Floral Friday: Sunflowers on the Porch


I’m on the porch in celebration of the sunflower . . .

And joining my blogging friends for another edition of Floral Friday!

You can find the links for their beautiful floral inspiration at the bottom of this post.

 Sunflowers were our common theme for this week’s Floral Friday edition.


Sunflowers convey warmth and symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. They have a cheery sun-like appearance with their open faces framed by yellow petals, also known as “rays”. Who doesn’t feel instantly happy when they see a sunflower?


I can almost always count on the grocery store having a bundle of affordable sunflowers no matter what the season and I wasn’t disappointed this week!

To build my arrangement, I started with an enamel handled tray and wet floral foam.

When using wet floral foam, use the “float soak” method and place the floral foam bricks on the top of a solution of fresh water with floral preservative. Let the floral foam gradually absorb the water until it’s fully saturated. Plunging the floral foam in the water traps air bubbles and will prohibit the transfer of water from the foam to the flower stems.

I placed the wet floral foam on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any excess water. Trim your wet foam bricks with a knife to fit your container or tray. My wet foam is wedged tightly together in my baking sheet so they were secure, but use wet floral tape and tape the foam to your container to keep it in place if needed.

To keep the baking sheet from slipping on the enamel tray, I used a favorite trick, applying some denture adhesive cream to the bottom of the baking sheet. I keep a tube on hand and use it for nonporous surfaces to secure them temporarily.

I’ve used denture cream for candle holders to keep tapers upright as well as on the bottom of an appetizer cone to adhere it to a cake plate to keep it from toppling over.

Note: I’ve only used Fixodent brand denture cream on metal and ceramic/porcelain surfaces. Avoid using it on a hand painted surfaces and test in an inconspicuous area first before applying to be safe.

I started with the some greenery I cut from the shrubs to build the arrangement.

Cut your greenery in the morning when the stems are fully hydrated and not water-stressed from the heat. To keep your foliage and greenery from wilting, condition it first, allowing it to sit in a bucket of room temperature water and some floral preservative overnight, or at the very least, several hours. If you don’t have any floral preservative you can make your own using this easy formula.

In addition to some greenery from the shrubs, I cut some coleus from the planters to enjoy the burgundy foliage as a contrast to the sunflowers.

I added the sunflowers next to the arrangement as focal flowers and then alstroemeria as filler flowers. Additional greenery came next; I used a combination of variegated foliage of the abelia shrubs and burgundy foliage of the lorepetalum.

Join me on the porch with the sunflowers. . .


I found a ‘Fleur du Soleil’ handpainted watering can in the NC mountains several years ago. It migrated from the Potting Shed to the porch for some additional blooms.


Mr. Marshal’s Flower Book:

Alexander Marshal’s Florilegium, or flower book, is one of the most exquisite and fascinating historic works of botanical art. The only surviving compilation of flower watercolors from seventeenth-century England, it has been admired for centuries for its dazzling color and its incredible attention to the intricacies of a varied array of plant species.

A highly skilled, although self-taught artist, Alexander Marshal was a horticulturist and famed entomologist who believed the cultivation of plants was essential to the study of the natural world. He created his masterpiece over a period of thirty years, and in the nineteenth century, Florilegium was presented to King George IV to be housed in the Royal Library, where it has been preserved ever since.

Gracie is my shadow these days and came out to the porch to see what I was up to. . .

I had to coax her out from underneath the table with the promise of a treat.

Visit my talented blogging friends to see their floral inspiration this week:

Shirley at Housepitality Designs

Pam at Everyday Living

Lidy at FrenchGardenHouse

Thank you for your visit!

Sharing with:  Metamorphosis Monday


  42 comments for “Floral Friday: Sunflowers on the Porch

  1. August 3, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Seems as though it just isn’t a photo without the cute and lovable Gracie!!!…Fixodent?!!?…what a great idea! I am always searching for my poster putty/museum putty…need to add that to my “bag of tricks”….I love that you added the wonderful plants of summer such as the Coleus…what a great array of color that added!..Never knew that the sunflower was also a symbol of longevity!….and have to search for that amazing book…the porch as always is beautiful with all of the sunflower beauties you brought to it…what a great find in that watering can. Have a wonderful day and weekend Mary….always look forward to being a part of Floral Fridays with you.

