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.
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.
Bowl or Floating Arrangements
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chrysanthemums Oriental Lilies
Dahlias (My favorite!!) Sunflowers
A variety of colors and textures of both foliage and berried shrubs, adds pizzazz to any floral arrangement.
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.