Fun with yard clippings

I had so much fun playing with flowers for last week’s post that I decided to have fun again with some more arranging.  This time I thought I’d see if I could make clippings from plants in my yard look pretty.  Below is a bright green shrub sandwiched between two succulent bushes from our front yard.  I often look at them and think “I wonder what I could do with those . . .”

We also have plenty of “Birds of Paradise.”  I think this is the only (almost) blooming one in the bunch. . .

Then of course there are the lovely roses.  They grow really well in this Santa Barbara climate.   I live in Santa Barbara.  I don’t think I have really ever mentioned that?  It’s pretty close to perfect here, but I do miss Texas.  Anywho, these roses actually smell even prettier than they look . . .

Originally I was super excited about clipping away in my yard, but I soon realized that there are LOTS of bugs all up in these bushes.  Ugh.  I was completely paranoid the whole time.  Why?  See below . . .

I know, he’s a friendly little grasshopper type bug.  But there were plenty-0 spiders and tiny weirdo bugs too.   So I spent a decent amount of time rinsing off the clippings.  Being careful with the roses of course.

The clippings . . . interestingly enough it seems the bird of paradise bloomed after I clipped it.  This made me “feel sorry” for it.  Like, did I hurt it or something, and it bloomed out of pain?  This feeling probably isn’t normal.  Then I started to worry that the bugs work in cahoots with the plants and they will get revenge on me this evening when I sleep.  Again, not normal.  Back to the clippings . . .

For the shrubs I used a cute little silver container I picked up a while ago at a thrift shop.  I thought maybe the unique container would make the simple shrub a little more interesting.  For the inside of the container I used a (cracked, whoops) plastic cup lined with a sandwich bag.  I wasn’t sure if the container would leak water or not.   I used three small clippings and arranged them a little to one side so it didn’t look like just one big poof of shrub.

Now for the roses.  Usually I like to trim most excess leaves.  These clippings had a few other buds attached so I kept this one natural looking.  I think the Barefoot Contessa would be proud of this one.  Nevermind the couple of leaves submerged in the water.  You should avoid leaving leaves submerged. It murks up the water pretty quick.  This container was a wedding gift.  It’s fun to whip out the good stuff too.

And the little succulent bush clipping.  So simple.  I just clipped it and put into a little vase.  This container is a thrift store find too.  This would be cute for the bathroom counter. . .

And the birds of paradise . . .

Actually, this arrangement feels borderline 80′s to me.  But the wood table adds a bit of warmth to bring it into 2008 at least.  I knew I would need to use a tall vase to accommodate the long sturdy stems.  You could probably make this a shorter arrangement too.   I might try that next time.

Below, just some rocks from our back patio.  Woops, how did that big one get in there.

Once I got to arranging the clippings in the containers I started having fun.  The clipping outdoors part, not so much fun.  I could have done without those buggers.

Here are just a few things that I keep in mind when I’m arranging flowers (I may have mentioned this in a previous post):

  • For me, it’s all about the container or vase.  That’s usually what inspires me when I’m playing with flowers.  Maybe it’s like the shoes to the outfit?  The outfit being the flowers of course.
  • Don’t over think it like, “One flower here, one flower there.”  I like to cluster flowers in groups rather than evenly intersperse the different varieties.
  • I like to keep the stems short so that you can’t really see them sticking out of the top of the container.  (Well, except for those Birds of Paradise)
  • Just experiment and have fun.  If it doesn’t look right to you, just start over.  Maybe only start over once.  You don’t want to lose patience and take it out on the poor, pretty flowers.

Until late next Monday evening,

Jennifer

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