flower arrangement

Hooray For The Red White and Blue!

 
Happy Fourth of July!
The flags are flying and we plan a simple celebration with family to view the fireworks from the dock at the Sweetwater Mom’s lake house!
It is a beautiful summer day here at Sweetwater!
Take a peek at the simple patriotic decorations around here.
I have a collection of “stuff” and just plop it here and there!
Really….what is more like summer than the Red White and Blue?
Flags line the front gardens and the bakers rack gets some bunting!
The little fruit box is painted and stenciled to look like a flag!
This flower arrangement of Daisies, Red Bee Balm and Campanula sits on a patriotic runner on the Kitchen Table.
The framed postcards and painted baskets with a few flags decorate the bakers rack.  The big bow is made from a piece of gorgeous ribbon I splurged on long ago…..I felt guilty when I spent ten dollars for a yard of it…..but in hindsight it was worth it!
Even the Fairy Garden House is “Flying the Flag”!
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck
Have A Wonderful 4th of July!

Sunday Snippets From Sweetwater

Happy February! 
I would have to say that I am awfully glad that January is behind us!  If it wasn’t snowing….it was blowing and below zero!  A total of 5 days of school cancelled because of extreme cold has to be a record!

snippet (n)

1. A bit, scrap, or morsel: “sparkling black bass … strewn with snippets of coriander and basil” (Gael Greene).
2. Informal A small or mischievous person.
I had no idea that a snippet was a small or mischievous person…..but since I am BOTH….here are a few snippets from around Sweetwater this week!

A good friend from school retired this week.  JoAnn and I worked together for more years than I want to admit to. We celebrated with great stories!  This is the little gift I gave her….

The fun story about the little frame is that the tiles that are glued on to the simple frame are some that I rescued from the school that we worked at together for all those years…..I scored a bucket of these little tiles from the trash when the school was being remodeled….and now JoAnn has a little piece of her history to put on a shelf!

Our new car arrived…..luckily we were scheduled to pick it up on Monday…when we didn’t have school because of the cold!  Why you ask?  Well, it took over 2 hours for them to teach me how to push all the buttons so I can drive it!  Go Figure!!!  Then it sat in the garage on Tuesday because of another cold day off!  I thought Mr. S was going to cry on Wednesday morning when it was time to drive to school for the first time…..there was a SNOWSTORM during morning rush!  Long story short…I love it….or will when I figure out all of the new technology!


I planted some wheat grass…..it is happily sprouting in the front window along side the Holiday Poinsettias!  I hate that they still look too nice to throw away…..but really….it IS February…..maybe I need to hang some hearts on the and call them Valentine Plants!
Anyway…..the wheat grass is a little bit of summer in the house! 

I splurged on some fresh flowers for the house!   Well…..they are from the grocery store…..so for $12 I have flowers that will last a couple of weeks.  The mums are already a week old and still look great.  Yesterday I got some Astromeria….another long lasting flower!

Today I am going to do a little Valentine’s decorating….the nice thing about blogging…I have a pictorial history of what I have done in the past…..hmmmmm…..maybe I will just totally copy last year’s decor!

Since learning that I fit the definition of a SNIPPET….I wonder what mischief I can get into THIS week!

Have a Great Day!

Cornucopia 2013

 Cornucopias or a Horn of Plenty are the epitome of Thanksgiving decor.

I put one together each year….

Every year it looks a little different.

Here is a trip down memory lane to see the last couple of years of Cornucopia Design!

How to Arrange a Cornucopia Tutorial

The Cornucopia done for a silent auction last year




This is the one that sat on the dining room table last year…..and the post about it HERE gives the history of cornucopias as well as some tricks for doing the arrangement.

This year…..I had a new wicker cornucopia….from GOOD WILL of course…
I saw a lovely mum plant in the grocery store that was the perfect orange color for the kitchen….
HMMMM….I knew that it would be a great base for Cornucopia 2013!

I began by putting the mum plant into the center….yeah I know it is on it’s side…but it is freshly watered and will only need a drink every week or so….and because the whole thing is on a tray it will be simple enough to lift it up to water!  (at least that is the plan 🙂  )

I love the way the flowers and fruit look don’t you?

I decided to use the real fruit that is always just sitting around….and yes….we will eat this and replace it with more!  By the way….those pears are actually FAKE….I bought a whole bag of them at GW for $7….they look amazingly real!  Mr. S even tried to eat one the other day!!!

The real trick for doing this is to put the whole thing on a base….this year I used a silver tray because of the whole thing with watering the fresh plant.  The reason for the base….is to be able to move the arrangement when it gets in the way….which since it is on the kitchen island is whenever we want to cook!!!!

So this is the pretty sight that greets us when we walk in the kitchen…..Nice don’t you think?
I hope this inspires you to try to arrange your own Horn of Plenty….
Link up your own creations in a comment…I would love to see them!

Have a Great Day!

Cut Flower Conditioning Tips

The trick to making cut flowers last as long as possible is conditioning, conditioning, conditioning!
I visited the local Farmer’s Market on Thursday….I pledged to ONLY buy vegetables!!!!                                                                        
And then I spied these gorgeous bunches of Zinnias! Big bunches…..big flowers….and the lady in the stand kept nodding and telling me how freshly cut they were….and only $7….
What would you have done???  

