From Mardi Gras to Mother's Day

A grocery store arrangement of cut flowers can be a lot bang for your buck, but can also lack in sophistication and charm. Yours truly forgot to take a "before" photo, but here's how a bouquet goes from motley to marvelous with a few simple adjustments:

Remove fillers that are pretty on their own, but perhaps unfavorably ubiquitous and overused...

I decide to focus on one main color scheme: yellow-orange with its complement, blue-violet. Hot pink carnations, therefore, don't make the cut, so I pull them out...

...as I do with the red carnations,

...and the sprays of mini green mums.

After all the superfluous colors and textures are removed to be enjoyed elsewhere...

...I (nervously) lop off a foot of the leggy stems for a more balanced arrangement.

That's how these flowers went from Mardi Gras to Mother's Day.