructions on how to make it. I had to disassemble the arrangement to take it home and re-did it the following morning for these photos.


To create height, I started with several 5-6 foot leaves from a “horsetail” plant…not sure what that is but they were very long straight leaves. Around that I put 60 stems of azucena or tuberoses. I then added 5 stems of white lilies with several blooms per stem, flowrs44 large blooms of hydrangeas and 6 mini pineapples. I also ringed the inside of the glass vase with small lemongrass stalks. With this arrangement, I had separate vases of single hydrangea blooms and a large low vase filled with dandelion greens that I found at the market that morning. It was an unusual and fragrance packed arrangement. Total cost of flowers: PHP100 for leaves, PHP400 for azucena, PHP650 for lilies, PHP180 for mini-pineapples, PHP300 for hydrangeas, PHP60 for lemongrass or PHP1,690 (USD34). If you had ordered this from a Makati florist, it would have easily cost you PHP6,000 or more. The arrangement also fit well on a massive side table we have at home. And in the subsequent days, I disassembled it and made smaller arrangements with the lilies and other flowers to maximize the investment in flowers…



  1. Maria Clara says:

    Your arrangement is stunning – head turner, good space filler and invites a lot of raves. I love the look of the classic dual color arrangements green and white rather than multicolored ones. Horsetail is like bamboo – they grow like Stage IV cancer and next thing you know it invades the whole planting area. Horsetail is a self-sufficient plant and they will thrive there. In your future arrangements, if you encounter problems with horsetail just prop them with sticks of walis tingting and they will stay sticking up in the sky until the life of your arrangement. Thanks for enlightening me that azucena and tuberose is one and the same. I love the fragrance of tuberose.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 7:10 am


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  3. Sidekick says:

    Horsetail is a goodluck plant. Thanks for giving us the idea how to maximize its use when its already abundant.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 7:11 am

  4. Sidekick says:

    Your arrangement is gorgeous. I love it. I’m showing it to one of the crew so he could have an idea….Thank you.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 7:15 am

  5. cwid says:

    I have not seen dandelions as part of a floral arrangement. I am curious as to how the low vase with dandelion greens looked. I might be able to duplicate this without having to spend a penny.

    Dandelions are treated here as weeds, much like the horsetail that is almost impossible to kill. However, dandelions are edible and can be used as a salad ingredient. Ask Martha Stewart who was reduced to picking dandelions from the prison yard so that she could include fresh greens in her diet.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 7:26 am

  6. Marketman says:

    cwid, I found the dandelion greens at my favorite organic vendor that morning. I decided to rinse them and stick them in the fridge for three hours and they looked really fresh and cool. I stuck them in a low vase en mass and as a foil to the larger arrangement and with other low bowls, they looked pretty good. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the greens… I suspect they would do well as fillers for low arrangements together with flowers…

    Nov 9, 2006 | 7:33 am

  7. consol says:

    wow, you really are amazing! what is it you DON’T know? you’re a banker, management guy, gourmet, chef extraordinaire (?), well-traveled citizen of the world, a heckuva great writer, a good husband and dad (hmmm, i can only speculate) and now even a first-rate florist who can come up with stunning arrangements! er, how about hair and makeup? kid-ding!!! this is YOUR fault, MM. you said in one of your posts that we ‘lurkers’ should come out and say something. well, i have come out from under my lil’ rock; this is actually my second reaction to your posts. it’s a joy, really, to start my day reading your very informative and entertaining posts, and i never grow tired reading them. thank you so much for just being there.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 8:05 am

  8. acmr says:

    I almost missed the mini pineapples! They are cute and really a nice fun accent to your arrangement! Coolness!

    Nov 9, 2006 | 9:09 am

  9. asunta says:

    MM, can you please feature more floral arrangements? I love to see contemporary arrangements.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 9:43 am

  10. MRJP says:

    MM, your flower arrangement is stunning. Btw, are those mini pineapples real?

    Nov 9, 2006 | 10:05 am

  11. linda says:

    MM,you are amazing and can be a very successful entrepreneur!

    Nov 9, 2006 | 10:34 am

  12. Marketman says:

    consol, sorry, don’t do hair or make-up or nails. linda, I would lose money as I hate to scrimp on materials…and most consumers wouldn’t pay what I would have to charge… MRJP, yes, the min-pineapples are real. asunta, I haven’t been doing too many arrangements since I have been cutting down on expenses and that is the first to go…

    Nov 9, 2006 | 11:44 am

  13. Joycelyn says:

    MM, your creations have this “sense of effortless style” but are always beautiful and unique. And so inspiring. Lalo na if you say tuberoses instead of azucena (somehow flowers and dogstew, so unappealing).

    I can almost smell the heady scent of the lilies (l or ll?) combined with the tuberoses..Wow.

    When buying tuberoses, should I get them closed or half bloomed? When I buy roses, the buds often don’t bloom, they just bow their heads and die.. Help, pls?

    Thank you, MM!

    Nov 9, 2006 | 11:54 am

  14. Marketman says:

    Joycelyn, see this link for how to condition or prep your roses for longer life. Always buy your tuberoses closed. They will last longer. Just keep cutting an inch off the bottom of the stem every other day. change your water in the vase every day.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 1:08 pm

  15. Sidekick says:

    Jocelyn, in addition to MM’s advise please don’t take off any of the thorns or any of the leaves so it won’t die easily .

    Nov 9, 2006 | 1:13 pm

  16. atwe says:

    MM, it’s quite extraordinary that you have a hand with flowers as well. I love flowers — who doesn’t unless you’re prone to allergies — but you inspire me to do something more than wishing I had time to buy flowers and carving out time to literally smell them. Hectic lifestyle doesn’t give me many opportunities to visit either your site or Manila, but I hope to make time for that as well. more power on your foodie journey. what a renaissance man you are.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 2:20 pm

  17. Joycelyn says:

    Thank you, thank you MM! Oh, conditioning them is the key! I will keep all your tips in mind. It’s nice to indulge occasionally and have flowers in the house (even if it blows the house budget! haha..) The third photo of roses in their wrapping is so lovely!

    And sidekick, will control my itchy fingers. Thank you for the additional tip. Very much appreciated.

    Nov 9, 2006 | 7:59 pm

  18. Mandy says:

    beautiful arrangement. i’m sure they smelled great too. white flowers exude “calm and rest” to me. the price for the arrangement seems reasonable, it looks huge. i want to go to dangwa na!!! have you ever been to the dapitan arcade for garden/decor stuff?

    Nov 9, 2006 | 10:45 pm

  19. Bubut says:

    i was there at the EB and from the table where i seated, i was able to smell the fragrant flowers.. Nice job, MM !

    Nov 12, 2006 | 12:28 am

  20. jenny says:

    hi! how fragrant are the tube roses? i’m getting married in may and my florist is suggesting to use it (together with 2 other blooms)for the reception. My venue is an enclosed area hotel function room). I’m concerned that the smell might be a bit too strong. What do you think is a good alternative that cost an arm and a leg? not white calla lilies please :) thanks.

    Mar 20, 2009 | 9:05 am

  21. jenny says:

    sorry i meant “that won’t cost an arm and a leg”

    Mar 20, 2009 | 9:05 am


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