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 

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! 

You Can Upscale Carnations To Look Like Expensive Flowers


Do you hate carnations?
If so, you are not alone.  I used to hate them too!

People….it is time to stop your flower snobbery and consider this lowly flower.

As flowers go, you can’t find more affordable and long-lasting bloom…or one that come in such a wide array of fantastic colors.  (NO….not the strange dyed colors….but the real ones)


If you want an upscaled look for carnations….you have to think beyond sticking one flower in a bud vase….

In fact…..there are ways to make carnations resemble expensive flowers like Hydrangeas and Peonies!

I bet that got your attention!

These green carnations are two weeks old.  They are left from an event we decorated for on June 17.  While I made small arrangements from the old ones…..Mr. S asked me where the hydrangeas came from!  Granted….he was across the room…..but still!  So I wondered if I could make these look even more like Hydrangea!

 Hydrangeas are big and fluffy… I used 3 carnations.  It was just a matter of using floral tape to hold them together.  Not bad for 2 week old flowers.  HMMMM…..what do you think Hydrangeas would look like after 2 weeks?

 Well….then I decided to try to make carnations look like PEONIES!
 Peonies are not just expensive…..the season is super short.  When the Peonies at Sweetwater bloom…I feel so “rich”….but alas….the season is over for another whole year.

 How cool if I could replicate the look with some humble (CHEAP) carnations!
 I learned this on the website here: Little Dairy on the Prairie…..and here at Mighty Girl.

 They only had mini-carnations at Trader Joe’s.  I figured it wouldn’t matter if my faux peonies were “minis”.

 It is important to open up a carnation by rotating the green base of the flower between your thumb and forefinger.

You should do this whenever you use carnations.

Group the flowers together and fluff them together.

Use a bit of floral tape to hold them in place.

Fluff some more to pull the petals apart a little.

 The faux Peonies may not be perfect replicas…..but the impression is right….as is the price!

Here are some other stylish ways to use carnations instead of more expensive flowers:


You know…..I think I may be starting to believe in REIN-“carnation”!
Oohh!  I just couldn’t resist that one!

Have A Great Day!

Link Parties
Nifty Thrifty Things
Coastal Charm

Your Flower Fix for Today: Ranunculus

In the language of flowers, a bouquet of ranunculus says, “I am dazzled by your charms.”
I would turn that around and say that a bouquet of ranunculus dazzle ME with THEIR charms.

Using just one of these pretty blooms was all this small arrangement needed. 

I was happy to find this bunch of artificial ranunculus at the thrift store.  I think they add a nice touch to the “Kate Spade Inspired” guest room.

I decided that since I am so enamored with these blooms that I should find out a little more about them.

HMMMM….maybe they are a flower that I could grow at Sweetwater.

This is what I learned:

If you live in Zone 7, you can grow them as perennials.  Alas…here in Zone 4 they are annuals.
I even found the bulbs on Amazon…and placed an order.
I have been doing a little research about how to grow ranunculus in the garden…..and after reading this article, I think I have found a fun new kind of flower to grow at Sweetwater.

I am starting to think that Ranunculus are a great alternative to roses.  They just have a fresher look.

am really loving how these flowers look as an alternative to roses.

Here they are used as the main flower in boutonnieres.

I looked for some examples of ranunculus used in wedding bouquets.
Oh my….gorgeous….
It makes me think that maybe roses are sort of “passe”…..hmmmm!

And now I will leave you with some lovely artwork featuring the lovely Ranuncula….ENJOY!

Have A Wonderful Day!

A Wedding in the Family!

Congratulations are in order for the Sweetwater Son and our lovely new Daughter-in-Law!

Are they not just the most gorgeous looking couple?

The wedding was on Saturday at Willow Ridge Gardens.
It is pretty nice to have a brother and sister-in-law who have a wedding venue!

The weather was absolutely perfect for a morning wedding and brunch!

I can’t wait to see the pictures from Matt Hodgman at Edge Gallery .  He took formal as well as candid photos of the lovely people and place.

Of course….I was too busy to take photos during the wedding or at the party…

But I do have pictures from Friday: preparations, the Groom’s dinner as well as early on Saturday morning before anyone was up! I can share some of those with you.

Sweetwater Style is dedicated to sharing ways to save money and still be stylish and elegant!
This wedding had lots of touches that were very special and thrifty!

What fun to create the flower arrangements for the reception tables and help the bride make her own bouquet.

 Here are the arrangements on their way to the barn…..we used my collection of off white Haeger vases with fall bright blooms from the Farmer’s Market and the gardens at Willow Ridge. The total cost for 16 arrangements was less than $100.

The Bridal Bouquet was pretty stunning!  The blooms are from Bachman’s Floral.  The pale pink roses are an amazing color.  They are mixed with white Hydrangea and white Spider Mums with accents of seeded Eucalyptus.  The bride put the flowers together herself!  With a little help from me…..they were wrapped with floral tape and finished off with white silk ribbon.  This bouquet is every bit as nice as one made at the florists…..for a fraction of the cost!  The “special order” flowers cost $60.  There were enough to make the bouquet and all of the boutonnieres and corsages.  There were even flowers left to decorate the cake.  The average cost for a bridal bouquet from a florist is $250 …..and this bouquet certainly doesn’t seem “average”!

