Interpreting a book with a #Bouquetoftheday

Join me on my public Facebook group #BouquetOfTheDay and post your floral creations for everyone to see. With the onset of COVID, I challenged myself to create a floral arrangement from my garden or from local foraging of the roadsides around my home. Taking me into various directions with floral arranging, I have learned a lot from the past year. If you are inspired to do some arranging, join the group – anyone is welcome! And if you don’t arrange, check out the page for ideas. Even in the dead of winter, there will be new arrangements!

Mechanics for Arranging

One thing that I tried not to use was non-biodegradable floral foam which is clogging up landfills. Some options are the new Midnight Floral Foam Oasis, which according to Oasis Floral Products is supposed to biodegrade 100% in 567 days in biologically active landfill conditions and can increase flower life up to 50%. Another product which I am trying out is Agra-Wool, which is 100% Natural!  This brick mechanic system is equivalent in dimension to the single use plastic based floral foams but without the harmful effects to both environment and users.  Plus you can reuse it over and over unlike other floral foams.

Two new products for arranging

Other things that I used to keep my arrangements in containers is waterproof floral tape and chicken wire. The tape is easy to use and keeps your stems where you want them. Chicken wire is useful for larger stems and just ball up a square of chicken wire and stick into your container. Plus you can reuse chicken wire again and again.

I use this Aspidistra Ti Ribbon to hide the oasis in a glass vase

Bowl or Floating Arrangements

Floating arrangement of tree peonies

Bowl arrangements are the easiest for beginners to start out with. Choose a low wide container or bowl, fill 2/3 up with water, and throw in what every strikes your fancy. Great for parties – it will impress everyone and last at least a week.

A galvanized tub of hibiscus, hydrangeas, and papyrus

Vase Life

The amount of time that your flowers last in the vast depends on how you treat them. Cut early in the morning, plunge the cut ends directly into your water-filled buckets with a floral food (those little packets that come with store-bought bunches), and set them aside in an out-of-the way spot for a few hours to drink. A cool dark spot like a garage or basement is perfect. Then arrange away! This whole process is called “conditioning” and will greatly impact the longevity of your flowers and foliage. I also remove the lower foliage on the stems as it is easier to arrange without them. If I go to all the trouble to grow, harvest, and arrange my flowers, I want them to last a week or longer for me to enjoy.

To stop your hellebores from wilting, slit the stem
The hellebore on the left is drooping because I didn’t slit the stems like the ones on the right


Hydrangeas last longer than a week in a vase. If it starts to wilt, recut the stem and submerge in warm water for a few hours


Just like hair, you can use product on your flowers to have a better end result of longevity. Floral food is a quick fix, but a bit of bleach or vodka will work almost as well. A spray called FloraLife Clear Crowning Glory  and FloraLife Quick Dip are both products that I use regularly, one to dip your cut ends in and the other, a sealer on the foliage or flower itself. Available on line, they are pretty inexpensive.

These products will extend the life of your arrangement

Creating floral Arrangements From Your Garden


Foliage is hugely important in home grown bouquets. When I select a shrub to plant, I am always looking to see if I can use it in an arrangement and also if it will last and is colorful.

Foliage makes this arrangement

Favorite Annual/Perennial Flowers to Grow for Arranging

My criteria for including flowers on this list, is that they must be easy to grow, last long in a vase, and have sturdy stems for arranging.

Asters                                                                  Hydrangea

Astilbe                                                                 Marigolds

Chrysanthemums                                          Oriental Lilies

Cockscomb                                                        Peonies

Coneflower                                                         Strawflowers

Dahlias (My favorite!!)                                     Sunflowers

Gladiolus                                                                Yarrow

Goldenrod                                                              Zinnias


Favorite Foliage/Berries/Stems

A variety of colors and textures of both foliage and berried shrubs, adds pizzazz to any floral arrangement.

Abelia                                                                                        Ninebark

Amsonia (Blue Star) foliage                                            Purple Smoketree

Arborvitae                                                                                Twig Dogwoods

Aucuba                                                                                       Viburnum, foliage and berries

Grasses                                                                                        White Pine

Mahonia, foliage and berries                                               Willows, curly and pussy

Nandina, foliage and berries                                                Winterberry


Growing, cutting, and arranging flowers is a great way to exercise your creativity and bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. Join my #Bouquetoftheday Facebook group and post your creations for everyone to see.

Crofton Garden Club

For the Crofton Garden Club, I created several arrangements that they are going to follow along with me on zoom.

Candlestick Arrangement
Flowers from Trader Joes
Extend the oasis 1 inch above the rim of the bowl
Candlestick arrangement
Roses in a line mass arrangement
My studio in my basement with my work area, backdrops, supply cart, and lighting
Roses for Valentine’s Day in a goblet
Roses for Valentine’s Day