Spring Backyard Flower Arranging

You don’t have to have a Martha Stewart style cutting garden to put fresh flowers on the table throughout the season. Here are my top tips for spring backyard flower arranging, green thumb not required.

Clipping fresh flowers off of a tree.image credit: Valdirose


I love the look of mixed flowers from the yard with a few leafy bits thrown in for good measure, all plopped in a mason jar with fresh clear water. Stunning ~ and free!

Fresh flowers make a huge difference to any table, but they can be expensive. I’m here to tell you that you can skip the florist and the PhD in flower arranging. Backyard blooms have a sweet, casual look that brightens up a table just as well as store-bought bouquets. 

 bouquet of wildflowers

Rule # 1 of flower arranging ~ there are no rules! Use whatever appeals to you.

I’ve put together some of my top tips for making the most of what you’ve got ~ from that mysterious shrub in your front yard, to clippings from the herb garden, twigs, and even weeds like dandelions… nothing’s off limits!

dogwood branches in a glass bottleimage credit: Creature Comforts


Studies have shown that having flowers around the house can have positive mental health benefits.

Flowers can help ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and lift your mood. The very act of gathering and arranging plants and flowers is calming. So even when you’re not expecting company, set out some fresh blooms just for you.

The Farmers Almanac suggests cutting flowers in the morning or evening, avoiding the heat of the day. Heat stressed flowers will wilt sooner. Also select flowers that are just beginning to bloom, they’ll last longer, too.

 Small purple and red flowers in glass jars.


Go green!

Greens are key in flower arranging, and even though you may not have a cutting garden in your backyard, odds are you’ve got greens. Leaves come in all sorts of beautiful shapes and textures, so augment a few blooms with plenty of fresh greenery. Don’t overlook trees, shrubs, or ferns for great green accents.
For the type of arrangement below, use a wide shallow urn style vase, and fit it with a flower frog. A flower frog is a small disk with lots of sharp pins sticking up that keep your flowers, leaves, and branches exactly where you place them. It makes flower arranging lots of fun!

 Floral and greens arrangement in a white vase.image credit: Jojotastic


Raid the herb or veggie patch

Many of the veggies you might have in your garden make great additions to floral arrangements. Think about including curly kale, wispy fennel fronds, dill flowers, chive blossoms, bay leaves and more! Berries, both edible and inedible, look beautiful in arrangements. I love to use the herbs from my just-outside-the-back-door ‘kitchen garden’.

Old wooden crates, either recycled or bought, are a great way to corral a large display.

 Flowers and vegetables arranged in a wooden crate on a table.Image credit: Snippet & Ink, Photography by Silvana Di Franco


Creative containers

Mason jars are a classics, of course, for casual flower arranging, but you probably have a lot of other containers lying around just waiting to become part of your next centerpiece. Teacups, glass milk bottles, and vintage look bottles like these and these are perfect. Recycled jars also make adorable vases, and I love to use regular drinking glasses as well, like these simple French bistro glasses at Williams Sonoma.  I have them in almost every size, they’re indestructible. For the ultimate in sustainable arrangements, check out these eggshell bud vases.

Tip: When you use your table glassware as your flower ‘vases’ you’ve got instant design coordination!

casual bouquet in a jarimage credit: Valdirose


Branch out!

In spring, branches from flowering shrubs and trees like forsythia, witch hazel, cherry, or apple, are beautiful when cut and brought indoors.

Cut small branches from your shrubs when the buds are formed and close to blooming, or have already started to bloom. Make sure you use good sharp pruners and keep your cuts close the base of the stem or branch that you are cutting off. Don’t rip or tear the branches or you’ll damage the plant.

Bring your branches inside and place immediately in water. Some people recommend cutting a slit at the base of your stem/branch and gently smashing it with a hammer. This opens up the wood a bit more and allows the branch to absorb more water, helping to keep it fresh. Change your water every few days to prevent bacteria build up.

Pink flowering branches arranged in glass vases.image credit: Valdirose


Think in multiples

Sometimes more is better, especially when it comes to jars and vintage bottles. Group several and use them to display single stems. The effect is equally charming on a large or tiny scale.

rustic flower arrangementimage credit: French Country Cottage


Go minimalist

In many parts of the country, perennials like hydrangeas, lilacs, and forsythias are common yard plants. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these beauties in your yard, take advantage of their big, spectacular blooms and showcase them simply on their own. Think about using a pickling crock, an old jug, or large pitcher as your container.

Large crock with lilacs on a white countertop.image credit: Monika Hibbs


Get inspired

Pinterest is an amazing source of inspiration for simple backyard and wildflower arrangements. A lot of beautiful ideas come from rustic weddings that you can adapt for everyday home use. Fair warning ~ looking at beautiful flowers on Pinterest can be a little bit like online shoe shopping, you could get lost for days 🙂 


rustic wildflowers in a glass jarimage credit: Style Me Pretty


No yard?

Visit your local nursery or home center. Look for potted flowering plants that you can pop right into a cute container, or cut them and arrange them yourself. Bunches of cut flowers from the supermarket (think Trader Joe’s) can be cheap and colorful, in fact Trader Joe’s flower arranging is a thing, google it. Imagine what you could do with their peony tulips!

peony tulips from Trader Joesimage credit: Trader Joe’s



Thanks for pinning!

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Sue R
    May 11, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Is it mothers day there too? Oh happy mothers day to you too Sue! We ended up having a great day out with the grandson and think I found myself a car to replace the one that got drowned somewhat.

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    May 10, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Hi Sue, I was linked here from Where Women Create. How fun for you. Now you need to get in their Cook or Create issue. Way to go girl. You’re doing amazing!!!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Hey cool, I didn’t know that, I’m off to see, thanks Vicki!

  • Reply
    Sue R
    May 9, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Arghh.. now I want my yard back! We got flooded in February so not living there for a while. We at least had a couple of flowers like the Birds-of-paradise. I like those a lot. It’s mothers day here in Australia Sunday. I think I’ll buy myself some flowers since my boys are rather slack at that sort of thing 🙂 Great write up Sue.

    • Reply
      May 9, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear that Sue, it seems like climate issues are raging lately. I hope you get back soon. I used to have Birds of Paradise in one of the houses I’ve lived in, they’re so special. Happy Mother’s Day <3 (We moms sometimes have to do for ourselves!)

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    And as the old saying goes… “a house without flowers, is a home without a woman”…

    • Reply
      May 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      lol, most of the great gardeners I know are men!

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