Monday, October 25, 2010

A Bouquet Blog

'Carousel' hardy spider mums are just gorgeous. The deep wine colored spikes are Sanguisorba 'Dali Marble'. This blooms for more than two months in the fall and will also dry well.

Gladiolus were my Mom's favorite flowers. Purple smokebush foliage adds depth.

Cotinus 'Young Lady', smokebush flowers, picked in June, dried right in the vase.

It's late October, and most people are winding down their gardens and thinking about moving indoors for the winter. Not me! I LOVE this time of year. My garden is absolutely filled to the brim with lots of colorful flowers, foliage, and berries, never mind grass plumes and seed pods. All are ripe for the picking to make creative bouquets and arrangements. A couple of weeks ago, we offered a free workshop called Playing with Pumpkins at Natureworks. Participants strolled through the display gardens with me as I explained about the many things we could use in our project. We picked armloads of stuff. Then we carved out sugar pumpkins, added a plastic liner and a bit of pre-moistened floral foam, and made amazing arrangements. Most had never done this before and were astounded at how easy it was. It was a great opportunity for me to teach about what to grow for cutting. Yesterday, in preparation for a houseful of company, I picked from my home gardens. I made 5 arrangements, from large vases to a tiny bottle for the bathroom sink. I had planted my gladiolus really late and they finally opened. I have a huge plant of the gorgeous hardy purple spider mum 'Carousel'. Sanguisorba 'Dali Marble' added deep wine red bottlebrush flowers. Fresh 'Endless Summer' Hydgrangeas and pink 'P.G.' hydrangeas added a bit of bulk. Eragrostis (sand love grass) provided soft, delicate pink plumes. I picked other hardy mums such as 'Cotton Candy' and the very first 'Lucie's Pink'. Monskshood, white anemones, 'Knockout' roses, fresh sage and rosemary, and my favorite foliage plant of all, Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple', the purple smoke bush. There are so many choices if you plan in advance for this time of year. It really makes me happy, making bouquets. It's like coming full circle. Bringing flowers indoors completes the cycle of the season. It's another form of harvesting, capturing the beauty and giving yourself the opportunity to really study it, whether it be on a credenza or a desk in the living room. I hope I have inspired you to try your hand at this fun activity. Don't take it too seriously, just play with the flowers, foliage, berries, and pods in your own gardens. Get out there and look around- I am sure you will find plenty to work with. Nancy


  1. Hey nice idea to use the flowers inside home and make it colorful and beautiful even in winter.

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