KUSA - Any event becomes more special with flowers. The dilemma for the gardener, however, is whether he wants to rob them from the garden to put in a vase.
I just assembled four pretty bouquets for my block party. Here's how I did it without stripping the garden of its color:
Start with foliage. A bouquet can be 50% greenery. Fill up the vase before you even begin to pick flowers. Use whatever you have in abundance, especially your shrubs and trees. I have plenty of Oregon grape holly. The leaves are bright and glossy and this time of year the shrubs have pretty blue berries. I also have plenty of bright red bloodleaf plants in patio pots. A few missing stems won't be missed. I also cut clusters of orange-brown seedpods off my golden rain tree.
I stuffed the vintage granitewear coffee pots with this foliage and seedpods. I chose the old-fashioned granitewear for its rustic charm. Granitewear has been around since the days of the wild west. In old western movies, you'll see cowboys sitting around a fire using these tin utensils--glazed with a gray or blue speckled finish--because it was lightweight and unbreakable. Some campers still use granitewear utensils. They make great (unbreakable) vases for an outdoor party where fancy glass vases would be out of place.
Once the foliage was in place, I snipped flowers from the garden. You don't need very many. Just a few stems of bumblebee daisy (Rudbeckia triloba) made it look like I'd really raided the garden but they're barely missed. I poked these into the foliage base first. Then I added a few stems of cosmos, sunflowers, globe amaranth and tall verbena. I had just two gladiolus still in bloom. With the rest of the flowers they don't look like leftovers.
The point is to use whatever you've got on hand. With enough filler--no matter how insignificant the flowers are on their own--your arrangement will still look full and lovely.
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