Petals, Pots and Pitchers

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” My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. ”
– Claude Monet

Dear sisters,

I hope this note finds you all well and enjoying the start of milder weather, cooler nights and the slow, gentle changes of the season. Our daughter returned to school this week and just like that the busy buzz of summer came to a screeching halt. I’m happy to report she’s excited about her class schedule. Get a load of some of the classes she’s taking this year. Psychology, Oceanography, Auto-Cad for Engineering and Design, Algebra 11, Auto Shop, and Honors English. I’m glad she wants to challenge herself by dabbling in a variety of different subjects. I confess, this is not the sort of schedule I would have chosen for myself at her age. I would have been quite happy lying in the grass studying the shapes of the clouds while in full daydream mode and if I’m being honest, not much has changed!

I still like to play with colors and shapes! I think I’ll forever be working on my masters in GIRL GENIUSOLOGY!

My garden flowers are at their peak and now that school is ” back in session” I’ve got some extra time on my hands to fiddle and fuss with them. Come on in for my crash-course in DIY Farmgirl Flower arranging and see 8 unique bouquets! You’ll be amazed at how easy and simple it really is to make your own one-of-a-kind garden fresh bouquets using pots, pitchers, and other vintage vessels right at home.

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Today was one of those late summer, picture perfect days for being outside in the garden amongst the bees, spider webs, snails, ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, toads, gold finches, and my posies. I’ve been chomping at the bit to try my hand at creating several flower arrangements using some vintage pitchers, pots, and vases from my collection. But, before we can fill them up we’ve got to get out into the garden and cut some flowers! Are you ready? Strap on your farmgirl garden aprons and let’s get busy!

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You’ll need some vases of course! Go digging in your kitchen cupboards and china cabinets or make a quick trip to your local thrift store or flea market to gather some vintage vessels and start a collection of your own. Be creative and choose a variety of sizes and shapes to challenge yourself!

079You’ll also need one or two galvanized or plastic buckets filled with cold water to hold your cuttings. It’s always ideal to cut flowers in the early morning when temps are at their lowest. The heat of the day causes stress to the plant and will make it harder for the flowers to recover from the shock of being cut and handled.

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You’ll also need a good pair ( or two ) of flower pruners. I’m not partial to any one brand as long as they are sharp and feel comfortable in my hands. I do like to have one pair to cut thick flower stalks and a pair with smaller blades for stripping unwanted leaves off of the stems.

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Floral tape is also a must have. You might need to cut some of your stems quite short for smaller vessels. If you don’t tape your stems together the flower heads will be too heavy and with the addition of water to the vase, your flowers may float to the top and spill  overboard and that would not make for a happy arrangement!

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153-001I picked up this darling little antique red and white transferware at a local estate sale. It’s from the late 1800’s and has all the time-worn charm of an older piece that’s made the rounds. Tucked inside is one deep red dahlia, a sprig of autumn sedum joy ( in the background) and a much shortened snip of red bark, named for its deep red stems and purply-plum colored foliage. It came with a teapot and sugar bowl to match. Below is the teapot brimming with rich warm shades of autumn. Tucked inside are drop dead read sunflowers, red, orange and muted gold zinnias, sedum ” Autumn Joy ” the large seed pod of a purple cone flower and fuzzy plume snipped from  one of my ornamental grasses.

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Who doesn’t have one or two leaded crystal vases hanging around? The one in the photo below was a wedding present so we’ve had it for nearly 23 years. I have wonderful memories of filling it with flowers from my beloved over the years. It was so fun to bring it out, and dust it off for today’s posy parade!

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I decided to make this one very loose and romantic color pallet using mostly pink and purple dahlias and zinnias with some yellow lemon queen and a large snip of basil. I like using flowering herbs in my arrangements for the added earthy aroma. I love to see the look on people’s faces when they lean in and take a big whiff.

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Many varieties of cut flowers don’t have any fragrance at all. The occasional sprig of fresh herbs tucked into your arrangements will take care of that!

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Here’s another arrangement in a classic urn-shaped milk glass vase similar to the one above but with a more muted color pallet. This arrangement features dahlias in shades of yellow with edges outlined in deep shades of eggplant. To pick up on the faded purples I added more sedum, red bark twigs, faded hydrangea, deep red sunflowers, and more feathery plums for added texture and whimsy!

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Aren’t these autumnal colors sumptuous together?

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To get the desired length for where your flower heads will sit in a bouquet, simply hold the stem ( the one in the photo is a sunflower) up against the vase and eyeball where you want the flower head to sit in the arrangement, then cut off the excess on the bottom. SIMPLE!

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Who knows what a flower frog is? Well, I can tell you it’s not a frog that looks like a flower. Nope! They are a flower designers little helper. I could do a whole post on the history of the flower frog, but for today’s purposes I’ll keep it short. I started my own collection with a few vintage glass flower frogs earlier this summer and I’m amazed at the myriad of shapes, colors and different materials available. They are made to hold flower stems in place for more formal, structured arrangements but are also darling as a displayed collection!  I just had to give one of mine a try!

