You have to see Martha Stewart's quiet luxury flower arrangement – it's so easy to recreate, too

'The lilacs this year are spectacular,' Martha says, and we couldn't agree more – here's how to ensure yours last even longer

Martha Stewart
(Image credit: GettyImages)

It's no secret that Martha Stewart has inspired a generation of green-thumbed gardeners and homemakers. This week, she showcased some of her most beautiful blooms to date – cut fresh from her farm in Bedford, New York.

'Kevin Sharkey [the author of Martha's Flowers] spent the afternoon cutting hundreds of lilac branches to create some massive arrangement for me and my guests to enjoy,' Martha shared via Instagram. 'The lilacs this year are spectacular. We have many colors and varieties, and they work so well together in arrangements. Enjoy!'

Comprising deep purple with pastel pinks and white, the abundant arrangement Martha shared on Instagram makes an instant statement atop a gray wooden table in her home. So, how can we recreate the look? And how to keep them fresh when cut? Our garden expert is on hand to help. 

How to keep your lilacs healthy – for a bouquet like Martha's

Naturally, Martha's flowers were met with widespread admiration, but alongside the compliments, there was another question on her followers' minds: how do we keep our flowers fresh?  

Whether gathering plentiful blooms to create a stand-out piece like Martha's or opting for a slightly more pared-back arrangement – tips for a longer vase life remain the same. 

'Lilacs will keep for longer if you cut them in the early morning when fully hydrated and place the cut stems into a bucket of water,' says H&G's garden expert, Drew Swainston. 'Cutting them later in the day will make them more dehydrated and wilt much sooner.'

Drew Swainston
Drew Swainston

Drew qualified as a journalist before studying for a horticulture qualification, after which he worked as a professional gardener for several years, specializing in kitchen gardening. He's now bringing his expertise and passion to Homes & Gardens as a member of our team. 

After gathering lilac cuttings, Drew recommends placing the bucket of cut stems in a cool and dark place for a few hours to take up lots of water. 'Remove all foliage that would be submerged in the vase as any extra leaves left on the stem will use valuable water,' he explains. 

'Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to create the largest surface area possible to allow the water to soak in.' 

The placement of our vase is also important. Unsurprisingly, it appears that Martha has followed the correct procedure – placing her vase away from direct sunlight or radiators or vents that pump out extra heat.

When it comes to watering plants, Drew explains we should top up the water daily – 'and consider re-trimming the stems if they do show signs of starting to wilt.' 

For the ultimate Martha-inspired look, we're storing our cut lilacs in a faux bois container, similar to the one seen in her home (available via Etsy below). 

Faux Bois Container – $59.00 at Etsy

Faux Bois Container – $59.00 at Etsy
This woodland-style container is a perfect way to emphasize lilacs the Martha Stewart way. With its nature-inspired carvings, it pairs seamlessly with any kind of greenery – both inside and outside our homes. 

You can use much of this advice as prep for propagating lilacs successfully, too.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.