flower arrangement

Crazy for Daisies!

 This photo of the Sweetwater Daughter is one of my favorites.

You know it is truly summer when the field daisies bloom.

This little flower is so abundant and cheerful.

Click Here to read an old post and learn how to hand tie a daisy bouquet.

I did something a little different with my daisies this year.

 The components are:

Pachysandra, a great ground cover and a wonderful base for low floral arrangements.

Lady’s Mantle, a low mounding perennial with very pretty chartreuse colored flowers in early summer.

And of course Daisies.

The surprise is the fact that the container used here is actually a JELLO mold! I found white ceramic t one at the thrift store years ago.

It is the perfect way to arrange flowers around the outside of a candle.


 If you aren’t lucky enough to find a ceramic mold, look for molds that look like this….

You can easily use a bit of spray paint to pretty it up.
I have seen people use these as a way to encircle the patio umbrella.

Speaking of JELLO……
Take a gander at this jello salad from “The Joys of Jello”.
It absolutely strikes terror in my memories…..the only thing worse was when the whole thing got slathered with MAYO!

And last but not least…on the subject of Jello….

This is a wonderful read about the history of the family that invented and marketed our favorite guilty pleasure.

Then go out and and get yourself some Daisies to enjoy!

Have A Wonderful Day!

How To: Asymmetrical Floral Arrangement

Loose, unstructured, asymmetrical floral designs are on trend right now.

Sweetwater Floral did the florals for a country wedding last weekend.  The bride asked for an unstructured bouquet and some added texture with little succulents tucked in.

Creating a loose, “messy” bouquet should be easy….right?
Not so much….it is actually more difficult to let the flowers cascade and flow than to tightly fit them together in the traditional nosegay!
I guess we pulled it off though!

Your vocab lesson: two words starting with A.

asymmetric: adjective. not identical on both sides of a central line; lacking symmetry:

armature: a metal framework on which a sculpture is molded with clay or similar material.

There are always a few flowers left after we do a wedding. I decided to use the leftovers along with a new bunch of carnations to create an asymmetrical arrangement to enjoy here.

I also wanted to play around with using a wire armature to support the stems and let them cascade. 

Flexible floral wire in pretty colors is available at the Dollar Store.
It is a simple matter to twist it around in a loopy way and tuck it into the floral foam.
This gives a pliable “frame” for the stems.
 This is the finished project.  
The stems could have just gone into the foam at an angle, but I like the way the wire supports the heavier flower heads that are cascading.
You can just barely see the wire….but I like the little glints of glitz!

I did not do a step by step of each flower…you are probably able to figure that out for yourself.

Here is a video to watch if you need “expert” advice

This is a nice text and photo tutorial from Janecanblog.com 

I hope you look at these beautiful examples of asymmetrical designs and the find inspiration to try something a little “messy” the next time you have flowers to arrange.

My style still tends to be a little structured…..but I am trying to “loosen up”.
And hey….the wire can be used again next time.

Have A Great Day! 

Mini Flower Arrangements

There is no doubt that large flower arrangements make a statement!


This lovely Mother’s Day arrangement was designed by Sweetwater Floral and delivered to a deserving Mother.

I was able to fill several other containers with the leftover flowers.

Over the next week and a half these extra arrangements have brightened up my house.
Now…..alas….as the roses and lilacs faded and drooped…they were removed.

The greenery (salal and ruscus) still look great.

The carnations are doing what carnations do…..lasting for an amazing length of time.

The little white rice flowers dried up, but still look nice.
I can never throw out flowers that still look good.
I decided to make a bunch of tiny little arrangements to use the salvaged blooms.
The first step was to find some mini vases.

Then a trip outside to find a few additional flowers and filler greens.
Not much is blooming because it has been so blasted cool and rainy here.
I did some pre-emptive trimming of the bedding plants.  I know if I do this, it will encourage these flowers to branch out and set more blooms.
Now the fun begins.
These mini bouquets in mini vases don’t need floral foam or frogs.  The greenery supports the stems.

 Hard to believe that all seven of these little mini vases were created with old flowers and a few garden blooms.

They are little bright spots all over the house….

Lessons for you:

You can use all the flowers from your big flower arrangements long after some of the flowers are droopy.

You can take small blossoms and greens from your garden.

Flowers make any space a little better!

Have A Great Day!

It’s All About that VASE!

