I love flowers. There is just something so lovely about adding the beauty and life of flowers to your home. But as a frugal gal, when I have those little internal conversations with myself, I can’t often justify spending the money on something that I know will only last a limited time and then be gone.
Sometimes though my sweet husband surprises me with a bouquet for no reason, or I am at Aldi’s and splurge on the bouquets that they sell (which are very nice for the price).
Then I get it home, strip all the lower leaves off and pop it in a vase with some “river rocks” from the dollar store* and it looks something like this:
(Note: these flowers were actually a given to me when my Husband, MIL, Mom & Grandfather attended my show)
Hmm, somehow they looked a bit fuller in the plastic sleeve. But never fear, you can take that supermarket bouquet and make it look like a million bucks without spending a fortune! First we need to find some free filler to improve the arrangement. It’s spring, so let’s take a trip outside.
Queen Anne’s lace is considered a weed around here-it grows EVERYWHERE. It cracks me up that they actually sell it as a filler flower in florist shops. Ditto for Goldenrod in the fall.
So I’ve collected a nice little pile of additional greenery in various colors, shapes and sizes. Now to add it in to my bouquet.
I like to hold the piece up to the vase in order to judge where to cut it.
Next I strip off the lower leaves (when necessary). Our goal is only to have stems below the water line in our vase. I always like to do everything I can to make flowers last. The easiest is to remove the lower greenery-leaves sitting below the waterline will start to rot creating a nasty smell and bacteria that will shorten the life span of your bouquet.
I just keep popping in stuff till it looks right. Yeah-I know, that’s so technical! Well I’m not a professional flower arranger or anything.
I do know that odd numbers look better (things aren’t even in nature you know) so I use 3 Hosta leaves in the back of the arrangement. I also know that “levels” look good, so I aim at having some of that variegated stuff going both high & low. Lastly I use the Queen Anne’s Lace to fill in any open spots or gaps.
Now in my “clipping” routine I wound up with some flowers that would have been too low in the vase (those carnations have a lot of side branches), a broken off flower or two and of course some leftover filler materials. So I decided to make a little posy out of the “leftovers”.
Now they need to go in water in order to last, but it’s got to be something with a pretty small neck so the posy stays together.
I found this little ketchup bottle I had picked up on a trip (it had ketchup in it at the time). It really doesn’t look that great, so I searched some more and found a small terra cotta pot I could hide it in. I have no idea where the pot came from-a kids school project maybe?
The finished products:
Now I’ve got a bunch of leftover bits, so those are thrown into the compost bucket.
The bouquet’s came out so nicely that I decided to go out on a limb and make an entire arrangement from things in my yard.
I started with my Peony bushes.
I love the Peony flowers but am not so fond of how they look when they fall over. I have made my own inexpensive Peony supports, but forgot to put them in this spring. So over they went once the buds started blooming! I clipped several of the ones that were already lying down and stuck them bloom first into a full bucket of water to “de-ant” them. (Ants LOVE Peonies). I added in some greenery-hostas, a fern (also growing around my porch) and some of that variegated stuff (someone, please, tell me the name!).
I popped it all into a bud vase and was very, very pleased with the results.
*note: I rinse, dry & save the rocks and use them over & over