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Mom, these designer blooms are for you

Estefany Mejia, age 18, arranges flowers in the

Estefany Mejia, age 18, arranges flowers in the Flori Culture class at Wilson Tech, Western Suffolk BOCES. Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile

So, you want to give Mom some flowers for her special day Sunday, but you don't want to spend a bundle - and you certainly don't want to just plunk some random blooms in a vase.

We gave several floral designers a budget of $30 per arrangement to buy flowers from their local supermarkets - and they came up with these stunners. They used anything at hand to hold the arrangements - even an old boot. Follow their tips, and you, too, can wow Mom with your creativity. And your love.


Estefany Mejia of Huntington Station and Lisa Grisafi of East Northport

An Elwood High School senior who spends part of her day in a floriculture class at Wilson Tech's Huntington campus, Mejia is only 18, but she's a natural: On April 15, she won first place in New York State in a floral design contest sponsored by SkillsUSA, a workforce-industry group that partners with students and teachers.

Classmate Lisa Grisafi, 32, an adult student, tells why she chose floral design: "I like to make people happy," she says.


-You can spend even less than $30 for a charming arrangement: group a variety of small plants in a basket.
-No baby's breath. Please.
-Yellow brightens anything up.


Left arrangment: 1 bunch each of...
-Apricot alstroemeria
-Burgundy mums
-Pale green/pink carnations, plus pale/deep green Euonymus from the garden

Right arrangement: 1/2 bunch each...
-Deep apricot roses
-White mums
-Pink and white alstroemeria
-Euonymus from the garden and cut lemons


John Feeney, of Weddings by Flower Michele in Carle Place

His shaved head, smartly tied apron and macho looks might make you peg John Feeney as a get-outta-my-kitchen chef, not a designer of sumptuous wedding flowers - and it seems an unlikely career for this former Marine and auto mechanic. But "I was always artistic," says Feeney, 43.

So, give this guy $30 to pick anything he wants at King Kullen and he'll surprise you: Asparagus spears. Baby artichokes. Broccoli rabe. And, oh yes - flowers.

ARRANGEMENT: Contemporary arrangement with...

-1 dozen roses
-1 bunch yellow Viking mums
-Pale celadon flowers from a Helleborus plant (Lenten roses)
-3 pounds asparagus
-2 baby artichokes
-1 pound broccoli rabe


Scott Lucas, Old Westbury Gardens greenhouse supervisor

When Lucas opens the flower cooler at the Carle Place Stop & Shop to harvest bouquets of yellow Gerbera daisies and deep coral roses, you know he's already decided how to put them together.

Lucas, 39, makes the elegant arrangements that grace the 1906 mansion - and teaches floral techniques as well.


-Similar colors, like pinks and lilacs, soothe; complementary ones, like oranges and purples, dazzle.
-Supplement grocery flowers with greens from your yard.
-Vary shapes and sizes: put a rounded flower near a spiky one.

ARRANGEMENT: Contempory arrangement with...

-1 dozen coral roses
-5 stems each plum and yellow mini calla lilies
-1 bunch each yellow Gerbera daisies, yellow with pink alstroemeria and green button mums
-1/2 bunch burgundy alstroemeria and Hosta leaves from the garden

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