I love the way fresh flowers bring life to a room and instantly make it look and smell better than it did thirty-seconds ago. Luckily, my mother taught me at a young age the advantage of having your own personal flower garden. Each year you have beautiful, homegrown fresh flowers to trim and make arrangements with and the best part is, they are free! Well, except for the initial expense to buy the plant or seeds to start the growing process. My mother has the greenest thumb ever and can arrange a bouquet of flowers like no ones business. I am thankful she has taught me her ways throughout the years! She is so good she has done floral arrangements for friends weddings! I remember that she always had (and still does) the most beautiful flowers in our yard, no matter where we were living. In fact, there is a light-pink peony bush that she originally got from her great-grandmothers garden that she has transplanted from Illinois to Connecticut, then onto Colorado and finally here in North Carolina (it is at its second home here in NC). Every year she gets the serious amount of blooms from it that make the most perfect bouquets.
When my husband and I moved into our current home in 2011 I had two simple requests for outside: a hydrangea bush and a peony bush. He made my floral dreams come true and planted both, then a couple years later planted me a giant rose garden (as a surprise while I was away on a work trip!). My hydrangea bush takes up a whole corner of our house and this past spring my peony bush gave me over forty blooms. Yes, 40!!!! There are not many things that make me happier than making bouquets from flowers grown out of my own garden, so that is why I thought I would share my tips for a homegrown DIY floral arrangement!
Peonies and Hydrangea are definitely my favorites to cut and make arrangments with due to their size and density. My hydrangea bush has pink, purple, and blue blooms on it thanks to the acidity of the soil. I love having a bush that gives me such an array of colors! It also never gets direct sun which I think is why it is so ginormous and produces hundreds of blooms.
I always start by picking out the vases I want to use. This year I have been using mostly mason jars in varying sizes. Somehow I have collected quite a few over the years and since they match the decor in our home perfectly they are always the first ones I reach for. Depending on how many blooms I have, I will also grab my taller, fatter vases for larger, fuller bouquets. Keep in mind, the larger the vase opening the more blooms you will need to fill it.
When I trim the flowers I try to keep the stem a bit longer; you can always cut the stem more once you begin arranging. If I have to cut shorter stems directly off the plant due to how they grew I will add those to the vase first. You want to remove any leaves from the stem that will be below the water line. Arrange the stems so they somewhat intertwine to add some extra stability. Keep adding stems until the arrangement has become the size and look you like.
After all the blooms have been added I start adding greenery. I pick greenery from the flower(s) I used and also include greenery from trees and bushes throughout my yard. We have a weeping willow tree that is massive which I love to incorporate. It adds a bit of wispy-airiness to the arrangement which I adore. My newest favorite to add is sprenger’s asparagus fern. I planted this in a pot on our back deck this summer to bring some color to our outdoor space and it is gorgeous by itself, but it also adds a nice touch of green to my bouquets. Note: I do not always add extra greenery. For instance, the leaves on hydrangea are so large that I try to keep the higher leaves intact and let them do all the talking!
After all the greenery and flowers have been added, fill your vase with clean water and display the bouquets wherever you see fit throughout your house! I love to have an abundance of flowers throughout our downstairs. If we’re having friends or family over I will move an arrangement or two to our back deck to enjoy while we sip on drinks outside!
In addition to fully homemade arrangements, I like to use my homegrown blooms to spruce up store/florist bought blooms. I have a bouquet of flowers from Flowers on Broad Street that I got over a week ago. Some of the flowers have wilted so I cleared those out and added my own hydrangea and greenery to bring it back to life!
This fall I plan on adding more flowering bushes to our yard. I hope to plant a couple more hydrangea, probably limelight to add some variety, and another peony bush or two. I would love to branch out and grow other types of flowers such as Allium, Zinnia, Ranunculus, and maybe something like Lady’s Mantle. The possibilities are seriously endless, I just need to do some research on which ones will do best in our climate and aren’t too difficult to keep alive 🙂
What flowers do you love to cut and make bouquets with? I would love to hear your favorites and see photos of your DIY arrangements!