Fresh and Thoughtful Florals
Before this weekend I'd never arranged flowers. I left that to the pro's at the grocery store. However, the challenge of creating a party that was as ethical as possible led me to the realization that I'd have to spend A LOT of money ordering ethically sourced/fair trade flower arrangements online or I'd have to get creative and do it myself! We learned quite a few little tricks and tips about thoughtful florals and we are excited to share them with you!
Buy something you can continue to use.
My bestie (still in my 20's so I can use that word right?) likes papery flowers so hydrangeas were a perfect fit for a party in her honor. However hydrangeas are slightly hard to find, expensive and start to die instantly. To combat those problems we bought a fully bloomed, locally grown hydrangea plant. We got 5 beautiful stems from our plant. Buying the plant allowed us to cut the flowers fresh, just two hours before the party started, and maximize those few precious hours of hydrangea perfection before they start to wilt. It was a little tough chopping off those beautiful buds but the exciting part is that we can simply throw the plant in the ground and enjoy them again next year!
Get creative with what's in your backyard.
Every other house and apartment in our neighborhood has gorgeous white roses right now. I started plotting about going out late at night and 'borrowing' a few from my neighbors. Fortunately my husband talked some sense into me before I acted on these impulses. In our yard we have lots of boganvilla and herbs which are definitely not the first things you think of when making a floral arrangement. However we were able to incorporate both the boganvilla and rosemary stalks into the tiny arrangements that were placed at each seat and they really worked perfectly. If you do have neighbors or friends with great gardens try bartering with them!
Use imagination with chosing vases.
Mason jars are kind of a given. The great thing about using mason jars is that they can serve so many purposes where as a vase...not so much. We even used a spaghetti sauce jar on our table (I feel a little embarrassed as I type that out) but honestly, it worked perfectly and was actually a lovely jar! For the individual flower arrangements at each seat we used baby food jars. Using tiny jars allowed us to keep the cost down because we were using so few flowers and yet the entire table was covered in flowers. My friend was sweet enough to save me some of her jars. We used scrap fabric leftover from the bunting to tie around each jar to pull all the elements from around the yard together. I think they turned out pretty cute and they also served as a gift for our guests to take home...and who doesn't like taking fresh flowers home!?
Have Fun! They're flowers, you can't mess them up!
As much as I love me some blogs and pinterest the pressure that it puts on people is really kind of crazy. We can't all be florists so let's give ourselves a break. One thing that was helpful for us was to think of flowers in three categories: full, tall, small. Full flowers give you maximum impact and fill out space. Hydrangeas,peonys and sunflowers all serve in this way. Secondly to add dimension and drama you can use tall flowers like stock, snapdragon and delphinium. Finally to fill in little gaps and add color use little flowers like wax flowers, berries or cherry blossoms.