Flower Arranging at home

Arranging garden flowers at home

I love the flowers in my garden. I love the flowers in other people's garden, too. There are such a large variety of flowers to choose from and so many possibilities for beautiful bouquets. Don't be afraid to create something new. Be bold. Experiment. I have enjoyed combining unlikely flowers and using unusual containers for the bouquets I make at home. Flowers from the garden come into the house on a regular basis for bouquets.

You may have noticed that I use a variety of watering cans as vessels for flowers. I have used empty milk bottles, and wrapped a ribbon around the outside. I have used a tin can and have painted a plastic jar to create a vase. My point is that if you think outside the box of what flowers usually come in, you may surprise yourself with a rare and lovely bouquet.

One thing I do is add a paper or crocheted doilie or fancy napkin. These often enhance the bouquet and they protect the table top from scratches or water damage. On one occasion, I placed a plate beneath the pot as it was leaking a bit. The plate stayed until the arrangement had spent it's bloom.

Using leaves of other plants from the garden adds interest and texture to the bouquets. I have a variety of Hostas that provide different sizes and colors of leaves. Making a mixture of what is out there blooming, including the flowering of herbs and weeds, can make very interesting bouquets.

During the long winters here in Minnesota I rely on my friendly neighborhood flower shops to bring me something I can arrange and put on my table. One of my favorite bouquets is purple Iris and White Roses, with Maiden Hair Fern. I look forward to the first Daffodiles in spring and love the large gatherings of Cat Tails and other tall flowering plants in the fall. I stroll the Farmer's Market to see what is available and try to pick out more than the usual favorites.

I did use house plants as winter bouquets, so that is a deviation from my intended subject, but I do want you, dear reader, to think outside the box. I could cut the Amaryllis or blooms from the bulb garden and make an arrangement. I just chose not to.

And so, here are a few of the bouquets I have made and recorded. Enjoy them as I have.

The spring time bouquet

In the spring, one of the first flowers available in shops are Stargazer Lillies. I like to coordinate the vase with the flowers.
In the spring, one of the first flowers available in shops are Stargazer Lillies. I like to coordinate the vase with the flowers. | Source
This shell vase lends itself to an unusual arrangement. I chose lavender tulips and cut them so I could angle the bouquet to fit the opening.
This shell vase lends itself to an unusual arrangement. I chose lavender tulips and cut them so I could angle the bouquet to fit the opening. | Source
Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers because their fragrance is so intense.They only last a short time, so if you want them for an occasion, cut them just before the event.  I used a dark purple vase to intensify the color of the flowers.
Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers because their fragrance is so intense.They only last a short time, so if you want them for an occasion, cut them just before the event. I used a dark purple vase to intensify the color of the flowers. | Source
A variety of flowers can make a nice arrangement. Carnations, Babies breathe and Irises make a pretty monochromatic bouquet. I used a copper watering can as a vase.
A variety of flowers can make a nice arrangement. Carnations, Babies breathe and Irises make a pretty monochromatic bouquet. I used a copper watering can as a vase. | Source
Geraniums can make such an intensely colored bouquet. I used a ceramic vase that looks like a watering can. Notice the folage is Hosta leaves.
Geraniums can make such an intensely colored bouquet. I used a ceramic vase that looks like a watering can. Notice the folage is Hosta leaves. | Source
Mixed flowers can make a nice arrangement. This  bouquet would look more interesting if the flowers were intermingled more.
Mixed flowers can make a nice arrangement. This bouquet would look more interesting if the flowers were intermingled more. | Source
This clear glass vase with a red heart bottom is a pretty holder for these dramatic yellow Parrot Tulips. I used Hosta leaves for contrast.
This clear glass vase with a red heart bottom is a pretty holder for these dramatic yellow Parrot Tulips. I used Hosta leaves for contrast. | Source
A small sprig of Bleeding Heart in a blood red vase creates a bit of drama on my kitchen window sill.
A small sprig of Bleeding Heart in a blood red vase creates a bit of drama on my kitchen window sill. | Source
Mixing black Pansy with Blue Muscari creates an intense little bouquet in a clear glass vase. I placed the chicks next to them for more interest.
Mixing black Pansy with Blue Muscari creates an intense little bouquet in a clear glass vase. I placed the chicks next to them for more interest. | Source
A small bouquet of Pansys setting on a crocheted doily look very nostalgic
A small bouquet of Pansys setting on a crocheted doily look very nostalgic | Source
Lilacs and white Bleeding Heart create an airy bouquet for spring time.  I anchor it a bit with a solid vase and a round doily.
Lilacs and white Bleeding Heart create an airy bouquet for spring time. I anchor it a bit with a solid vase and a round doily. | Source
One Rose, Lilacs and white Bleeding Heart make a  surprising trio and just what I found in the garden. A clear glass vase keeps the flowers the focus of interest.
One Rose, Lilacs and white Bleeding Heart make a surprising trio and just what I found in the garden. A clear glass vase keeps the flowers the focus of interest. | Source

