A Bunch of Fresh Ideas- How To….

Summer is the best time of year for friends and family to gather and enjoy a beautiful meal together in ones backyard. Whether the menu is just cocktails and hors d’oeuvres or a 3-course meal, the ambiance is essential. Flowers and décor offer eye candy, aka the “wow factor”.

Today, at the office of Philadelphia Event Planners, I recognized summer is almost over. What better way to soak up the sun and beautiful weather than to have a backyard lunch together? I brought out a table, covered it with a fabulous vintage pink, grey and yellow tablecloth, and rinsed the dust off of the milk glass glassware to use for wine and a scrumptious fresh salad topped with yummy cream filled Twinkies. You read correctly, there was a Twinkie slice on top of our salad, so unique. I wanted to accompany our lunch with vibrant garden- fresh flowers: sunflowers, roses, and hydrangea, my favorites! The flowers were missing something in their crystal clear vases, so I sliced lemons and limes that were supposed to be for the water and lined the inside of the vase.

Read my how- to for our flower arrangement, so that you can prepare an easy marvelous outside luncheon like mine!



What you will need for the flower arrangements:


  • 10 mini sunflowers
  • 10 white roses
  • 6 white hydrangea
  • 8 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • Large Vase
  • Medium Vase
  • 2 Small bowls
  • 2 miscellaneous vases


Step One:

Prep your flowers. Trim a ½ inch off of the bottoms of your sunflowers stems, place them in water, and set them aside. The hydrangea should be submerged into warm water for 30 minutes- this helps preserve their length of life. I trimmed the ends of the stems and simply placed the hydrangea in the kitchen sink, while I prepped the roses and sunflowers.



Prepping roses, speaking metaphorically, is like a facial peel. Think of it this way, a facial peel is a technique used to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells from the skins surface.  A rose has a protective layer of petals that should be peeled away. Peel the outer layer of petals, cut the stems and place them in a vase.

Step Two:

Cut all of your lemons and limes into ¼ inch thick wheels.



Step Three:

Take your larger vase and place the lemon wheels intricately along the walls. Next, place your medium sized vase in the center of the larger vase. This will help keep your lemons sandwiched along the side of the walls. After your lemons are assembled, fill both of the vases with water until all of the lemons are submerged and the inside medium vase is filled.image_6


Step Four:

Take your 2 medium bowls: line the inside with your limes, fill it with water, take two sunflowers, trim the stem so there is only about 2 inches on both of them, rest the sunflower above the glass line. Make sure that the stem is in the water!






Step Five:

It should now be past your 30 minute marker for your hydrangea. Take the hydrangea out of the water and trim their stems to your preferred length, so that they will fit in the vase with the lemons. Make a beautiful arrangement using the white hydrangea and then place the white roses with the hydrangea. After arranging the bouquet, you can tape the stems together so they don’t flop in the water. Then, place the flowers in the vase!

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Step Six:

With the two miscellaneous vases, I used two blue mason jars, trim the remaining sunflowers so that you can disperse them into the two vases.

After all of your flowers are arranged, the last step is to put everything together. Set up your table, iron your linen, polish your glassware, and decorate your beautiful outside table with flowers, candles, and nourishment!

One last note, don’t forget to make sure your flowers are watered throughout the day if they are in the sun. Have a fabulous lunch date and I hope that you enjoyed this how- to! And most of all, have fun!



Sarah Erthal

Philadelphia Event Planners Intern


Photo Credit: Lexi Jones