17 June 2015

Tiny Bouquets

 As soon as the flowers start blooming in my gardens, I look forward to making bouquets to take inside. Of course, the blooms change throughout the summer months, which means there is an endless variety of bouquet possibilities. 

 Ever since I was a child, I've enjoyed picking flowers for bouquets. I often made themed arrangements like this one for July 4th: A ring of red flowers in a bowl surrounding the flag. (YIKES! Could my shorts be any taller???)

Here's another photo from a camping trip. At the far right, you can see that I gathered a lovely glass of grasses for our outdoor dinner. (Obviously, there wasn't much to choose from in a campground!)

Because I enjoy picking flowers so much, I have amassed many pretty vases and jars for bouquets over the years, including a few very special ones that belonged to my mom. I typically start the summer by using my smallest vases but as more flowers bloom, I can begin to fill larger containers.

Last month, my grandma's fern-leaf peony bloomed -- I mean REALLY bloomed! -- for the first time. I moved it from her yard and planted it many years ago under a small tree, and in all that time it has only generated a couple of wimpy blooms each season. Well, last year the tree died and had to be removed, and this year...I had blooms! That small tree must have created a bit too much shade for this beautiful blooming bush.

Shortly after the peony bloomed, my lilies of the valley came out in full force. This is one of my all-time favorite flowers. A handful of them make the sweetest, most fragrant bouquet!

 I have a couple of patches of heliopsis, a native Iowa prairie plant. The blooms are very hardy and make lovely, long-lasting bouquets. I picked these flowers a week ago and they still look great!

Here's another bouquet, just picked this morning. I used the same heliopsis as well as some angelonia sprigs from my patio planters, then added coral bell leaves as filler. I've found that those leaves last a long time and add interesting color and texture to bouquets.

I just love these informal bouquets from the yard! I'll try to remember to share more of my little bouquets throughout the summer. 

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