Posies – Creating a Large Bouquet

Creating a large bouquet for special occasions (Hint – Mother’s Day is coming!) can be easy, if you choose the right flowers. I used hydrangeas and roses for this simple-to-assemble bouquet. You will need a large vase, 10 – 12 inches tall, for this arrangement. Remove all foliage from the stems that will fall below the water line. Fill the vase with water 3/4 full. Add flower food if your flowers come with a free packet.

Place your hydrangea stems in the vase first. These are heavy duty stems with beautiful leaves. Hydrangeas are temperamental. I didn’t do anything to condition mine and the blooms on one of them wilted overnight. A good way to condition hydrangeas is to burn the end with a candle. This seals the milky sap inside. A spray of water on the petals is also a good idea. I found an excellent in-depth post on how to condition these stems. If you are going to make the bouquet and use hydrangeas please check out this article first. Hydrangeas in the House-Tips for Making them Last!

The stems of the hydrangeas are strong. I used four and criss-crossed them within the vase to form a grid to hold the roses.

White roses are the next addition. They come packaged in packs of 12, but I used only eight in this arrangement. (I used the others for some corsages…the story of these will be told later in the week.) You could use any tall-standing flowers in place of the roses: lilies, carnations, spray roses, alstromeria, Dutch iris, etc. Cut all stems at an angle to allow them to draw up as much water as possible. Place the roses into arrangement within the criss-cross of the hydrangea stems. There you have it, an easy and beautiful bouquet for any special occasion.

Posies – Easy Bouquet & Quick Tip

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White miniature Roses, Baby’s Breath, light green Mini-Carnations and Hypericum Berries are usually available in the floral department of many grocers.

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This combination, in the neutral colors I’ve chosen, or in any pretty color combination, make a fast and easy bouquet.

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Quick Tip: The outer petals of roses are often browned or damaged. You will do no harm to the rose if you gently peel these petals away. Cut all flower stems on an angle to keep the bottoms from resting flush against the vase, this allows more water to flow through the stem.

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A tall narrow vase works best for this arrangement. Cut the mini-carnations a few inches taller than the vase. Insert them into the water like the spokes on wheel.

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Add the rose stems next, cut most of these double the height of the vase, with one or two an inch or two taller. The bottom stems of the carnation, will help hold the roses in place.

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Fill in with some Hypercium Berries and Baby’s Breath. There you have it, the transformation of a few bunches of flowers into a bouquet that can rival anything you purchase in a floral shop.

Plants – Fragrant Roses Yes! – Trumpet Vine NO!

Heirloom
Heirloom

I planted several roses in April of this year. I replaced the cottage garden annuals that grew in the long border with a half dozen rose bushes in hopes that the labor intensive area would become easier to maintain. I chose varieties that promised fragrance, and I haven’t been disappointed. Heirloom, Fragrant Cloud and Singing the Blues are definitely roses with a beautiful scent. (These roses are available from local retail stores and through Star Roses)

Singing the Blues
Singing the Blues

I enjoy cutting ready to burst buds from the bushes to enjoy indoors. Adding a few sprigs of foliage is a perfect foil for the beauty of the bloom.

Fragrant Cloud
Fragrant Cloud

I use ivy and variegated vinca vine growing along the borders of my yard. These plants work well with flowers in arrangements. I also have an abundance of sprouts growing from our original trumpet vine. The trumpet vine sends out long-reaching roots, the roots send up dozens, if not hundreds, of sprouts, each one capable of growing into another gigantic trumpet vine. I use them in floral arrangements, but they are not long lasting, and wilt quickly. The smaller leaves of the trumpet vine press well and look pretty in my greeting card designs, but would I ever plant a trumpet vine again? Absolutely NOT!

Phlowers & Quotes – Pink Roses/Welcome February

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.”
~Alphonse Karr

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“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature
is that all of us tend to put off living.
We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over
the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are
blooming outside our windows today.”
– Dale Carnegie

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“Loveliest of lovely things are they on earth that soonest pass away. The rose that lives its little hour is prized beyond the sculptured flower.”
~ William C. Bryant

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Vibrant – Roses in February

Prompt – The Daily Post/Flashtalk

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt: Flash Talk – You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

If I had only four minutes to explain myself I would use these pictures of my roses. In yesterday’s blog post I posted a photograph of utter simplicity, vased roses on a tabletop.

