Dead & Dusty Bouquet

A few weeks ago, my hubby surprised me with red roses and they made me so happy! I sat them into a fishbowl vase and admired them daily. And as the calender turned to October, they began to wilt and add to the Halloween vibe in the air. I hadn’t started decorating yet and they were my start, a sad one at that, but a start nevertheless. (And an easy one too, lol.) Enjoy and have a happy weekend!

DSC04868

Lol, this is making me laugh for sure, but… allow your roses to wilt away. A good, solid 2-3 weeks is best, (just in time for Halloween.) (I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I just let them wither away in their vase. But yes, back to the Halloween vibe that our house was lacking and the dying roses did the trick…yes…that’s the reason…) You can also tie them into a bunch and hang them upside down, to dry them. Once dried, combine with Dusty Millers. Many plant nurseries are having end of season sales and if you are in luck, you will find them at a reduced cost. Tie your dead & dusty bouquet with twine and place abandoned anywhere to add to the chill in the air…

DSC04866

Dusty Millers, Eryngium & Craspedia

My master plan for next year is to plant some extra dusty millers all around. I just love them. They are unique, beautiful and very long lasting and add a special touch to bouquets. They stay true in the garden or in pots from early spring till late fall, depending on when the frost hits. One year I remember them sticking around until Thanksgiving. Combine dusty millers with happy, bright craspedia and spiky eryngium for a pretty combination. Use pretty candle votives as vases to complete the look. These little bouquets make small spaces happy, especially when tucked in unexpected places, like next to the computer or the kitchen sink. Enjoy!

DSC04092

Mason Jar Love – Snapdragons, Solidago & Asters

So…I feel a little late on the mason jar trend but better late than never. I just can’t get enough of them! I’m obsessed with making sun tea in them, using them as drinking glasses and of course, using them as vases! Why not spoil yourself today and make yourself a little bouquet (or a really big and gorgeous one) of flowers? You deserve it, for simply being you! Enjoy!

In this mason jar, you’ll find snapdragons, a little solidago in the center and asters in the background.

Peonies in a Fishbowl

Was it my lucky day, one day last week as I found this fishbowl at the recycling center! I decided against the fish fearing Daisy the dog would fall into a fit of jealous rage and push the bowl over the tables’ edge as she would see me dote over our new pets. I even had names for them, Henry and Gail but Daisy is the boss, so I’m using the fish bowl as a vase instead. It’s safer for all of us and with the gorgeous peonies available this time of year, it’s just the perfect flower to fill my new “vase”. I love peonies, they are so pretty and smell like a perfect spring day. When picking out your peonies get a few tight buds to mix in with a few that are opened already so you enjoy your bouquet a little longer. I got one bunch that was opening up with some tight buds and by the time I got home they opened up quite a bit. Give your vase some room so the petals fall where they may, making an even more interesting arrangement.

Springtime Seed Sowing

It’s hard to believe that something as beautiful as these ranunculus were once a gnarly bulb. Have you ever really looked at a flower bulb? It’s knobby, dry and doesn’t look like much but with some dirt, love, sunshine and rain, it becomes a beauty. It’s hard to believe but we still have patches of snow in the yard and the other day, in the corner of my eye, I saw the daffodils beginning to push forth through the earth. It’s a miraculous time of year. And as with our deepest desires, we must plant the seed first in our minds and give it the love to watch it grow. Make some time for yourself this weekend to give some thought to what kind of seeds you are planting, in your mind and garden. Give your seeds love and watch them grow all around in your life. Enjoy your weekend and all of the springtime holidays!

Birds of Paradise Holiday Bouquet

I love winter branches and berries, rich fragrant juniper, pretty holly and red berries. But as odd as it may sound, I love throwing in a few stalks of unbloomed birds of paradise. The long slender stalks bring in an unexpected humor to a winter bouquet and makes me think of Santas in shorts with sunglasses on, while sipping on frosty beach drinks, like margaritas or even better, pina coladas. Growing up on the cold winters of the east coast, I’ve always thought, how fun it must be to enjoy the holidays surrounded by palm trees and sandy beaches and adding in the tropical flower, brings that vision a little closer. It’s not only a beautiful and unique flower but long lasting. Come new years’, you can upcycle your bouquet, (removing what has dried, if anything has and adding in something new, if you like) and “pop” open your birds of paradise, giving a burst of color to your bouquet and hopefully the new year!

For this bouquet, I put in two birds of paradise stalks, cut at different lenghts (if they have a slight film on them, spray them with a fruit and vegetable wash and follow the instructions on the bottle and it pretty much clears up, repeat if needed) and added in the red berry branch. I tucked in juniper branches in the front and a little behind the birds of paradise and added in the variegated holly as a filler, trimming to the desired heights. Adding in white branches would be nice, along with any pine tree trimmings. For the vase, I wrapped a clear glass vase with burlap and tied it with a red bow. (Do this step before filling your vase, lol, my mistake.) If your birds of paradise haven’t opened up on their own, (they take a long time to bloom) dip the top part into warm water and gently pull out the flower inside, helping it along. ;)

Snowy Autumn Floral Bouquet

It’s that time of year where snow is possible and I’m not ready. With today, being the first expected snowfall. Then again, I’m never quite ready for snow, unless it’s a nice all-day-Saturday-snow, with big juicy flakes falling slowly, creating a picturesque snow scene, (with no wind or chance of losing power.) The perfect snow fall. But it is still autumn and plump pumpkins are still around, with crisp leaves accessorizing our lawns and twiggy wreaths, hanging on doors. I was planning to plant a crazy amount of pretty purple crocuses but I think I’ve missed the cut off, as the ground feels hard, with a feeling that the acceptance of new bulbs, will not be welcomed. It’s the in-between-time of the season, not quite fall and not quite winter, yet. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away and if you want to make a floral bouquet that has a touch of both seasons, the combination of cool kale and snowy white asters with warm orange roses in a pumpkin is a pretty bouquet that will compliment either the crisp leaves or snow on the ground.