Summer bouquets

Pinks and lime green Hosta leaves create a nice bouquet that provides enough contrast of color to make it interesting.
Pinks and lime green Hosta leaves create a nice bouquet that provides enough contrast of color to make it interesting. | Source
Cabbage Roses create a pink back drop for one darker pink Peony. The folage comes from the Rose bushes.  I clip off the thorns and strip the bottom leaves before placing the flowers in the vase.
Cabbage Roses create a pink back drop for one darker pink Peony. The folage comes from the Rose bushes. I clip off the thorns and strip the bottom leaves before placing the flowers in the vase. | Source
This time I placed a large group of light pink Peonies, cut rather long into a larger watering can. The color of the container is as important as the color of the flowers.
This time I placed a large group of light pink Peonies, cut rather long into a larger watering can. The color of the container is as important as the color of the flowers. | Source
Lady's Mantel creates the folage and the light green bursts of color in this blue/green bouquet. The blue flowers are a type of Delphinium. Notice the blue/green color of the container which intensifies the flower colors.
Lady's Mantel creates the folage and the light green bursts of color in this blue/green bouquet. The blue flowers are a type of Delphinium. Notice the blue/green color of the container which intensifies the flower colors. | Source
This bouquet was given to me after the publication of our children's book: "The Three Betty Goats Griff".  It is a mixed arrangement in an antique vessel. Notice the large waxy leaves that are used as a backdrop to the Roses & Daisies.
This bouquet was given to me after the publication of our children's book: "The Three Betty Goats Griff". It is a mixed arrangement in an antique vessel. Notice the large waxy leaves that are used as a backdrop to the Roses & Daisies. | Source
The Yellow Daliah is a wonderful flower to pair with blue Hydrangea and I was lucky to find a single Rose that added just the right drama to this bouquet.
The Yellow Daliah is a wonderful flower to pair with blue Hydrangea and I was lucky to find a single Rose that added just the right drama to this bouquet. | Source
A handfull of Geraniums create a beautiful and intense nosegay in a clear glass vase.
A handfull of Geraniums create a beautiful and intense nosegay in a clear glass vase. | Source