With Zinnia’s in arm…I headed home with a few vegetables too!
On the way a couple of ladies stopped me to ask if Zinnias were flowers that would last long in an arrangement!
So I dug in my memory…..and shared some tips for conditioning them to make them stay pretty…..mostly the basics of keeping the water fresh and cutting a new cut at an angle!!!

That made me realize that not everyone knows the importance of flower conditioning!

I thought to myself….this would make a perfect blog post!!!!
I did some good librarian research….and found you all some great links to teach you the ins and outs of conditioning YOUR flowers:

Conditioning Flowers to Boost Vase Life:  This is a nice overview article that gives the basics of flower conditioning.


The Garden Club of Brookfield Connecticut  has put this amazing alphabetical list of lots and lots of flowers and the “rules” for conditioning each one.
Somehow a group that has been in existence since the 1930’s give me confidence in their advice!

Now that I am including it in this post….I will be able to stop back and refer to it often!!!
(maybe I will memorize some…so the next time strangers ask me for advice….I won’t just be guessing!

Here are just a few of the tips from this site:

  • Artemisia: Split stems and place in boiling water for a few seconds. Condition overnight in warm water.
  • Black-Eyed-Susan (rudbeckia): Dip stems in a small amount of boiling water for a few seconds. Condition overnight in deep, cool water.
  • Gerbera: Dip stems in boiling water. Condition overnight in cold water.
  • Phlox: Cut when clusters are one-half open. Split stems. Condition overnight in deep, warm water.
  • Zinnia: Place stems in boiling water for a few seconds. Condition overnight in tepid water. Zinnias last better if plants are watered before they are cut.   

Anyway…..here are the two arrangements that I did using my $7 bunch of Zinnias…..It is Saturday and they still look almost fresh from the garden!

Don’t they almost look like fine art?
Almost…but not quite!
So here is a little eye candy for you!
Source
Wouldn’t this be gorgeous in my Summer Powder Room?
Source
So pretty….

Source
How fun is this?
Source 
I really love this botanical….
Finally….whenever I think of Zinnias….I am reminded of one of my favorite alphabet books!

Alison’s Zinnia is the most beautiful book….each letter has a gorgeous picture of a flower….and the words guide you to the next letter….and of course….the final letter is Z for Zinnia!!!
This would be a marvelous book for any flower lover to have on the shelf to teach a special young person about flowers.

Wishing you a Great Day filled with beautiful long lasting flowers!

Cut Flower Conditioning Tips

The trick to making cut flowers last as long as possible is conditioning, conditioning, conditioning!
I visited the local Farmer’s Market on Thursday….I pledged to ONLY buy vegetables!!!!                                                                        
And then I spied these gorgeous bunches of Zinnias! Big bunches…..big flowers….and the lady in the stand kept nodding and telling me how freshly cut they were….and only $7….
What would you have done???  

With Zinnia’s in arm…I headed home with a few vegetables too!
On the way a couple of ladies stopped me to ask if Zinnias were flowers that would last long in an arrangement!
So I dug in my memory…..and shared some tips for conditioning them to make them stay pretty…..mostly the basics of keeping the water fresh and cutting a new cut at an angle!!!

That made me realize that not everyone knows the importance of flower conditioning!

I thought to myself….this would make a perfect blog post!!!!
I did some good librarian research….and found you all some great links to teach you the ins and outs of conditioning YOUR flowers:

Conditioning Flowers to Boost Vase Life:  This is a nice overview article that gives the basics of flower conditioning.


The Garden Club of Brookfield Connecticut  has put this amazing alphabetical list of lots and lots of flowers and the “rules” for conditioning each one.
Somehow a group that has been in existence since the 1930’s give me confidence in their advice!

Now that I am including it in this post….I will be able to stop back and refer to it often!!!
(maybe I will memorize some…so the next time strangers ask me for advice….I won’t just be guessing!

Here are just a few of the tips from this site:

  • Artemisia: Split stems and place in boiling water for a few seconds. Condition overnight in warm water.
  • Black-Eyed-Susan (rudbeckia): Dip stems in a small amount of boiling water for a few seconds. Condition overnight in deep, cool water.
  • Gerbera: Dip stems in boiling water. Condition overnight in cold water.
  • Phlox: Cut when clusters are one-half open. Split stems. Condition overnight in deep, warm water.
  • Zinnia: Place stems in boiling water for a few seconds. Condition overnight in tepid water. Zinnias last better if plants are watered before they are cut.   

Anyway…..here are the two arrangements that I did using my $7 bunch of Zinnias…..It is Saturday and they still look almost fresh from the garden!

Don’t they almost look like fine art?
Almost…but not quite!
So here is a little eye candy for you!
Source
Wouldn’t this be gorgeous in my Summer Powder Room?
Source
So pretty….

Source
How fun is this?
Source 
I really love this botanical….
Finally….whenever I think of Zinnias….I am reminded of one of my favorite alphabet books!

Alison’s Zinnia is the most beautiful book….each letter has a gorgeous picture of a flower….and the words guide you to the next letter….and of course….the final letter is Z for Zinnia!!!
This would be a marvelous book for any flower lover to have on the shelf to teach a special young person about flowers.

Wishing you a Great Day filled with beautiful long lasting flowers!