Arranging cut flowers from the garden
Getting flowers from the florist is nice, but tomorrow morning when the dew is still wet and your flowers are sleepy, cut a few to make your own bouquet. Fill a pretty vase and show off the bounty of your cutting garden. Put your personality into it and don’t be afraid of making a mistake.
Debra Prinzing is an outdoor living expert, and author of several books on floriculture. She says flower arranging has three basic elements to it. The first is to choose what she calls a “diva flower.”
"Big, voluptuous roses and dahlias, and peonies or sunflowers, something that has a large face. That might be your starting point," says Prinzing. "I tend to start with that diva flower, it’s the focal point of the arrangement."
The second thing to add is foliage. Choose something soft and complimentary to the main flower. Prinzing says she likes to use herbs from her kitchen garden. They last a long time when cut and put in water.
The third element is something wispy to add texture and volume, and be the supporting cast for the diva flower. Maybe it’s a tendril from the sweet pea vine, Queen Anne’s lace, or sprigs of ornamental grasses.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with unpredictable elements in a floral design. Look in the orchard, the berry patch, and in the trees for inspiration.
"I have some friends who are berry farmers and they occasionally allow me to pick branches of unripe blueberries or unripe raspberries and tuck them into my bouquets to add a little fresh-from-the-garden look," says Prinzing. "Twigs, absolutely. Especially if you’re lucky enough to have colored-twig dogwood, or something that’s curly or twisted that has a little bit of extra interest."
She likes to arrange flowers in odd numbers, such as three of one type and five of another. For most people, it’s more pleasing to the eye than an even number.
Need a little more creative inspiration? Better Homes and Gardens offers flower arranging advice
Learn more about Debra's boost for locally-grown flowers with the slow flower movement
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