  2. August 3, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Oh I love sunflowers and your arrangement is stunning on that tray! Thanks for the wonderful step-by-step. Hugs for your furbaby and I think I’ll pick up some Fixodent next time I’m at the drug store :)

  3. Pat
    August 3, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Hi Mary and Gracie, you both add your own sunshine to this blog. You always bring a smile to my face; thanks so much!

  4. August 3, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Love the creative sun(shine)flowers🌻

  5. August 3, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Mary, I so look forward to Floral Fridays to see what you girls are up to. I’ve always loved sunflowers from the time when I was a girl and my daddy would grow a field of them behind our house. Seeing them always brings back sweet memories and they never fail to bring a smile to my face just like your photos of Gracie! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial, I didn’t know about the ‘float soak’ method and always dunked the foam under water, Happy Friday!

  6. Karen Wright
    August 3, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Happy Floral Friday, Mary, Lovely arrangement!!! Love all the sunflower accessories, as well! Especially the watering can! Good to see Gracie, sharing the floral Friday spotlight!!! She is such an adorable little thing!!! Happy weekend!!! Yours is the best!!! 🌻🌻🌻

  7. Sue
    August 3, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful arrangement Mary!! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial, you always make your floral arranging look so easy! Doggie kisses to Gracie this morning!🐾🌻

  8. August 3, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Good morning Mary, what sunshine you have brought to this cloudy morning. Gracie is adorable peeking out from under the bench. Your step by step tutorial is so easy to follow, you do such a good job explaining. The arrangement on the tray is just stunning. I love the addition of coleus for its rich burgundy leaves against the gold/yellow of the sunflowers. The sunflower watering can is a great find. I would have never known about Fixodent!!! Your porch is sunflower beautiful! I love spending Floral Friday’s with you. Have a wonderful weekend❤️

  9. Vicky
    August 3, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Fixodent! Who’da thunk?! Thanks for the great idea – can’t wait to tell my garden club about it.

  10. Granny Gay:)
    August 3, 2018 at 8:00 am

    What a stunning…suitable-for-framing portrait… of Gracie and the sunflowers! Wonderful blog this morning starring those gloriously happy sunflowers. Many thanks for the tips in the tutorial…pickin’ up Fix-o-Dent and sunflowers this morning at the grocery store. Have a sunny weekend!

  11. August 3, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I look forward to Floral Fridays and always learn something from you, Mary! Your Fixadent trick is brilliant! I really like your arrangement with the contrast of the coleus, alstroemeria and variegated filler. Using a cookie sheet was a creative idea to protect your enamel tray.
    Thank you for mentioning Mr Marshall’s lovely renowned book. I would love to peruse his works of art.
    Your porch all bedecked with sunflowers and sweet Gracie was a great start to my day.

  12. Sandra
    August 3, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I needed this sunshine….been raining for 40 days and 40 nights in VA. Thanks for the pretty pictures!

  13. Susan B
    August 3, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Mary, you’ve created such a beautiful arrangement. Thank you for the joy and smile you’ve brought us this Friday morning. Happy weekend to everyone!

  14. barbara
    August 3, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Yesterday when you showed us the sneak peak picture you should have mentioned to buy stock in Fixodent. After your tip today I am sure the stock will soar!!! Love your porch, I hope Gracie enjoys her modeling as much as we enjoy seeing her.

  15. August 3, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Love the flowers, chair, and Fixident tip. Thanks for your alwaysbeautiful posts!

  16. August 3, 2018 at 9:08 am

    I love seeing pictures of Gracie! She’s so precious!

  17. Portia
    August 3, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing the how-to- do-it!
    I’m excited to know all these things about making an arrangement.
    I will try to find reprints of the book, maybe for Christmas gifts for my favorite family gardeners.
    Little Gracie is the perfect finishing touch on your lovely porch.

  18. Priscilla Shoulders
    August 3, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Gracie makes my day! Love your Sunflower arrangement and thanks for the Fixodent tip! Have a a wonderful weekend!

  19. Sharon
    August 3, 2018 at 9:57 am

    I wonder if Gracie is going to share the bench with you. She is a doll! I’m sure she will. Love your bench and chair.

  20. Virginia
    August 3, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Good Morning Mary, 🌻are absolutely my favorite summer flower, as you said their happy faces brighten the day. Thank you for the recommendations on float soaking the oasis, I will certainly use your method in the future. At your suggestion I have used fixodent to hold candles upright but now thanks to you I now have more uses for fixodent in my arsenal. I am the fellowship hour hostess for my church this Sunday and I think for sure Sunflowers will be in the table arrangement.

