I've started a new weekly ritual of treating myself to a small bouquet from my local fancy (i.e. expensive) florist. I give myself a $15 limit and then select an assortment of complementary stems. I adore the owner: she is so supportive of my interest in arranging and allows me into the back of the store to analyze different varieties with her and offer suggestions before wrapping up my selections in a single sheet of waxy kraft paper.
I'm generally attracted to looser, more wild arrangements and try to take my time when choosing stems. Usually I base it on the feeling and colors of the flowers, but I'm easily swayed by scent, too.
This week, I chose waxflower, ranunculus and a single stem of phlox. I was enthralled by the rich plum and cranberry tones of the ranunculus mixed together with the lighter shades of violet and pink. An end-of-winter bundle of jewels.