Flower Arranging 101

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Arranging flowers is therapeutic, a delight to all my senses.  I love to create unique arrangements and bouquets, a trait I affectionately inherited from my mother.  I have memories of my mother coming home from brisk fall walks with sticks and leaves which she would transform into incredible creations on the mantels and tables throughout our home.

When I am in the mood to create, I begin with a stroll through the garden to see what is growing and if I will need to supplement with flowers and plants from the market.  I am always surprised by what you can find in your own back yard. Even the buds from the Pittosporum bush are a beautiful accent to arrangements.

I am fortunate enough to have a cutting garden with a variety of flowers, but I often add other material from the regular landscaping.   My flower garden is divided by color and separated by box hedge- I admit the box hedge sometimes ends up in arrangements too!  I treasure my rose garden, which this fall in particular, is overflowing with gorgeous blooms. There is nothing as pretty as a container stuffed full of multi-colored garden roses.

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Often I will add something from the farmers market that captured my eye. Out of convenience I will pick up some extra flowers at the grocery store to mix in with what is growing in my garden.

Fruits and veggies can be an interesting and beautiful part of your arrangements, especially if you are creating something that is low and flat.   Another favorite of mine is air plants or tillandsia, which are sculptural, beautiful and cost effective.

Once I have gathered my bounty, I typically plop down on the ground with the flowers in buckets all around me and the fun begins.  When the girls come sit with me and make bouquets of their own, I think of my mom and love knowing that another generation will be carrying on this tradition of therapeutic beauty.

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Here are some of my favorite tips if you want to create some arrangements for your home.

1.   Pick a color…monochromatic arrangements are easiest.  Choose the color of what you want for your arrangement then find 3-5 different flowers, plants or berries that have the same hue.   The cohesion of color and varied texture look sophisticated and dramatic.

2.   Create an assortment of mini bunches, each held together with wire or rubber bands, artfully stuff them into the container and you will have a lush look and feel.

3.   Get more than you think you will need.  You can always stuff more into an arrangement.  Often, I will cut from the yard and go back 2 or 3 more times before I have what I truly need to make a full bouquet.

4.   You don’t need to spend a ton of money on flowers to have a beautiful arrangement. I will add fruit, twigs,  leaves, and even veggies.  I find it gives arrangements a great organic vibe.

5.   You are the boss!  If you don’t like the look of something move it around…I know we think of flowers as delicate, but once they are in the vase, you can really manipulate their placement.

6.   Open your eyes to what you have in your garden and yard.  Don’t feel like you have to use only flowers, a combination of green leaves or berries is beautiful.

I am passionate about discovering new flower species, cool containers and fresh arrangement styles.   I have included throughout the site many photos of my favorite creations.  I invite you to look around, be inspired, and go out to gather and create.

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