Peony Hack!

It’s finally time!
The peonies are blooming!

Okay…We admit to being just a little peony crazy around here.
Maybe 20 plants is a bit of overkill, but each one is special. 

I love using peonies in arrangements.


I hate how quickly the blooms fade or fall apart.

I tried this little hack this year and am quite pleased with it.

The trick is to let the glass container support the blooms.
That way the flowers stay together for a lot longer.

I love the way these colors are enhanced by the glass.

You may remember this vase from the arrangements of tulips using the same technique.

This rose bowl is the perfect way to use the trick.  The Coral Charm and Yellow Garden Treasure blossoms are particularly prone to dropping petals and fading.
These lasted for 4 days in the rose bowl.

Other People….parade pictures of grandchildren or vacations…..
just a few of my favorite flowers!

It is too bad that they don’t last longer.

I wrote a post a while ago about a way to keep some peonies in the refrigerator to extend the season.
Read about that here:  How to Extend the Peony Season

I didn’t feel that ambitious this year.  Maybe it is because my plants are blooming later this year and when they are done, there will be lots of other garden blooms to enjoy.

Anyway…I leave you with this thought!

Have A Blooming 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!

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… 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!

Tiptoe Through the Tulips!

The weather outside is frightful…..yes….3 days of snow in APRIL!

Tulips to the rescue!
I can’t think of a better antidote to the white landscape than a bunch of colorful tulips!

I want to show you how I have been using tulips to bring Spring into the decor around here.
Then….read on to learn some fun facts about how to care for your cut tulips.

Tulips are readily available in just about every grocery store flower department!

Tulips are reasonably priced!

 Right now, you can buy a bunch of 10 tulips at Trader Joe’s for 4.99!

Look at how I used that one FIVE BUCK CHUCK bunch of flowers here at Sweetwater.

I put some white stones from the dollar store in the bottom of a clear vase with tall straight sides.

I added a couple of inches of water mixed with floral preservative.

The tulips are cut at various heights and arranged so they are supported by the glass.

 This arrangement used five tulips….so there were five others to use.

The green vase has floral foam in the bottom.

The hydrangeas are “faux”….no worries about them drooping!

The floral foam allows the tulips to be arranged in a radiating form.

Add a few bunnies….
and there you have two Spring vignettes for little or no money.

Sweetwater Floral was asked to create 50 centerpieces for an education conference this week.

We wanted to keep the cost down and still provide something with visual impact.

The recipe:

dollar store vases
bags of stones from the dollar store 
3 tulips
repeat 50 times!!!

Look at these variations of the same theme!  I love the way the vases support the stems to keep them from falling over.


I know this has inspired you to head to the store and buy yourself some tulips.
Here are some things you should know so they last as long as possible!

 Things I know for SURE:

  • Did you know that tulips continue to grow after they are cut? Crazy….but true.  Don’t be surprised if those tulips keep stretching as much as 2 inches.  
  • Buy tulips that are tightly closed and keep them in the dark and in cold water until you are ready to arrange them.
  • As with any cut flower, you need to recut the stem at an angle when you are ready to arrange them.
  • Avoid placing tulips in direct sunlight or near heat. Tulips will grow toward sunlight and may bend a little when doing so.  They are okay in indirect sunlight
  • Don’t mix tulips with cut daffodils.  Daffodils have a sap that clogs the water uptake of other flowers.

Thinks that sound interesting and might be worth trying:

  • I read that when your tulips get droopy you can stick a pin through the throat (top of the stem) to make a hole that will release any air trapped in the stem.
  • I guess you can recut the stems of your tulips after a few days.  Take them out of the water and recut on the diagonal.  Wrap the whole bunch in a cone shaped paper and put them in water for an hour or so.

Oh….and about tiptoeing through the tulips….

Here I am almost 20 years ago doing just that!
We visited the famous Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. 

 Now that is a way to get your tulip fix that I highly recommend!

Have A Wonderful Day


A New Look For Sweetwater Style!

Sweetwater Style is getting a new look!
The purpose of “Sweetwater Style” has always been about showing ways to combine style and elegance in economical ways.

That won’t change.
BUT….the focus will change.

See if you can figure out the new theme for Sweetwater Style!

I continue to believe that “Style is the perfection of your point of view”.
I know that the things that I enjoy most almost always have something to do with flowers.

Whether it is creating little bouquets for around the house or full on wedding decor, flowers make me happy.

I realize that some of my favorite posts are about arranging flowers and sharing tips with you my fabulous readers.

The revamped Sweetwater Style will be mostly about flowers! 

I will be sharing:
  • ideas and tips to make flower arranging easy
  • inspiration from floral designers 
  • sharing Sweetwater Floral Consulting events 
I am sure to add other things as I go along….maybe even some of my thrifting finds and DIY projects.
To get things started, I thought I would link up to some old posts about flowers that you might enjoy. 

I am excited to get restarted with this new look for Sweetwater Style.
I hope you get inspired to make flowers part of your lives!
Have A Great Day!