Whether you grow them or buy them, flowers improve the appearance of any table and make a meal special.
Random Flower Ideas
Flowers don’t have to “go together.” Wildly different types and colors can be combined into glorious bouquets. [ Unless they’re tropicals, in which case they need to cling to their own type, in my view, although I’ve seen some lovely bouquets where a few roses have been snuck in with some tropical beauties]. When it comes to garden flowers, however, the dahlias, coneflowers, zinnias, gladiolus, Shasta daisies, hydrangeas, mums, rudebeckias, flowers from herbs — the more the merrier and diversity rules!
Pure White Bouquet I’m playing around with a white-on-white tablescape. I’ve always found it so attractive. I had this unusual white bowl that volunteered to hold the flower arrangement. The important thing was to not just use all one kind of white flower. I wanted different textures and shapes. A hydrangea for the base, a few tea roses, a half dozen ranunculas, and some stock in the middle. Looking it over now, I think I’m going to run down and take the stock out. (Don’t you love how photos can sharpen your focus on things?) I’ll post the tablescape pics later, when I’ve got it just the way I want it.
Lavender asters! I was so excited when I saw these at the florist this week. I had never seen asters in person before and these were such an intense shade of lavender that I couldn’t resist bringing them home with me. I bought a large deep purple hydrangea, plopped it into a vase and stuck the stems of the asters through. No trouble at all, but the colors make any table look glorious. Below, you’ll see three pictures of my recent garden pluckage. I love those early morning journeys of discovery through the yard.
Matching Flowers to Your Vase
I learned a valuable lesson with this arrangement. I had gotten a great deal on an Italian glass vase that had flecks of beautiful colors in it. I wanted to be able to accentuate its orange, its yellow, so I chose the bulk of my flowers with that in mind. What a surprise when I got the arrangement done, looked down, and noticed that with the stems in it, you can scarcely see what the vase looks like or see that it has colors. Perhaps this vessel would be better suited to sitting empty in a sunny location. Take note, however, of the fact that having varying flower heights (more delicate ones taller and more full flowers low) helps create a lovely arrangement.
If you love fresh cut flowers on your table, as I do, check out these tips for getting them to look their best. (P.S. I grew the passion flower above. They grow on vines and are quite prolific, in terms of churning out blooms.) Take a look at our new Random Flowers Facts page.
It’s spring and I’m up to my eyeballs with fresh flowers in my yard. The hydrangea bushes are magnificent, plus there are lilies, zinnias, Indian blankets, shasta daisies, coneflowers, roses, and so much more. Plus, I was out roaming around an event called Better Block OKC and they had a pop-up flower market, so I ended up buying some flowers.
Being able to create passable flower arrangement is an essential skill. You need a selection of vases, from tall to squatty, a good pair of scissors, and a “What’s the worst that could happen?” attitude. After all, if your flower arrangement sucks, it’s not like the day you tucked your dress into the top of your pantyhose and walked around for five minutes until someone was brave enough to clue you in. Know what I mean? It’s just flowers! Just Mess with them!
One type of flower — hydrangeas — from several different bushes in my yard. What a glorious mix of colors!
This mixed arrangement features the drama of lime green spider mums, paired with sterling silver roses (why do they call them that when they are clearly lavender?), fuschia alstroemeria lilies (aka peruvian lilies) and sweet pink gerber daisies. It’s a great color combination.
Hyacinths totally rule! Wow, oh Wow. Something about the temperature and the amount of moisture we got this year combined to make this an outstanding year for hydrangeas and they can be stunning on their own, or form a colorful foundation for other accent flowers. The color of the blossoms comes from the particular variety, but can also be influenced by the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Since I have hydrangea bushes in six different spots in the yard and the soil conditions are different for each one, I have a rainbow of blossom colors, from nearly white to a gorgeous purple and a charming shade of pink. For this quickie arrangement, I covered my boring vase with a few inches of wide ribbon with ribbon roses, placed the hyacinths in, then placed white roses that had a lime green overtone in between. Fast, but beautiful!
