Friday, August 14, 2009

Designing with Wildflowers 101

I love working with fresh flowers. I have even had the opportunity to work in a flower shop for about a year. At one time, I considered opening up my own flower shop, and applied for a tax number...the name of my store

It would be in an old stone and brick historic building with beautiful tall store front windows.
A french garden cart would sit outside the door filled with fresh stems.
Inside the wonderful aroma of flowers would envelope you, just as soon as your foot crossed the threshold. If you have visited a florist recently you will know that wonderful scent. So green and so fresh.

Gorgeous old cupboards filled with antique and thrifty treasures await to be filled with bounty. For wedding planning, wicker chairs and sofa covered in a soft chintz fabric nestle in a cozy corner.

(My mom even found a set of wicker at a thrift store and we bought it to have just in case we decided to open the store. It was the set that I used on the porch at The Cottage.)

I never did open my little store. I have had a chance to buy a flower shop here in town, the lady that owns it would like to retire. But in this economy, it would be a huge risk to open a business. So now I just entertain myself by cutting the flowers in my garden and also the wildflowers that blanket our country road.

Designing with Wildflowers 101
Gather up stems of favorite flowers. As soon as you cut them place in a bucket of cool water. We planted zinnia's by seed this spring and we also planted gladiola bulbs. It was really very easy! The zinnias come up real quick. They come in an assortment of sizes and colors. I like the great big ones! They remind me of dahlias. By the road I found daisies and Queen Anne's Lace.

2. Gather up greenery. This is always the base for an arrangment. I don't have much greenery around yet. So I have been using hosta leaves and fern fronds. Most anything will work if you like the shape of the leaves and the color. I am definitely planting more greens next year.

3. Find a cute container and fill with cool water and 1 tsp. of bleach. The bleach keeps the water from growing yucky things that make your flowers die quicker.

4. Arrange your greens in your container first. IMPORTANT> Strip all the leaves that are below the water line! This is an absolute MUST! As you add them to your container criss cross the stems, this will help to secure them and make a grid for your flowers.

5. Add your flowers. I like to make a triangle arrangment. Start with your tallest flower. It should not be much more than 2 times the height of your container. Here again, no leaves below that water line. I like to add drapey things on sides like ivy that droops.

6. If your arrangement is going to be seen on all sides, make sure you are turning it as you are adding your stems.

I love this silver tea pot because the lid is on a hinge,
which just adds oodles of charm!

So my friends, go on a country drive with a mason jar and your handy dandy clippers and find some fresh florals to display in your home!


salmagundi said...

Fun post! I needed the step-by-step instructions. I always just go by the seat of my pants. I like the idea of greens first and criss-crossing the stems to hold the flowers. Nice to see a post from you, as I know you have been busy with that garden! Sally

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Jill....what a lovely and informative post. The flowers are beautiful and utterly colorful. I love the zinnias best; I have a weakness for those.

Thank you for joining the Rooster Party and displaying the button....I think we will have a grand ole time!

Barb :-)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What beautiful arrangements! I love to arrange flowers...real or silk! The containers really make the difference!

salmagundi said...

Jill - Thanks for stopping by today. Please, please don't delete your blog!!! I love it when you post even if it is just every once in awhile. Take time to finish up that garden, get everyone back in school, and recharge your batteries. Building your new house and farming the 'back 40' I'm sure has been a drain!!! Keep in touch when you can. Sally

Shelia said...

Hi Jill! Oh, you certainly know how to put together a beautiful flower arrangement!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Jill-Thanks for the 101 on flower arranging. Sometimes you don't think of these things when you are putting cut flowers in a vase. I need to go empty the water out of my flowers and put some bleach and fresh water in there! Your arrangements are so pretty...maybe your dreams will come true some day!~Hugs, Patti

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Jill!

Oh my goodness! I cannot get a thing done today! You ask why? Hummmm...maybe your wonderful blog is keeping me from my chores!!! LOL! I love your blog to pieces! I found you through sweet Cynthia from Cynthia's Designs! Your blog is a breathe of fresh air! Thanks for sharing and you do it such a cute way!

Oh, I will be back!!!!!


Do you have an Etsy shoppe where your Mother's yummy soaps are sold?!

Pam @ This Humble House said...

Beautiful photos! Thanks for the helpful info, too! Love your blog!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a lovely, informative blog. I have enjoyed my visit very much. I have the silver to grow the lovely flowers. Next year? :)

Laura said...

Hi Jill-

I love visiting your blog. As I was readfing your post this evening about opening your flower shop and then deciding not to- I thought- but oh no, if she does that she won't have as much time in her beautiful home!
I hope I am not saying too much!

I have a million gardening questions.

Zinnias are my favorite.


SmilingSally said...

I've always envied people who know how to make an arrangement, and even with your careful directions, I just know that mine would not turn out so beautiful. I know this because I've tried so many times, using these directions! One new thing to me is the bleach idea. Thanks for that tip!

Melissa Miller said...

Jill you have the gorgeous and vibrant flowers! I adore this pretty flower post!

~Blessings my friend, ~Melissa :)

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

What lovely arrangements, the colors are stunning! I love the queen anne's lace, esp. in the teapot.

I do hope you get to open your shop some day. I really like the name.

Tam said...

I have so very much to catch up on your blog! I have been away so long! It is so refreshing visiting your BLOG!!!!!

AMIT said...

Wow such a lovely n beautiful flowers.

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