Decorating with Fresh Flowers

It has been unseasonably warm for February here in Kentucky {and I am so not complaining!}. I love spring! It represents new growth and fresh starts and means the start of gardening season. Y’all, there are few things quite as awesome as being able to pick fresh fruits and veggies from the garden. If you’re not a gardening fan, trips to the Farmer’s Market are just as rewarding. You’re shopping local, you know how and where your food was grown and you get to visit an outdoor market which is just nostalgic for some reason!

One of my favorite parts of the farmer’s market is all the flowers. I have a thing for fresh flowers, especially in the in-between seasons like we’re in right now. Not to mention that fresh flowers feel like a luxury, even though they don’t have to cost a ton! There are so many ways to use fresh flowers in your home decor — everything from the various containers you can put them in to arranging styles — so today, we’re talking all things fresh flowers.

Where to buy them.

I have two favorite places, outside of the Farmer’s Market, to buy flowers and one place to get them for free. First up, Trader Joe’s. Y’all, they have bunches of flowers starting at $3.99 and organic herbs for even less. I bought hyacinth, daisies, carnations and mint there for less than $15.00!!! Before I go further, let me point out that I overbought flowers simply for this post. Like, my whole house smells like flowers now because I had so many, but I wanted you guys to see various ways to pot them so I needed a ton extra. One bundle will last you two weeks. That’s $4.00 extra every two weeks. I can totally afford $8.00 a month for an indulgence like fresh flowers. How about you?

My second favorite place is Kroger. Their floral department is awesome, and they almost always have bunches on clearance. Not to mention they have what they call “growers bunch[es]” that cost $5.00 or $6.00, and they do not scrimp! The purple flowers pictured are from Kroger, and I got enough to use in five containers. FIVE.

Finally, you can get flowers for free! I love growing tulips in the spring and daisies and sunflowers in the summer. They’re easy to grow and easy to maintain, and the more you prune the daisies, the more they’ll flower! Just start them from seed or as transplants in pots, and you’ll have beautiful flowers you can cut and use inside through the warmer months for free! Okay, you might have to pay $1.00 for a seed packet. Totally doable.

How to treat them.

Most store-bought flowers come with a food packet that helps your flowers stay fresh longer, but there are other ways you can encourage your cut flowers to live well past a week. Here are my favorites:

  1. Cut stems at an angle.
  2. Remove the leaves from the stem [any that will end up submerged in water].
  3. Add apple cider vinegar and sugar to the water.
  4. Replenish the water every few days.
  5. Store flowers in the refrigerator overnight then set them out again the next day.
  6. Prune the bottoms of the stems every few days.

 

Some flowers do better than others. I find that daisies and carnations and similarly petalled flowers do really well for a few weeks. Roses and tulips are generally done about a week to 10 days after being purchased.

Herbs are another beautiful display with the added benefit of providing seasoning for your food. For example, I have mint all over my house because it’s extremely forgiving. In the summertime, I make up sweet tea and add a couple leaves of mint to it. It’s delicious! Rosemary, thyme and basil are also easy to care for and great for seasoning meat and side dishes. The caveat with these is they need sunlight, so if you store them indoors, be sure they get plenty of access to natural light.

How to display them.

This is the fun part — how to display your flowers! There are two parts to this: container and arrangement.

Containers

Literally just about anything can be a container for flowers. Gone are the days of vases only. Heck, I actually use a Rae Dunn dog food canister as a vase! And I love it! I’ll point out a few that I used for this post, but it’s not all inclusive so feel free to be creative!

Olive buckets are an awesome way to display cotton stems or herbs or any other type of greenery. I picked this one up at Hobby Lobby, but you can find these in antique stores as well. Can’t find an olive bucket? A coal bucket will work, too! Or really anything galvanized!

Clear or tinted jars are amazing containers for flowers. Of course, they sell these at home stores and flea markets, but the best place I’ve found for clear jars is the grocery store. I know. It sounds crazy, but this clear jug was actually a gallon of apple juice {fully unconcentrated, too!} that I bought for my daughter. I took the label off and voila! I found cotton stems at Hobby Lobby, and you can also make your own! Check out this tutorial.

Mason jars are a never-fail option for flowers or greenery year-round. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors and are pretty cheap, so there’s something for everyone. not to mention you can dress it up a little by tying twine around the lip with a cute bow.

Other options for all you farmhouse lovers out there are milk bottles and pitchers. I found both of the ones pictured above at Big Lots, believe it or not, and there are plenty to be found in antique malls and flea markets not to mention home stores like Home Goods. These generally have narrower necks which don’t allow for a ton of flowers, but I honestly love the simplicity of having just a few. It lets the bottle/pitcher act as a statement piece!

We’ve got a fun DIY coming up next week where we’ll be distressing clay pots to use as herb planters, one of which I used for the mint from Trader Joe’s seen above. I can’t wait for y’all to try this one out! {Head here to subscribe so you don’t miss it!}

Of course, you can always build your own flower containers, like this distressed pallet planter {details on how to do it yourself here}. I have mint planted in two mason jars in mine and added flowers to a taller center mason jar to make a rustic centerpiece for my dining room table. And if you don’t want to build your own, these are available in our Etsy shop.

Last, but certainly not least, this wooden beer box made a really cute sectioned planter for our den. It came from the Target Dollar Spot — not even joking, y’all. I originally was thinking I’d put crayons in it and use it a la Joanna Gaines for my daughter’s art table, but she’s kind of in a phase where everything ends up on the floor right now so I opted to use it as floral decor until she grows into it. The small jars are from Bed Bath & Beyond, and are actually mini milk bottles!

Arrangements

I do not claim to be awesome at flower arranging. In the interest of full disclosure, I struggled for the longest time, until I figured out two key things:

  1. Arrangements do not have to be complicated.
  2. There is a 3-step process to arranging flowers that works every time.

 

Arrangements do not have to be complicated.

I love the simplicity of white flowers in a mason jar tied with twine. They just are what they are. No frills, just pretty. So if the idea of making up an arrangement with four or five different flowers intimidates you, don’t worry! You can absolutely keep it simple. My go-to flowers are white daisies, carnations or tulips, and I don’t add in any greenery or other accents. They go in mason jars and pitchers, and I call it a day. Sometimes, I feel a little more fun and want some color, so I’ll mix two colors but keep the arrangement simple. Take these pots, for example.

I found white and green carnations, cut them all to similar lengths and set them in simple white pots on this hanging table on our patio {tutorial on the table here}. That’s it!

The hyacinths in our den are even simpler. I simply cut the flowers and leaves to the height I wanted and put them in milk bottles. Easy as pie and just as beautiful as a full arrangement.

3 Steps to Flower Arranging.

Here’s my secret to flower arranging for the times when you’re feeling fancy and want a full bouquet for that vase. Arrange by height. That’s it. Super simple.

  1. Start with your tallest stems. In the video below, I used white daisies as my starting point and moved them to the back of the lip of my canister.
  2. Add some middle height. The purple accent flowers and hyacinth were added to the middle tier of my canister, cut low enough that the daisies were still visible.
  3. Finish with a short layer and accents. I added the white carnations as my lowest layer to fill in any blank spots where stems were showing. The green leaves from the hyacinth were tall enough to be used as accents in this arrangement because I felt like the overall look needed some greenery.

 

Flowers really are that simple, easy to take care of and inexpensive! Do fresh flowers feel like an indulgence to you? I have flowers for days now, but the house sure does smell amazing! Happy hump day, friends.

xoxo

Follow

You may also like

Leave us a comment.