Choose a pumpkin that is on the taller side to mimic a tall vase, (you can use a smaller pumpkin also.) Make the opening to your pumpkin, drawing a circle around the stem and carefully remove the pumpkin top with a mini utility knife and saw. (You don’t want a really big opening.) Remove the pumpkin seeds and threads. (Save the pumpkin seeds for roasting, they make a great snack! Here is a recipe for Old Bay Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds.) Center you kale in the middle, trimming as needed, for the height that you are looking for. Add in your asters and fill in with your roses, trimming as needed. I trimmed the bottom of the kale flower and took a few of the leaves and tucked them into the pumpkin, to finish off the bouquet. Add water and some sugar, to extend your bouquet life and enjoy!

Halloween Floral Arrangement

I love this time of year, where spiderwebs hug almost everything in the house. Mice line the steps outside, bats hang from the ceiling and spiders are overtaking the house. Ripped dark gray cloth hangs from the windows and I’m just having so much fun with it! But I needed flowers! Not just any kind of flowers, but flowers that Morticia Addams would love! Grayish green seeded eucalyptus, stark white roses and burgundy kangaroo paw are creepingly combined in vintage glass bottles, to give this arrangement its’ spook factor. Seeded Eucalyptus lasts a long time, and as your roses begin to wilt, take them from the vases, and dry them upside down, adding them back in, giving your arrangement a whole new look, perfect for Halloween!

You can find vintage glass bottles at garage sales or antique shops. These were three for a dollar and really give the arrangement its’ character. Add in glass candle votives, (I found these mercury bubble votives at West Elm and think I can bring them out again around Christmas time!) Spanish moss and a white pumpkin or two, to complete the look. If using votives, make sure to give them enough space, so they don’t wither your flowers and always burn your candles when you can have an eye on them. This is nice on a coffee table or if you find smaller glass bottles, you can line them up on a window sill also. This would be great running down a long table, if having a spooky Halloween dinner, just double or triple the amount of vases as needed. I first arranged the eucalyptus organically, followed by the roses sparingly and added in the kangaroo paw as a filler. Don’t forget to add water to your bottles and not every bottle has to have the same arrangement of flowers. I love seeded eucalyptus and it’s a pale, almost unnatural color makes this arrangement, Halloween-perfect. Have fun!

Random Acts of Kindness: Floral Bouquet

Today is a day that changed our lives forever. I was in the city, to the day, eleven years ago. The morning was beautiful, the sun was shining and it was warm, the hustle and bustle was no different than any other day. Until I got to class, and all the TVs were on, and the towers were falling. Everyone was in tears and in disbelief. After the initial shock was over, a unity fell over the city and a new kindness took over. I would say there was a slower pace, possibly from shock and also because people were more vulnerable. There was a bond that was invisible. Everyone was nicer to each other. And in todays’ memory, do something nice for someone, that is unexpected. Getting coffee? Have a dollar or two left over? Leave it for the next person that comes up to the counter. Driving down a road with a toll? Pay for the car in back of you also. I would do that occasionally when I would drive down the Garden State Parkway and I will never forget the day my toll got paid! It made me feel so good, this random act of kindness. It left me with a happy feeling all day long. Have a surplus of tomatoes from your garden? See if you neighbor would like some. Smile at a stranger, give someone a compliment today that maybe you wouldn’t have normally. Make someone smile. Haven’t seen mom in a while? Stop by with flowers and a big hug! Or stop by and give flowers to someone who has made you a better person. They will really appreciate it. And all of these random acts of kindness don’t have to end today, this can be just the beginning!

I hope you never got rid of those dusty etched glass vases, they are great for mini bouquets that are just perfect for RAOK! Keep an eye out at garage sales if you are in need of some, they are great to have on hand! To make this bouquet you will need a small vase, a few large green leaves, (I used leaves from a hydrangea bush.) Use the leaves to line the vase, you will only need a few, about three, overlapped, it’s just so you don’t see the stems. Trim three large orange Celosia to fit the vase, and place them against the edge of the glass. Fill in the rest of the bouquet organically with the purple Gomphrena and Baby’s Breath and smaller Celosia if needed. Add water and make someone happy today!

Flowering Artichoke

Nature makes me happy and I try to bring it indoors as much as I can. I love having flowers in our bedroom but keeping up with a fresh bouquet can get a little pricey. I’ve tried potted plants and they just don’t get enough sunshine. So I found a great solution, filler greens! For the amazing price of $5. And they last such a long time, as long as you change the water daily. It’s not so much a traditional bouquet of flowers but the greenery is refreshing. The bright green of the leaves and the twisting of the curly willow enlivens our space of rest and relaxation. I usually just have them by themselves but I stopped by the florist and I was in the mood for something exciting and trilling. And she brought out these beauties, flowering artichoke. I thought they were so gorgeous and a huge plus, they last a long time! Grab a vase, fill it with water and let the leaves loose, as they relax in the vase, while you do the same in your bed. To happy bedrooms! :)