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
Choose your favorite bouquet
Which season offers your favorite bouquet?
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: