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!

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. Flowers has advice and “recipes” for 10 vase shapes. 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!

Foiling the Felines!

Marvin the cat has developed the most annoying habit/craving!

Back in the day….”cute little Marvin” just slept in the green grass and DID NOT eat it!

 He seems to NEED to eat almost any foliage that is in any floral arrangement in the house.
He doesn’t bother the house plants….just the greenery in flowers.
And of course…..after munching….there is the puking that follows!

In fact….he even tries to eat the husks on the sweetcorn if it is sitting on counter….go figure!!!!

Now…you know I am NOT going to give up having flowers in the house!!!
And….you know that a flower arrangement needs green filler to look pretty!!

What to do?
Wanna see?

 These lovely Sunflowers just cried out for Hosta leaves…..Marvin’s absolute FAVORITE greens to munch on….
Since that wasn’t an option…..

 I headed to the craft store and bought the best looking “permanent botanicals” that I could find.

I looked for things that are often used as fill at the florist shop.

Total investment: $18.00

But….the proof is in the photos.

Look again at the sunflowers.
You have to look really hard to see that they are not real.

In fact….Marvin keeps sniffing them…and then turning to give me his best “stink-eye”!

Here are some more examples.

These Zinnias are tucked into some Dollar Store ferns and spiked grass.  There is a little real pachysandra too….that is one that Marvin doesn’t eat.

Now obviously, I would rather use real greenery.
But given the choice of using artificial greens with real flowers or cleaning up cat vomit….I bet you can guess which one I pick.

Have A Blooming Great Day!

Hosta Flowers: Pretty or Not?!

Hosta plants are abundant here at Sweetwater. 

I wish I was one of those people who knew all the names of the different plants and labeled them.
I am NOT that Hosta gardener!

I do love all the gorgeous leaves of the many kinds of Hosta.

These plants are great fill for the shady gardens that are way to big for any good purpose!  The varied colors on the leaves brighten up the shady spots. The textures are interesting.

Now, let’s talk about the flowers on Hosta!
The flowers have always seemed to be sort of a nuisance….hanging around on the top of the plant in a way that looks out of place next to the great foliage!

You can probably tell that I am not a Hosta flower fan!

I decided to change that this year.  I started to look….really look at the flowers and see them as possible cut flowers for the house.

I did a little google image searching….and found these examples of other people’s arrangements.


This one looks like it uses Snow on the Mountain flowers as well as Hosta…hmmmm….I have lots of that too!


This is so pretty.
Once you isolate the flowers and treat them with some “respect”, they have a look that is almost like an orchid.


This is almost Zen like…

So off to the garden I went with new eyes focused on the flowers on the Hosta instead of the leaves.

BTW….have I told you that I can’t have Hosta leaves in the house anymore….
Why???  Marvin the cat has decided that if you eat the leaves of the Hosta….you can thoroughly annoy the “help” by vomiting in a variety of inconvenient places!!!

 ANYWAY….here is the result of my new appreciation for Hosta flowers.

I am definitely going to start using them more often……
HMMMM….we are going to dinner at some friend’s tonight….
Maybe I will make that Zen looking arrangement….they DON’T have a puking cat to worry about.!

Have A wonderful Day!