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I had my first official request for a flower arrangement recently.  From my mother-in-law . . . that’s pretty official right?  She was having a garden party to celebrate the grand opening of her department store, Harrell’s.  Well, it was a miniature version of a department store (miniatures have been one of her hobbies).  But it was Grand none the less.

Her party colors were bright pink and lime green.

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I used dahlias, hydrangeas, snap dragons, and carnations . .

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Since it was a garden party I thought the I’d make an arrangement that looked like I picked a bunch of flowers from my elaborate garden and simply clustered them together in a basket.

First, I tucked a glass bowl inside a square basket that I had on hand.  Then I filled the bowl with small river rocks (as a substitute for wet floral foam) to secure the stems in place.  Then filled with water.  A deeper glass bowl and more river rocks would have been perfect, but this is what I had on hand . . .

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I also ended up using a floral frog to secure the thicker stems and the weight of the hydrangea . . .

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I pushed the hydrangeas one by one into the floral frog in to form a cluster.  Then I clustered the dahlias together by pushing them gently one by one into the river rocks . . .

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The snap dragons were a little top-heavy so I took some floral tape and wrapped it around to make a small bunch.  Then I pushed them into the river rocks.  I repeated the same technique with the carnations . . .

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I tucked in some of the greenery from the bouquets around the base of the arrangement and viola!                     Basket-o-flowers.  And a very happy customer I might add (phew)!

Until next Monday!

Jennifer

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Make your succulent planters look fuller instantly

After my post last week on making succulent arrangements I found myself chomping at the bit to give my sad looking patio planters a succulent makeover.  So I did . . .

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I paid a visit to a local garden center to gather some succulents for this project and quickly realized that the amount that I needed to fill my planters like I wanted to (full looking) was going to be costly.  Darn.  Then I came across trays of succulent ground cover.  These are normally used for landscaping but in my case they are perfect for adding softness and fullness to succulent planters.  The garden center had several different choices of these ground cover trays but I chose this one because it had the most variety of little mini succulents.

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This tray was $23. A couple of days later I saw the same exact tray at larger home improvement center for $14. Grrr.

This was how I was going to get that instantly full look for my succulent planters (I just don’t have the patience to let those succulent trimmings grow in to fill the planters).  These trays are super easy to work with too!

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Remember to use cactus soil for your planters then simply tuck your succulents in and water nicely.  I put together five succulent planter arrangements with the help of the plentiful tray of succulents.  (I still had half of the tray left over!)  I mixed in a couple of other varieties of succulents to give the planters some variety and texture.

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If you need to give your patio a quick makeover for those summer BBQ’s, this is a great alternative to filling your planters with traditional outdoor plants.  Succulents are low maintenance and can tolerate that hot summer heat.  Let’s see how mine do!  (Who am I kidding.  I live in Santa Barbara, they’ll be fine;)

Until next Monday!

Jennifer

Arranging eco-friendly succulents (Video)

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I’ve been on a mini-mission to become a little more eco-friendly when adding some greenery and flora into my home.  Succulent arrangements are considered eco-friendly simply because they are a longer lasting “arrangement” to keep in your home.  Recently I did some window shopping at a few of the local nurseries and fell in love with some gorgeous succulent arrangements.  P.S.  The nursery is a fun toddler outing too.  My little one loves exploring the different “jungles” and especially the fountains.  And if there is a mermaid garden accessory within reach we can spend a good hour there.  (video below)

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I picked up some cute little succulents and brought them home to try my hand at planting / arranging them.

What you’ll need:

  • A container or planter 
  • A variety of succulents depending on the size of your container.  Get more than you think you will need especially if it’s a wide container.  Best to have a full arrangement than a sparse one, but you can always fill gaps with small stones.  Try and mix different textures and color shades.  I chose succulents that grow low and ones that can drape over the side of the container.
  • Cactus soil.  This is important especially if your container does not have a drainage hole like the one I used.  You don’t want the soil to remain too wet, this could lead to the roots rotting.  Cactus soil is light and fluffy to promote aeration.
  • Tip:  after planting, the little succulents can end up with soil in their nooks and crannies so I used a dry paint brush to gently dust them off before watering.  Give them a light watering and a light misting too if you have a misting feature on your hose.

Here’s how I arranged these little succulents:

This was an easy and fun way to satisfy my curiosity of arranging flowers.  It’s quite addictive too I might add.  I foresee growth in my container hoarding problem.

Until next Monday!

jennifer

*video* marbles, one alternative to wet floral foam

In a recent post I mentioned that I was going to stop using wet floral foam since it is not eco-friendly and it also contains toxic elements like formaldehyde.  Yikes.  You can read more about that post here.

It seems like I favor short containers for flowers so I thought that I would see how glass marbles would work in this particular arrangement.  You can find glass marbles or glass beads at the craft store.

The marbles worked nicely.  Here, I’ll prove it to you in this video:

Lucky me, I have a ton of these beauties blooming in my backyard . . .

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Eco-friendly arranging with farmers market flowers

I hope this post finds you well on this Memorial Day.

I’m trying a new approach to playing with flowers… a more eco-friendly approach.  That means no more wet floral foam (very toxic) and using more locally grown flowers. So with this in mind I took a trip to my local farmers market (rather than my corner grocery store) to see what kind of floral beauty was offered.  I was so pleased with the variety. Everything from carnations to Dahlias and roses … and an abundance of other seasonal local flowers.   And the price?  More affordable than my corner grocer…

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I picked out some cymbidium (sym-BID-ee-em) orchids and some pretty purple mums.  I decided to practice using a floral frog again instead of the wet floral foam.

This time I used a smaller vessel (a cute thrifted tea cup) with a small, circular floral thrifted floral frog.  I simply snipped the orchid stems and pressed them into place on the floral frog …

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Yay.  I think I’ve made friends with the floral frog …

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I also had some pinkish, purple cymbidium orchids and combined them with the white ones into a large, low bowl with a larger floral frog.   I tucked them in tightly …

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For the mums, I just gathered them into a tight bouquet in my hand and trimmed the bottoms the same length.  I wrapped a rubber band around them and placed them in a mason jar tied with ribbon (super easy hostess gift idea)…

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Tuesday evenings at the farmers market might have to be my new ritual.  Maybe next time I’ll pick up some farm fresh produce for a farmer’s market inspired dinner…

Until next Monday!

jennifer