The Groom’s dinner was so much fun.  All of the close family from both sides as well as some close friends from out of town were invited to come and celebrate on Friday night.

We were able to hold the dinner in the barn at Willow Ridge Gardens.  The entrance to the barn was decorated for us with this lovely Fall display!

It was a great place to gather for Happy Hour and conversation before dinner.

We set up a large Harvest Table in the barn for people to sit at when they filled their plates from the catered

The flower arrangements on the Harvest Table were the ones that were used on Saturday on the high tops at the reception.

It was also a fun spot for candid fall photos!

Sorry…..but you just can’t blame this Grandma for showing off these cute photos….

The Sweetwater Grandbaby really loves his second cousin!

Now…after that brief commercial…back to the thrifty ideas!

We put a 8 tables together for this giant table so that all 35 guests would be seated together.
That makes for a wonderful feeling of togetherness and a great flow of conversation.
Such a large table presents some problems when it comes to a table covering!
I don’t know about you….but I really really hate plastic party table cloths!
This solution was the genius idea of the Sweetwater Daughter!
All we did was gather all sorts of cloth tablecloths that all had the same color wave and feeling.  In this case….it was sort of “luncheon on the farm”  vintage with some denim thrown it.  Then those were just laid on the table in a sort of random but artistic fashion.  I love the casual elegance…..but mostly the avoidance of plastic or rented linens!

After the wonderful dinner….it was easy to do a bit of last minute set up for the big day!
HMMMM…..a glass of wine while you work does make the job seem more fun!

Then….off to bed in the darling little “Granary”.  Saturday dawned with this perfect sunrise!  I was up before almost anyone else…except the Sweetwater Brother who was out and about tending the gorgeous grounds.

I wandered around enjoying the peace, calm and serenity!
 This is the “aisle” for the wedding ceremony!  

 How cute is this rustic sign post?  With a venue this spread out….people needed some direction!  Kudos to the Sweetwater Brother and Sister-in-law for providing the perfect backdrop for this.

The sunrise streaming in to the barn shows off the great looking flowers on the bartops.

The Mason jars and feathery grasses are a nice rustic touch.

The containers for all the fixings for the Bloody Mary Bar and Mimosa’s were all set and ready to be filled…..


It was sure to be a perfect day…..

And it WAS…filled with so many memorable moments!

For now….I am enjoying the memories as we  celebrate the happy marriage of this lovely couple.

I promise more to come when I have more photos!

You have a Wonderful Day!

Hydrangea Tips and Tricks

Hydrangeas are to late Summer what Peonies are to Spring!
 You have to love this sentiment!

This post is not about growing hydrangeas.

 I want to talk about using Hydrangeas in floral arrangements.

If you don’t grow them or know where to beg, borrow or steal them, you probably know that each bloom can cost upwards to $5 a stem…..YIKES!

Hydrangeas can be a bit tricky. So it really helps to know some tricks to keep them from flopping!

NO MORE DROOPY HYDRANGEAS is a post I wrote a few years back.   It is worth the time to check it out and get the tutorial as well as some links to Hydrangea Experts who will give you great advice!

Tomorrow morning a lovely bride is coming to Sweetwater for a DIY Flower Party.  We will put together all of the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and table arrangements while we sip some Mimosas and do a little female bonding!

There will be Hydrangeas and it is pretty darn important that these flowers last through until Sunday!

Thanks to the Sweetwater Daughter (also the Matron of Honor) we will have lots and lots of Hydrangeas.

One of her friends has several really big plants outside her business.  She gave us permission to take all we wanted!


Conditioning them became even more important because we had to cut them in 90 degree heat last night.

The fresh cut blooms went directly in to cold water for the trip home.
All the leaves got stripped off and they sat in the water for the night…..after all the Gophers were playing an important football game!

I made fresh cuts on each bloom this morning and dipped the ends in almost boiling water!

This may look like a crime scene from a TV drama, but it isn’t.

The big beautiful blooms are soaking up to their necks in cold water.

Wet dish towels are draped over the top to hydrate the blossoms.

This will give them lots of staying power for their “big day”!

It was soooo hot last night that we didn’t spend a lot of time picking only perfect blooms…..

The little brown petals are easily removed and the blossoms can be pulled apart to be just the right size in the bouquets and arrangements.

Whew!  Lots of work….but worth it!

I figured that since we have more than enough blooms….a couple could be used to freshen up the flowers on the dining room table!  Hey…I earned them…right?

Here are some Hydrangea Resources if you want to read more!
Hydrangea Mania
Prolonging Hydrangea Blooms
Hydrangeas Hydrangeas

Tomorrow will be very busy with the DIY Bridal Party.
I just poured a glass of wine and am sitting back to enjoy this Hydrangea Art Show!




Wish us luck for tomorrow’s event!
And the wedding is sure to be wonderful too!
I promise lots of pictures….and not just of the flowers!
Have A Wonderful Day!

Link Parties
Natasha Down Under