Autum bouquets

Cone Flowers and Hydrangea bloom about the same time as the Hosta in my yard. When you don't have enough of one kind of flower, try mixing them. I used an deep orange vase for this arrangement. The yellow is Snap Dragon.
Cone Flowers and Hydrangea bloom about the same time as the Hosta in my yard. When you don't have enough of one kind of flower, try mixing them. I used an deep orange vase for this arrangement. The yellow is Snap Dragon. | Source
I used a short green vase as contrast to a mix of flowers. The lavender Sedum and the dry Hydrangea create contrast for the red Geranium and purple Toad Lily.
I used a short green vase as contrast to a mix of flowers. The lavender Sedum and the dry Hydrangea create contrast for the red Geranium and purple Toad Lily. | Source
Begonias bloom all summer long, if you do it right, but I didn't get around to putting them in this vase until late in the summer. Notice that I have used a yellow crocheted doily to contrast with the flowers.
Begonias bloom all summer long, if you do it right, but I didn't get around to putting them in this vase until late in the summer. Notice that I have used a yellow crocheted doily to contrast with the flowers. | Source
You can also create a group of single flowers in an arrangement that makes a bouquet. Here Dark Pink and White Peonies are reflected in my china hutch mirror.
You can also create a group of single flowers in an arrangement that makes a bouquet. Here Dark Pink and White Peonies are reflected in my china hutch mirror. | Source
A clear glass vase allows you to focus solely on the flowers. Here a variety of the Roses from my garden have bloomed at once providing me with a lovely bouquet.
A clear glass vase allows you to focus solely on the flowers. Here a variety of the Roses from my garden have bloomed at once providing me with a lovely bouquet. | Source
These vibrantly colored Gerber Daisies are the centerpiece in this bouquet. Pussy Willow branches add height.  I would add a varigated Hosta leaf to the inside of this vase to create more interest.
These vibrantly colored Gerber Daisies are the centerpiece in this bouquet. Pussy Willow branches add height. I would add a varigated Hosta leaf to the inside of this vase to create more interest. | Source
Dusty colored Hydrangea create a soft bouquet on my kitchen counter.
Dusty colored Hydrangea create a soft bouquet on my kitchen counter. | Source
What I surprise to find new Irises, a single stalk of Delphinium in my September garden along with yellow Daliahs and Pink Roses. They created a mixed bouquet that looks more springlike than autumn.
What I surprise to find new Irises, a single stalk of Delphinium in my September garden along with yellow Daliahs and Pink Roses. They created a mixed bouquet that looks more springlike than autumn. | Source

Winter Bouquets

I always ask for Amaryllis bulbs for Christmas. It gives me the reward of fresh blossoms in January or February. These are such an intense red.
I always ask for Amaryllis bulbs for Christmas. It gives me the reward of fresh blossoms in January or February. These are such an intense red. | Source
The Amaryllis provides me another reward as I keep track of how high it will grow. I ask the children in the household to guess how tall it will grow.
The Amaryllis provides me another reward as I keep track of how high it will grow. I ask the children in the household to guess how tall it will grow. | Source
Bulb gardens are another great winter gift. The flowers are always a surprise. What color? What varieties? and How tall? His bouquet has Tulips, Jonquils & Hyacinths.
Bulb gardens are another great winter gift. The flowers are always a surprise. What color? What varieties? and How tall? His bouquet has Tulips, Jonquils & Hyacinths. | Source

Choose your favorite bouquet

Which season offers your favorite bouquet?

  • Spring Flowers
  • Summer Flowers
  • Autumn Flowers
  • Winter Flowers
See results without voting

Flower Arranging Tips

Fresh cut flowers make us feel good! They help us celebrate special events, say “I’m sorry” and communicate emotions, like, “I love you.” Flowers and the intention behind them mean so much.

They create a burst of color in an otherwise mundane area of your home, or add a splash of interest where you want to focus attention. Flowers help us increase the quality of life by enhancing the beauty of our surroundings.

Growing your own flowers and foliage can drastically cut the amount of money you spend on flower arrangements. Plan what you plant by the varieties of flowers that you like in bouquets. As your flowers mature and bloom, you can fill your home with constantly changing flower arrangements that bring you and your family pleasure.

Here are some tips for flower arranging:

1. Always use clean vases or containers so that your fresh cut flowers don’t become sick or die because of something in the vessel.

2. Use a container that is the right size for the flowers you want to display. A too small vase will tip over or the flowers will fall out or dry out. A too large vase will drown your blossoms.

3. When using clear containers, add river rocks, pebbles, marbles or a large leaf to the inside of the vase. This adds weight and interest.

4. Think about where you will put your bouquet. Does the table, or area that will hold a large bouquet or a small one.

5. Plan where your bouquet will sit and keep your fresh flower arrangements out of direct sunlight. This will help them last longer.

