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.
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.
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!
image 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.
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.
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!
image credit: Valdirose
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.
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.
image credit: French Country Cottage
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.
image credit: Monika Hibbs
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 :)
image credit: Style Me Pretty
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!
image credit: Trader Joe’s