Peonies

Just because Mother’s Day has come and gone, doesn’t mean all those lovely buds have. With all of the springtime freshness going on outside, is your house feeling a tad blah? Breathe a little life into your home. Bring the outdoors in by gathering a bouquet of fresh cut flowers from your garden.

You can scrounge together a stunning bouquet out of even the barest of plots. Even if that means an all out green arrangement. Designing a dramatic bouquet is all about how you arrange the flowers. With these tricks you can create a florist-quality bouquet all on your own.

Clean them up

Snip your lovely dewy flowers in the early morning or evening. Flowers cut during midday will wilt more easily.

You don’t want a clump of dirt, well, dirtying up your beautiful bouquet. Carefully wash off any soil and remove all leaves from the stem except the ones nearest the blooms. This will keep the flowers healthier and make them easier to manage when you get to arranging.

Cut the ends of the stems off at an angle. Snipping them this way exposes more of the stem’s surface area, so the flower can more easily suck up water. Think of it like a straw.

Finally, place the flowers in a vase filled with lukewarm water.

Choose a complementary vase

Speaking of vases, highlight your purty blooms’ best features with a complementary vase. Do you have sweet pink cabbage roses? Then choose a stunning bright blue vase to set off their color. Did you gather bunches of white hydrangeas? Play up their delicate petals with an equally fragile glass vase.

Be sure to fit the vase to the size of the bouquet. Choosing a vase that’s too large for the number of flowers in your bunch will make your assortment look rather odd. The key to a good lookin’ arrangement is a full vase. If you want a more minimalist look though, choose flowers with long graceful stems and place them in a tall skinny vase.

Find your artistic side

This isn’t an exact science, ladies (and perhaps some gentlemen). Simply choose a collection of flowers that you think look good together.

Then get down to business. Start by arranging the flowers in your hands. Add a flower at a time, layering them over each other and turning them so that the arrangement stays round. Once you’ve got the look you want, tie the flowers together with a rubber band so the arrangement remains tight. In the vase, the bouquet should look more dense in the middle and more airy toward the edges. I particularly like the look of full budded flowers, such as peonies (with the stems cut short) and the flowers bunched together so they almost burst out of a small, squat vase.

Texturize!

Incorporate other elements (pretty much whatever you can find!) into your floral arrangement to add texture. Weave foliage, buds, leaves and other clippings from your garden into the bouquet.

Don’t forget to check the arrangement from all sides. You don’t want one mediocre angle ruining the whole display.

Want more bouquet ideas? Discover the who, what, why, when and where of an organic bouquet.

image: ballookey