” My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. ”
– Claude Monet
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.
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!
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!
You’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.
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.
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!
I 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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Aren’t these autumnal colors sumptuous together?
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!
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!
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.
Before 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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Until our next shoreline visit~ Happy Blooming and have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!
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!