You need the right vase for your flowers.  
The container you choose makes a big difference when you are arranging flowers. 
The right vase compliments the flowers and the wrong one works against them.
Most people have a cupboard or shelf with a few vases.
I have to admit that I have a bit of an obsession with vases of all shapes and sizes.   I rationalize that I NEED them for the Sweetwater Floral business…..BUT….it is really because I love to have options when I arrange flowers.
 I thought I would share my favorite vases and where to find them on the “cheap”!
Basic Glass Containers

The dollar store is a fabulous place to find simple glass containers.
The cylinder, bowl and square vases are bargains.

You also may have lots of these saved from bouquets you have received over the years.

A simple bunch of carnations in a round dollar store vase can have a lot of impact for around $5.00.  
Using glass beads (also a dollar store buy) in the glass squares is a simple way to anchor your stems.
Would you believe that this is just a basic dollar store cylinder?  Yup….with a couple of bands of gold “duct” tape…they look pretty elegant.   The bands of “gold” also hide the stems.

Ceramic Vases
Ceramic containers are great to use because you don’t have to worry about the stems of your flowers showing.  They are great to use with floral foam or other support structures.

Thrift stores are a great source for these.  Look for collectible brands like Haeger, Fitz and Floyd or McCoy.  They have a fun mid-century vibe.

There is really no limit to the shapes of ceramic vases.

I collect off-white and white Haeger and McCoy interspersed with some IKEA!!!

Metal Containers
Thrift stores have amazing options when it comes to metal containers.  
Some of my favorites are silverplate, copper and galvanized tin.
My all time favorite containers are these silverplate loving cups.  The urn shape makes them easy to use to arrange flowers.  They are also the perfect size for a 6 inch flowering plant.  There is something so elegant about the shape…and who doesn’t love silver? I found all THREE of my silver urns at the thrift shop. 

 French garden buckets are another iconic shape.  Big or small ones make perfect containers for a hand tied bouquet or more elaborate statement arrangements. I love the plain galvanized metal, but I often see them at the thrift store in really fun colors or with rustic stencils.
Here are some great resources about how to decide what vase for what flowers.  
https://www.fiftyflowers.com/blog/what-fits/Fifty Flowers has advice and “recipes” for 10 vase shapes.

https://www.koch.com.au/blog/right-vase-for-flowersMore recipes for arrangements for the Koch blog

Probably more than you want to know….but this is a pretty page with almost any shaped vase and gorgeous flower arrangements for Goop.

There you have it….all about the vase!
Hope you buy some flowers and arrange them today!
Trust me…it will make your day!

Ten Dollar Bouquet of the Week! Awesome Alstroemeria!

Alstromoeria are Awesome!


  • Amazing…. they last almost forever!
  • Affordable….they are usually under $8 for a bunch!
  • Adaptable…. they come in so many colors!
  • Available… you can find them throughout the seasons!

I used Alstroemeria and some greens to create this flower arrangement for way less than $10.

NEVER EVER go to Trader Joe’s without looking over the flower selection!

Alstroemeria bunches were a great deal last week. A big bunch for $3.99.

I added some variegated Pittosporum that cost $2.99.
Almost any greens would work and soon there will be greens from the garden.

The cost was actually closer to $7.00 for the arrangement.

There were even enough stems to put one in each of these matching pottery vases at the computer station.

Alstroemeria really do last a long time as cut flowers.

Here is that same arrangement after a week.  The only visible difference is that the water is a little cloudy.

So….you probably should remember that it is good to change the water in your vase every couple of days…..do as I say…. not as I forget to do!

Then……a couple of days ago…..I used the stems to fill in this arrangement!

Even after 10 days these flowers still looked strong.

The new cut will probably prolong their life for another 5 days!

Alstroemeria is also known as Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas.  They really do look like clusters of little lillies.  I think they also look a bit like orchids.

They come in so many colors.

These tips will help you make your Alstroemeria last as long as possible:

  1. Remove any leaves that will be below the water line.
  2. It is best to hold the stems under water when you cut them to the length you want. USe a sharp knife.
  3. Use a floral preservative in the water.  (Most floral bunches come with a packet)
  4. If you have time, condition the flowers in a warm preservative solution for a couple of hours before you arrange them.
  5. If you can, keep your arrangement cool and out of direct sunlight.
  6. Alstroemeria are thirsty flowers. Check to see that the vase is full and water as needed.  If you are using floral foam, add water to be sure it is saturated.

That’s all there is to it.
I hope you grab a bunch of Alstroemeria the next time you need a “flower fix”!

Watercolor by Shari Blaukopf
Have A Great Day!