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I had one that fit perfectly in my small urn-shaped milk glass vase. I gently placed it in the bottom of the vase and started tucking flowers in here and there. It features, dahlias, zinnias red knock-out roses.

129-001Before we say so long, I just had to show you this giant dinner plate dahlia! Measuring at a whopping 9 inches in diameter it’s not easy to fit in a household vase with many other flowers. The sheer size of it is awe-inspiring!

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Below are two smaller solid white dahlias tucked inside a vintage metal watering can with a snip of basil and grass plumes spilling out of it!

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More white dahlias featured in a vintage glass jar with sedum, hydrangea leaves, and one UN opened dahlia bud. The effect is soft, pretty and feminine. I can see this one on a wedding table, bridal shower or on a night stand near an open window with lace curtains blowing in a gentle summer breeze.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s Farmgirl Flower DIY workshop and got some great take away inspiration to try at home. Just remember, the main idea is to use what’s growing in your own backyard ( front yard too!) and in season. Experiment and have fun with your flowers and I bet you’ll be delighted and surprised with the results!

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My only secret is that I tried to choose flowers that would compliment each other and the vases I put them in. Other than that, I just played!

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Ta DA!!! So there you have it! Eight FARMGIRL flower bouquets to help you get your flower arranging girl genius on!

Do you have a favorite? Tell me which one and why in the comments below and please share your tips too!

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Until our next shoreline visit~ Happy Blooming and have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Much love,

Sister Deb # 1199 xoxo

PS. I almost forgot to share with you that Dandelion House Garden was featured in The Cottage Journal Magazine this month! Yahoo!

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Leave a comment 17 Comments

  1. Mary Rauch says:

    Wow, I am properly impressed! So easy on the eyes! For my personal taste (only one probably), I was not pleased with the watering can, but that’s just me.
    Your flowers and photography are awesome, especially the light on that dahlia!
    Thanks for the visual treat!

  2. Barbara Purvine says:

    Wonderful post! The photos are beautiful, and I love seeing simple things become elegant with a simple flower or two (or more)!

  3. Susan Laquintano says:

    I have to say that I loved every one of your arrangements. I am very excited about collecting more items to put flowers and herbs in. As far as the glass flower frog, I have seen them before and could not figure out what they were for. Thanks for the info.

  4. Karna says:

    Beautiful! Especially in the watercan !!

  5. Marcie says:

    Deb, I love all your flowers & containers and I am inspired to try this next spring. Congrats on being featured in The Cottage Journal Magazine, what an honor. I also read your chicken news too. You are a lady of many talents! Your daughter will be fine and study hard and do great things, like her mom. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas.

  6. pam demarrais says:

    Deb, your flowers and arrangements are beautiful! You have inspired me to get two things: some dahlia bulbs and a frog for arrangements! I have to confess that I have not made even one arrangement this year; today is the day!

  7. Joan says:

    Your flowers and arrangements are superb!!! I have now vowed to try my hand, this next year, at a cutting garden. I love frogs, only wish I would have kept them from my Gram. I loved the article in the Cottage magazine – maybe they will revisit you and show more of your lovelies. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Deb, beautiful flowers, hard to pick a favorite but mine would be the teapot with the autumn colors. I too love flower frogs, my friend has a very cool collection of them, she too has huge flower gardens, you will have to go to her site and visit, Carolina Lily in Salisbury, NC. My favorite thing is to cut fresh herbs and make tiny arrangements in unusual containers. I love letting my herbs go to seed because they always have the most delicate little flowers, even my lettuce when it goes to seed. Great blog. Be Blessed! Neta.

  9. I love them all, but my very favorite by far are the pink and purple dahlias and zinnias… with the touch of yellow thrown in makes it the happiest arrangement! Your ideas are excellent. – Dori –

  10. Debbie says:

    Beautiful! I had never heard of a flower frog! Fascinating little helper! Your flowers are so gorgeous. You have a real gift for them. Thanks for sharing all these excellent, pretty ideas. :-)
    ~Debbie

  11. Vicki Hempel says:

    Deb, All the flower arrangements were beautiful. Really loved the one with autumnal colors in the urn shaped milk glass vase. You have provided inspiration for future gardening in the spring and a trip to the thrift store for interesting vases. Thanks for a real day brightener!
    Vicki

  12. Donna Phelps says:

    I have a hard time cutting my flowers! I like to wait for more seeds & I know they wont last much longer after i cut them. In the spring I grow pink sweet peas, hundreds, and I do cut bouquets…sometimes. your bouquets are stunning. My favorite was the table with all of them! They are all so pretty in their own way. :) thank you for sharing that post. A great way to start the day in the southwestern desert o Arizona!

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Howdy, Donna! So happy you enjoyed…I wish I could grow sweet peas here. I’ve tried for three years in a row.. I think I start them too late. I won’t give up… I bet yours are lovely!
      xo Deb

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