The coolest vase! I saw these moss-covered handbag style “vases” in a catalog and just couldn’t resist them. They’re whimsical, natural, easy to work with. See how they go together on our Moss-Covered Purses page.
Sweet little bouquet. Take one small, but colorful, sugar bowl. Add a few brightly colored flowers. What you get is a sweet little bouquet that’s perfect on a table for two or four. Here, I have some colored-tipped tea roses, a lavender hyacinth, and some viburnum.
Mix and Match! This is an “odds and ends” bouquet. Using a small cream pitcher, I put together a fairly random assortment of tea roses, viburnum, sweet peas and gerbera daisies snagged from Saturday’s 50% off cash ‘n carry at New Leaf Florist.
Tiny Bouquets for Individual Place Settings. My mother saw something on tv that involved putting little bouquets of flowers into egg cups. I thought it sounded like a swell idea, since using egg cups for the original intended purpose is not exactly practical, unless you or your guests really enjoy delicately maneuvering a spoon around a snipped-top shell to get to what is basically a boring boiled egg inside. Not much of a “treat” for all the work entailed. So, egg cup flower bouquets sounded like a perfect way to use egg cups I had accumulated, particularly since Easter was on the horizon.
Click over to see the step-by-step instructions and read the low-down on these adorable little Easter Egg Flowers.
Live Orchids. I particularly love the exotic blooms of orchids. These are phaelenopsis (aka moth orchid). They are ridiculously easy to grow (but you don’t have to tell those who “oooh” and “ah” when they learn you grew them yourself.) There are two crucial things for orchids to thrive: they need the right light (I have mine in a window facing south) and you mustn’t overwater. Feed them after they’ve rested a bit following blooming. That’s it. You’ve now graduated from Orchid Growing 101. The blooms will last on the plant 6-12 weeks. Talk about low maintenance beauty! If the initial cost seems high to you, remember to amortize it over the period of time the plant will continue to live and bloom. It’s like the cost per wearing of your favorite shoes.
Tropical flowers and greenery are among my favorites. Over the years, I have had many tropical arrangements and I gathered pics of even more during a recent speaking trip to Hawaii. I’ve rounded them up on their own special Tropical flowers page.
If you haven’t ever tried tropicals, you’re in for a vibrantly-colored and long-lasting treat! Print out pics of what you like to take to the florist.
Ladyslipper Orchid. I found this unusual orchid plant in full bloom at my local farmer’s market and could not resist it. The lady slipper orchid is exquisit. The shape of this cachepot and its design complement the orchid well. The nice thing is that, unlike cut flowers, this will look fabulous for another month with just a tiny bit of water once a week.
Variegated Iris Bouquet. I love my florist, but there’s nothing better than being able to walk outside and pick a bunch of posies and end up with an arrangement that would add beauty to any table. Spring is the season for irises and we had a nice crop outside. The big question was whether I should go with a single color, or mix it up a bit. In the end, the variety won out, as it would go with more tablesettings and look fab with each. Cut (always early in the morning is best!), choose a vase, fill with water and flowers. Done!
Stunning, but easy. Creating a beautiful arrangement doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. The arrangement above took ten minutes to make and cost under $25.00. On Saturday, my favorite florist features 50% off cash and carry after 3:00 p.m. I bought a tropical leaf and used it to line the inside of the vase to hide the stems. Three stems of ornamental kale formed the base of the arrangement. From there, it was a simple matter to insert a few sprays of pink tea roses, a few white ranunculus, and finish it off with white roses with pink tips. Remember that it’s best to use 3, 5, or 7 of each flower. Don’t ask me why. That what “they” say, and my experimentation has shown me “they” are right.
This is what I call a flop bouquet. It is an uncomplicated arrangement where you can just buy the flowers, cut them to all one length and flop them into a vase or container and be done. What I like about a bouquet with multiple colors of roses is that I can then pick out particular ones later and use them to populate other arrangements — using a couple of pinks to put with some pink coneflowers or some lime green hydrangeas. If I wanted a more casual look, I could have put them into a vase tucked inside a basket. The point is, it was quick and the flowers add the finishing touch to the table.