Week 23: Using found objectives

I went out to do some pruning and my sweep of the garden when the hellebores caught my eye.  In my other blog Travelindigo, I have a picture of a swath of these.  Hellebores are a very short lived cut flower but create lovely long lasting stands in the garden.  I am always surprised to see them in wedding bouquets because of their tendency to wilt…perhaps they are only in the photos!


Picking various things during my stroll led to this woodland bouquet for which I could find no suitable vase.  This vintage silver coffee pot, from my mother-in-law’s mother, seemed to fit the bill.  One year we used a mix and match collection of silver like this, provided by the bride’s family, to create personalized centerpieces for a wedding. A small bouquet like this would also be lovely for a woodland wedding and a bride that wants a quieter statement.

The hellebores are subtle beauty:



The fuzzy bits in the middle, the stamens, turn into the seedpods. For most long-lived cut hellebores, cut the flowers when that has happened* and immerse them in warm water for a bit. But don’t expect longevity. If they last overnight, or even a few hours, count  yourself lucky.


*You can see a subtle example of this in the middle photo of the hellebores.

52 Vases: Week 22 Tank vase and found objects

It is true I’m using a lot of branches lately and I had sworn off using them when I stumbled on several tree limbs of a flowering variety at the curb on my walk home.  Naturally, I stripped off some smaller branches to use. Then I found some pieris in bloom as well.  So…


I have had the tank vase for years. It resembles the glass blocks that are used in some home decor/structures in lieu of windows. I can’t wait til the branches bloom.

I encourage you to keep an eye open for found objects, beauty can be found unexpectedly.

52 Vases: Week 21 Using up leftovers

Oh yea, we’ve had snow.  Several days of it.  But before that sneaky sucker punch of winter hit us, I went out to prune the rosebushes.  What was left behind were the glorious, red tinged tips of new growth.

The green is offset by the frosted green of the vase which in turn helps highlight the lovely red in the newly budding canes.  While this is not a material you might use regularly, it is after all very thorny, sometimes its useful to highlight the beauty in what might be considered trash.


The roses were all trimmed to knee height. And then came the snow!

52 Vases: Week 20 Miniature life

While plants may be emerging (I see a few blooming daffodils this week! oh my) most of what is available in the garden is still in miniature…. hellebores, violets, and pulmenaria, along with delicate blooming branches.  These can be put together to make a still life which is what I did this week in a silver container thrifted at Goodwill.

Although what’s in style these days for weddings and table displays are huge draping arrangements in pedestal vessels, these delicate woodland miniatures may work just fine for a fairy-tale wedding and can be scaled up to a larger table.  This size would probably work for a table of six. And also work well for the DIY wedding — moss is beautiful!


a better look at the container

And contents


Thinking outside the bouquet for Valentine’s

With the possible exception of ordering out of season flowers for a wedding, flowers for Valentines (especially roses)  are at their most expensive peak. Yet giving and receiving flowers creates a lovely romantic dance that we should all engage in – even if it is just with ourselves.

I’ve pulled together five tips on gifting flowers for this day of lovers (some might actually save you money).

  1. Think creatively. What is your beloved’s favorite color and find flowers that match that. Red roses too expensive? What about red tulips? Or something with a scent (most florist roses are scentless). Or use this year’s color of the year – ultra-violet. Your local floral shop can help think outside the traditional bouquet.


  1. Make it precious – think small. Find an exquisite vase or antique perfume bottle and carefully choose a selection of small blooms or fleurets. My last post had an idea of a delicate arrangement. Or send your beloved three roses instead of a dozen, each tied with a beautiful ribbon.


  1. Go big and focused instead. One, two or three tropicals can have extensive impact when paired with some grasses and a big leaf.


  1. Extend and personalize your purchase. If you’re picking up a bouquet at the grocery store or Trader Joe’s shake it up a bit.  Find (or buy) some extra greenery or branches (pussy willow or curly willow are both nice). One of my floral mentors insists on using three kinds of foliage.  Take the bouquet out of the bag, add the branches, and rewrap the flowers, tieing them off with a nice ribbon.
IMG_1672 (2)

Starting with a more or less standard size grocery story bouquet. One type of foliage.


Adding the additional foliage and sticks makes the bouquet personalized.
  1. Want to buy local? Get yourself to a flower shop specializing in locally grown. Or if you are lucky enough to have a farmer’s market there may be a local flower stand there (just a note, farmer’s markets are usually a weekend thing). Just remember when buying local, growers are dependent on the seasons and may not have all flowers available to wholesale to a local shop. So dahlias in February? You are probably out of luck.



It’s fun to put together a bouquet using the language of flowers. For example, put together a bouquet of  red roses (passion,) red tulips (love). Alstromeria (devotion), stock (beauty) and ivy (let us bind together).  A card reinforcing the message is all that’s left to deliver your floral poem of love.

The first year my husband and I dated, he had two roses delivered to my workplace. A red rose for passion and a yellow rose for constant friendship.  Two roses, not a two dozen.  The surprise of it, and the memory of it, are still keenly with me. It doesn’t take much to have an impact. It just takes thoughtfulness.

Below, an example of an another out of the box Valentine’s arrangement featuring lilies, carnations and tulips.