6. Plan how your bouquet will look so that when you cut the flowers, you can cut them longer or shorter depending on how you want the bouquet to look.

7. The best time to cut fresh flowers is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it has cooled. Morning is when the plant is filled with stored food and the flowers are most fragrant.

8. Flowers cut with a sharp knife and put into cold water immediately will last longer. If you make the cut on a slant, more stem area is exposed and the plant can take up more water.

9. Some plants such as Lilacs need to have the end of the stem hammered or broken down so they are more able to take up the water.

10.Remove the leaves that will be under water, but do not remove the thorns from Roses, as it tends to shorten their life.

11.Add the cut flower food given by the florist to the water. It does help keep the flowers fresh.

· To make your own cut flower food:

Here are some combinations of the acid and sugar that flowers need to stay fresh longer:

A. Some people put a penny and an aspirin into the water.

b. Add one part lime soda & 3 parts water. Add ¼ tsp bleach.

C. Add 2 TBLSP fresh lemon juice, 1 TBLSP sugar and ½ tsp. bleach

d. Add 2 ounces of Listerine mouthwash to one gallon of water.

All of these recipes have two things in common. They provide a source of acid and a source of sugar.

The most effective thing you can do to keep flowers looking fresh is to change the water every two days.

12.Cut your flowers before the peak of bloom when the bud has opened, but the bloom has not yet reached full potential. Then you will have the opportunity to see the full bloom and the bouquet will last longer.

13.Use lukewarm water for most cut flowers. But, use cold water for flowers that spring from bulbs, such as Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths.

14.Flowers that have multiple blooms should be cut before all the blooms have opened. For instance, Gladiolas should be picked when the bottom 3-4 blooms have opened and the top florets are still closed.

15.Use a variety of flowers that are at different stages of growth from buds to full bloom. Place the buds at the top and edges of the arrangement, and the fullest flowers in the centre of the arrangement, more towards the bottom of the design, to form the focal area. Half-open flowers can fall anywhere between these two.

16.Use flowers and foliage of different colors, textures, sizes and shapes. This makes a more interesting design.

17.Or, make a monochromatic arrangement with many shapes and textures of flowers and foliage in the same color scheme.

18.Place the foliage in your vessel first and get it arranged before you begin placing the flowers.

19.Make sure the colors in your bouquet are evenly balanced. Don’t place all one color on one side of the bouquet. It will look lopsided.

20.Think about how each type of flower grows and arrange the stems and leaves so they look like they are natural.

Some of my resources:

http://www.thegardener.btinternet.co.uk/tips.html

http://www.plantea.com/cutflowers.htm

http://www.save-on-crafts.com/selandprolli.html

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Comments 7 comments

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Your creative ideas for the pot that holds the flowers are inspiring. I grow more vegetables than flowers, so I don't have the same quantity of flowers to choose from, however, a few that I do grow I will see about potting in a creative way such as you have suggested. Great hub earning you both a vote-up and useful from me.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 5 years ago Author

Phil Plasma,

Thank you for reading my stuff and for the vote of confidence. I was trying to devote this site to just poetry, but have much more to write about, so I guess expansion is OK.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Ah beautiful. Such wonderful creative ideas. I love flowers, their colour and their fragrance. The gift of flowers is a gift to be cherished.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 5 years ago Author

acaetnna,

Thank you for reading - and for commenting. It's great to share our love of flowers with each other. They are a gift to be cherished.


CrazzyCris 5 years ago

Gorgeous flower arrangements A!!!

Flowers are something of a rarity here in Alicante... we get them for a few weeks in April, a few early birds in February (Almond blossoms) and March (cherry blossoms) and then some leftovers in May. I miss seeing green and flowers!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 5 years ago Author

Hi CrazzyCris,

I was in Alicante one time a few years ago! The Jasmine was fabulous, but I'm afraid I was allergic and sneezed terribly. I loved the country side.

I love making arrangements with flowers. It's a fun hobby.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 3 years ago Author

Ron,

Thank you for your kind words. Flowers are one of my passions. they bring so much to our lives.

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