Tips for Flower Arrangements

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Queen Anne's lace makes an excellent filler for flower arrangements.

Queen Anne's lace makes an excellent filler for flower arrangements.

Ever wonder how flower farmers and florists make their bouquets so pretty and full? If you have a flower garden in your yard — or an abundacnce of the “right: weeds — follow these ideas for flower arrangements that save money and create beautiful homegrown bouquets.

Ideas for Flower Arrangements

  • Choose flowers that have a long vase life. Zinnias, snapdragons, sunflowers, yarrows, butterfly weed, China asters, and many others are good bets. Consult flower catalogs to learn which flower varieties are good for cutting if you aren’t sure.
  • In most cases, cut flowers when they are just beginning to open. Fully open flowers look impressive, but they won’t last.
  • Sometimes, herbs like fresh basil and dill get away from you and go to flower. If that happens, don’t abandon them. Just cut the flowering stems and use them in flower arrangements and bouquets. Their wonderful scent is a nice addition to an indoor arrangement. Be sure to remove the lower leaves from the stems before you put them in water.
    Hint: When you cut flower stems from your dill plants, leave a couple of the flowers to set seeds. The seeds will drop and sprout quickly, producing a second crop later in the season. Other easy-to-grow double-duty herbs include Greek oregano, chives, and mint.
  • Try adding a homemade floral preservative. Add 1 crushed aspirin tablet, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon vinegar to 3 cups water.

Weeds have no place in flower arrangements, right? Wrong. Some highly popular bouquet fillers that professional florists like to use are nothing more than common weeds. You can find them for free in fields or ditches near you. These fillers add depth to floral arrangements and have a long vase life. Here are a few worth searching for.

Weeds to Use in Flower Arrangements

  • Foxtail. The fuzzy flower spikes of this weed are a long-lasting addition that give bouquets a natural look.
  • Ironweed. Cut the flowering stems when they’re at the bud stage, before the purple flowers open.
  • Queen Anne’s lace. The delicate, lacy white flowers of this weed (which some people call a wildflower) are borne on strong stems that have a long vase life.
  • Goldenrod. The yellow flowers of this weed light up roadsides and vacant fields and can bring a ho-hum flower arrangement to life, too.

For more gardening advice, read our article on how to make flower arrangements last longer.


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