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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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*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

A new perspective on flowers

After discovering that the wet floral foam that I  loved using for flower arranging is actually quite toxic and not biodegradable at all, I started reading about what today’s florists are using in lieu of floral foam in arrangements.  Many of them have done away with using floral foam all together and use things like pebbles or curly willow or floral tape or floral frogs.  Many of them are also just using more locally grown flowers and less imported flowers.  This article was particularly informative, as was the video.

So I decided to try my hand at using a floral pin frog.  These I picked up at a garage sale.  3 for 6 dollars…

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They are metal and heavy.   Secure them in your container with floral clay and just poke the stems of the flowers into the pins.  Martha Stewart has a helpful little video all about floral frogs.

I also decided to keep with this eco-friendly theme and purchased a “doesn’t-offend-anyone-on-the-earth”  bouquet of flowers from the organic grocery store.   But they were offensive to me at $17 for one small bouquet.  Yikes!

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On top of that they were in sad shape… (it was hard to tell thru the cellophane)

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So I found myself tearing away lots of browned petals….

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Then I got the stems all trimmed  and organized and ready to be arranged…

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I started with the largest stem first (hydrangea) and just worked around it…

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Woops.  Guess I ran out of flowers.  Even the filler in this bunch was sad and mostly not unusable.   So I took a peek out at my rose bushes and spotted two roses that still had some life in them and used them to fill the space…

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What a difference a good flower makes …

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Well this particular arrangement was a real learning experience for me:

  1. I’m not such a fan of the floral pin frogs (yet.)  All the flowers just want to point straight up, kind of unnatural looking.  I need more practice.
  2. I think I just need to buy flowers from the farmers market.  They are local and affordable.  Not as conveniently located for me or with as much variety but  I’ll give it a whirl.

Until next Monday 🙂

Jennifer

Iceberg roses in bloom

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We have some sweet smelling Iceberg Rose bushes that line part of our patio.  When they bloom they look so pretty and are super fragrant.  They are blooming out of control right now and I thought I could snag a couple of bunches once and for all to make a pretty arrangement.

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In the past I’ve hesitated to cut these and use them in an arrangement because they are really crawling with itty bitty aphids and other critters like spiders and even mini snails.  But I decided to clip them and dip them in and out of a utility sink full of water to clean the guys off.  I also sprayed them with a little bit of dish soap and water solution:

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Ew.

Well after I felt guilty (and creeped out) about the real condition of my roses I finished bathing them and trimmed them to size for their pretty vessel and soft bed of wet floral foam.

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A while back I found this silver plated bowl at a thrift shop for a few bucks.  I polished it up a bit and thought it would make a perfect home for these delicate beauties.

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I used a plastic bowl inside the silver bowl in which to place the wet floral foam.

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These iceberg roses have several blooms coming off of one main stem.  Rather than cutting each little stem (which are pretty delicate) I just kept them intact on the main stem and bunched them together slightly and pressed them into the foam.  These roses have tiny little thorns that don’t hurt too bad, but I didn’t want to take my chances:

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After I pressed in all the stems to fill the arrangement I added a bit of greenery from the rose bush…

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A delicate and soft looking arrangement even though I used wet floral foam which can provide a lot of structure for an arrangement…

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Also, in doing research for the roses in this particular post I learned that wet floral foam contains toxic elements and is really bad for the environment.   GREAT.  So I’m going to have to give those other floral arranging supplies a try.

Until next Monday.

Jennifer