How to turn store bought flowers into a work of art!

Posted May 23, 2023 in Opinion By Sophie Foster

We’re all guilty of purchasing supermarket flowers, plonking them into a vase, and calling it a day. But have you ever bought a bunch of flowers and wondered what exactly you can do to elevate them?

For the second year in a row, Annaliese Maffescioni, current parent and director of Signature Floral Designs, was teaching our Wesleyana’s the tips and tricks of floristry at the Blooms and Bubbles event. She guided guests in transforming these supermarket-bought flowers into a stunning centrepiece, perfect for a dinner party.

Annaliese’s brand is bespoke, bold, modern, garden-inspired floristry, with no rules or restrictions. During the evening, she shared the turning points in her business. The first was a wedding where the bride allowed Annaliese full creative freedom with no brief, and she could be as imaginative as she desired. Combine this with a good photographer, when photos of this wedding were posted on Instagram, of course, they went viral! Annaliese divulged that her best weddings are always the ones where she doesn’t receive a brief.

To transform supermarket-bought flowers into a stunning centrepiece, Annaliese suggests starting with a good vase, preferably tall and narrow through the middle. The key to an elevated arrangement is to use height, and cut stems at all different lengths. As the bouquet will be in the centre of the table and viewed from all sides, levels and different heights are important, so you can see all the flowers and create a bespoke look.

Our Wesleyana’s were also taught the art of petal folding to transform flowers. The trick is to blow the roses open to loosen them, then peel the outer layers of petals back to open them up. Petal folding isn’t limited to roses, you can use the technique on tulips and alstroemeria too.

Regarding flower selection, Annaliese was clear in her advice – don’t be afraid of colour! Any bright flower, with a texture that is interesting to look at is her preference. Be sure to group the colours together instead of mixing them up too much.

Check out Signature Floral Design Instagram, where Annaliese showcases her work and has amassed a devoted following.

Top Tips for transforming a bouquet of flowers

  1. Strip off the leaves so that there are none are in the waterline.
  2. Don’t be frightened to take the outer layer of petals off – petal pick!
  3. Cut some stems short, keep some stems long to add depth and dimension to your arrangement.
  4. To increase the longevity of your flowers, change the water every couple of days, trim and wash the stems

The Wesleyana Club at Wesley College is proudly celebrating 60 years. The Club is for mothers of former students. If you would like to learn more, email

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