  21. Donna
    August 3, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Brightened me Friday morning. Flowers have the power to bring smiles. Thank you, Mary. I have already shared the Fixodent tip. This was like being in a class and bringing one or two tips home. Thanks for being my teacher this morning. I will be getting flowers today.

  22. August 3, 2018 at 10:06 am

    It’s always a happy day when I visit you, Mary! What a gorgeous arrangement you’ve created for this Floral Friday! I love everything about it, especially the colors of the sunflowers together with the coleus. Brilliant!

    Your assistant is always so photogenic, that Gracie always looks her best. Thank you for sharing your creative talent, and your beautiful lake side porch! xoxo Lidy

  23. S Williams
    August 3, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Good morning Mary-What a wonderful post filled with beauty & great tips! The last picture looks as though is Gracie saying “Mom come sit for awhile & enjoy the beautiful setting you created”. I love the watering can; it’s so pretty! Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Clara

  24. August 3, 2018 at 10:16 am

    The Fixodent tip is a great one, Mary! Of course your sunflower arrangement made me smile, and the picture of Gracie posing on the bench, spread the joy! I have the worst luck with sunflowers drooping, and they don’t last long for me. Yours look so perky and happy! Happy weekend to you!

  25. Cyndi Raines
    August 3, 2018 at 10:42 am

    The joy sunflowers bring indeed! Such happy flowers! Sweet Gracie put this post over-the-top! LOVE her and her precious little face! Thanks for the Fixodent tip, our church altar candles tend to wobble sometimes and I’m always adjusting them, so hopefully this will correct. Thanks Mary for all that you give to us, we are blessed! 😙

  26. Marty Oravetz
    August 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Your sunflower arrangement is absolutely stunning

  27. August 3, 2018 at 11:25 am

    HELLO…Sunflowers speaks to me! Mine have just started blooming because I planted late. Your arrangement is pretty with coleus mixed. Love that watering can. AND…that Gracie made this so cute!

  28. August 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Great tips in this post along with your ALWAYS gorgeous floral arrangements. Love sunflowers anywhere, but they are perfect with the Black and White teapot and the blue and white…grins.

  29. Betsy
    August 3, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    The coleus combined with sunflowers is sensational! Thank you for sharing the denture cream ‘cheat’ and the lovely, happy arrangement. Perfect for a Friday!

  30. Rita C.
    August 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Wow, Mary, you not only make beauty, but you teach us how to make beauty too! That arrangement and your instruction are just so good, and the end result stunning. I know you were in retail previously, but were you also in floral design? Or is this all self-taught? And the reference book….I need to look for a copy of that. Hope it won’t be hard to find.
    Gracie makes a perfect portrait with your flowers. You should use the watercolor app for that shot of her on the seat. Such a happy picture!

  31. Theresa Keller
    August 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Beautiful flowers, thank you for your tips and I hope you and Gracie have a nice weekend!! Rain, Rain go away……

  32. Marion
    August 3, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    The sunflowers are gorgeous. Thank You for sharing.
    Marilyn,Joan and Marion

  33. August 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    The coleus is spectacular with the sunflowers Mary, such great color contrast! Tell Gracie I just started a new Barbie blog and there just might be a little white puppy over there one day per her request-Happy Weekend:@)

  34. Sue
    August 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Gracie is the perfect back-drop for your sunflower arrangement, very pretty!

  35. August 3, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    I have 4 sunflowers blooming right now that came up from seed…..probably dropped by a bird. They are all almost as tall as me:) Your arrangement is beautiful as always, Love the addition of the coleus! Thanks for the tip about Fixodent!!! Never would have thought of that!!! I love seeing your porch too. But Gracie steals the show…again:) Our daughter and SIL just adopted another dog and her name is Gracie! Have a beautiful weekend, Mary.

  36. August 4, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    sunflowers are so pretty. Thank you for posting something happy! We need more happy things and less sad things in life.

  37. August 6, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Love the tutorial. What a pretty arrangement! And it’s always a treat to see Gracie’s sweet face. Your porch is so pretty!

  38. August 6, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    I adore sunflower, such a creative arrangement, and fixident is wild girl!

  39. Jane Teague
    August 8, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Yes, what a lovely, useful, and informative post! Thank you for every wonderful detail, Mary! It is all delightful!

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