Happy Wednesday! It’s always a happy day for me when the peonies burst into bloom and I couldn’t resist gathering some flowers for a garden bouquet in celebration!
I have a handy tip and hack to share that makes flower arranging a breeze and a way to recycle too. . . put those plastic netting bags to work that produce comes in, usually citrus and avocados!
The plastic netting bag is strong and flexible, making it a perfect material to support your flower stems. It also saves the step of taping off a grid pattern on your vase. Cut your bag to the size of the top of your vase and then use floral tape to secure the plastic netting along the top or rim of you vase. The netting is slippery and flexible so you’ll need to tape it securely to keep it in place.
I used a ‘vase within a vase’ method, placing a smaller vase inside a larger one, which I’ve used for a blooming branch centerpiece, tulip and jelly bean centerpiece, and woodland floral centerpiece. The plastic netting is a great alternative to using chicken wire, here, since the chicken wire can become as much of an obstacle as a support system if you’re arranging a lot of flowers in your vase.
I cut some hosta leaves to a place between the walls of the vases, to camouflage the stems and provide a little garden green color and texture. Hosta leaves are always so big and beautiful when they first unfurl in the spring before any garden critters have a chance to munch on them!
Japanese privet is in bloom here now, so I cut some stems for filler and to enjoy the pretty white blooms.
Add your peonies or your large focal flowers next within the framework of your greenery.
My Lamb’s ear is blooming with spikes of pinkish purple colored flowers and provide pretty silvery soft stalks of color and texture to a garden arrangement.
If you don’t have any commercial floral preservative to add to your water, you can make your own to help your cut flowers last longer. There are a lot of homemade solutions and theories about adding aspirin, vinegar, vodka, bleach, sugar, and pennies to your vase water to prolong the life of your flowers.
Here’s an easy formula you can mix at home and some tips to help prolong the life of your cut flowers:
Mix one part lemon-lime soda (regular, not diet) to three parts water, along with 1/2 teaspoon of bleach. The citric acid in the soda help the water travels up the stems to the flowers more rapidly, while providing food in the form of sugar. The bleach helps fight the growth of bacteria, allowing the flowers to stay hydrated and fresh.
Other tips to help your cut flowers last:
Cut the stems of your flowers at a 45-degree angle one inch from the bottom for maximum water uptake.
Remove all leaves below the waterline to prevent bacteria in the water.
Keep your vase out of direct sunlight and change your vase water every 2 days.
The plastic mesh works for Ball jar bouquets too as a flower frog, placing the netting on the mouth of the jar and using the lid to hold the netting in place.
If you’re buying avocados for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, save your plastic netting. You can fill your ‘vase within a vase’ arrangement with lime slices for a pretty centerpiece for your fiesta!
Hope you’re enjoying some pretty spring blooms where you are!