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Today’s Photograph of Roses in Morning Light

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Today

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Today, the morning sun slanted through my window and threw stunning light upon the arrangement. “Voila!'” As if by magic the illumination exposed shadows and brightness. The different nuances and aspects of the roses are so indicative of the different depths within me. Not so simple at all, for hidden within the grand design of the petals and stem is strength and fragility, softness and prickliness.

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My sister once said I am like “Velvet Steel.” Wow! That wouldn’t even take four minutes to say…and it is exactly what I am.

Plant Tips – Watering Roses

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Roses are a very thirsty bush. For the best blooms and growth they should drink at least several gallons of water a week. The hotter your climate, the more water a rose needs. Check out this terrific article from the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society: Water and Roses

Another problem can crop up if watering is done improperly: black spot disease. The best way to prevent black spot disease is to keep the foliage dry. The question then becomes: “How best to water?”

I have found the answer to be watering with a slow-release container. You can make one of these easily with an empty gallon milk carton or a kitty litter container. Drill or punch a hole in one corner. Fill the container as quickly as possible with water from a hose. Put your finger over the hole on the bottom and place the carton beside your rose.( It helps to loosen the dirt around the rose with a trowel.) The water slowly trickles out of the carton, and sinks into the dirt without running out too quickly and away from the rose bush.

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This might not look pretty, but it works amazingly well. Try it out for yourself.

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Posies – Rose Centerpiece


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Local supermarkets are a terrific source of fresh flowers. Roses are often sold by the dozen in their display cases. To be assured of freshness, look for petals that are still buds, furled in a graceful urn shape. Gently squeeze the rose petals above the calyx; they should have a sense of firmness, and not feel too smooshy. Check to be sure the petal edges do not have a curled or brown tinge. If the roses are fully blown open, limp, or if the rose buds have the look of a pointy bullet, buy your flowers somewhere else. The fully open flowers will only last a day or two before dropping their petals, the limp buds will promptly droop and die, and the tight, pointy buds will never open correctly. Remember: look for a firm urn-shaped bud.

When you arrive home with your roses, recut the bottom of the stems at an angle. This technique keeps the stem from adhering to the bottom of the vase and forming a seal that might keep water from wicking up the stem. All purchased flowers benefit from being re-cut at an angle. To give your roses even longer life, fill a bowl with water before you cut the stem and cut about an inch off under water. This keeps an air bubble from forming in the stem, further insuring a rose with long life.

The roses in the arrangement above were bought at my local grocery store. They were cut and arranged in floral oasis on Sunday afternoon. I took the picture above this morning (Thursday)  the roses are still lovely after five days in a 70 degree home.

Creating a Christmas or winter arrangement is easy. Fill a vase or container with water or oasis, add a mass of fir greens and insert your roses or other flowers. Remember different levels of height add interest to the arrangement. You don’t want all the flowers at the same level as if they are numbers on a clock, place a few high, a few low, and some in between. A few catkins or other “wild” looking, frondy pieces of foliage or twigs give a look of the natural to the arrangement and are a resting place for the eye. Most of all have fun and enjoy your creation and the beautiful flowers.

Catkins and twigs in the photograph above are from a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick bush.

Posies – Church Flowers

Last week, I arranged apricot roses, chartreuse mums and yellow, peach-tinged alstromeria into one-sided arrangements for our church services. The flowers were in honor of our mother’s May birthdays.

The roses bloomed quickly, the alstromeria a bit slower, thankfully it opened in time for the Sunday services. I love alstromeria. The roses are glorious, but not long-lasting; the alstromeria will hold onto it’s petals for two weeks or more.

After church, I gave one arrangement to my mother, and took the second to my mother-in-law. They were both pleased with the bouquets.

Gorgeous color combo.