I don’t know about you, but I just love having fresh flowers in the house. There’s a quote that says something like “Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden.” And while I think that saying has more to do with creating your own happiness than it does with planting flowers, I like the sentiment. Luckily, Spring is in the air and things are blooming everywhere, and the daffodils, tulips, and lilac bushes are putting on quite a show. Today I’m going to share a couple of ideas from my own backyard that may inspire you to bring the beauty of springtime blooms into your home, even if you don’t have a flower garden.
Armed with a basket to hold my cuttings and some good pruning shears, I went out to scour our property in search of things I could use from the trees, plants and shrubs that we already owned. The obvious start was the lone lilac bush that was in beautiful bloom. Although It is a small, it puts out a nice amount of blooms. Next, I looked at every shrub, bush and tree with fresh eyes. “Would it work in an arrangement?” I asked myself. From a tall evergreen, I took a few clippings. Next, I moved towards the side of the house and found a shrub that is usually dark green, but on this lucky morning, it was awash in small white flowers. Perfect!
The front corner of the house had a flowering pear tree, which had just finished flowering, and now offered some fresh, shiny leaves. Lastly, I moved to the other side of the house and noticed our dogwood was in lovely bloom. I snipped a few of those small branches off and added them to my basket. I was starting to feel like a real frontier lady, using whatever I could find in the yard to create floral bouquets:)
Once back in the house from my “field trip,” I clipped each variety and placed them in their own vase with water. Then it was time to turn this odd assortment into some beautiful things. The first arrangement is made up of lilac’s, amped up with some of the greenery. As you can imagine, the smell of this simple arrangement was absolutely divine, and the addition of the greenery gave it more dimension and height.
Next, I moved on to the dogwood branches, with their yellow and green hue. With the dogwood blooms, I paired some of the evergreen boughs for a nice contrast. Unlike the droopy, free-flowing nature of the lilacs, the dogwood branches stand tall and proud, and this arrangement turned out better than I expected. We also have a pink dogwood, so next year I am definitely going to bring some of those indoors, as well.
The last arrangement was more about the contrasting greenery shapes and colors, rather than florals. The dark green shrub did have the small white flowers I mentioned, and they added a nice pop of white to the otherwise green combination. Using the evergreen, pear tree leaves and shrub mixture, I placed them in an old green vase to stay in the color scheme. When it was all done, I loved it. Even without showy flowers, there was something so organic and lovely about just using greens. Now that I discovered the beauty in the simplicity of an all green arrangement, I can tell it will be a new favorite I can turn to almost any time of the year. Once they were done, I placed two in different areas of the kitchen, and one in the living room; places where we would enjoy them every day. One note about longevity of the arrangements I made: The lilacs faded first, with some blooms wilted by the following day. The dogwood and all green arrangements, however, lasted for many days and still looked as fresh as on day one!
Finally, I would be remiss in talking about flowers without mentioning my well documented love affair with orchids, that started during our years in Hawaii. The custom is to buy an orchid and enjoy it inside until all of the blooms are gone, and then snip the stem at the second or third node and place it either outside (tropical climate) or in a filtered light location (for non-tropical locations). Fertilize and water weakly, weekly. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. These three white ones have been hanging out in my laundry room window for a few months, and just about the time you think the orchid is never going to bloom, this happens; the small buds of new orchid flowers appear and all is wonderful in the world again!
So there you have it. Three simple arrangements to brighten up your home without ever visiting the flower department, and the method to get orchids to give you years of blossoms. The next time you are longing for some fresh florals in your home, step outside and see what you find. By looking at each tree, shrub, and plant with new eyes, you may be surprised by the beautiful arrangements you can create, using what you have right in your own back yard.