Flowers and the Arrangement Thereof

Update: That weird purple stuff is not, as I was told, wisteria. Apparently it's clematis. Just goes to show how little I know about plants. 

I am by no means an expert on the subject of floral whatnot. I refer to flowers by their true names, such as "those funny purple ones that look like the blue ones I found last month but on a stalk" and "whatever those white things growing on that bush are, maybe some kind of rose?"

While there are millions of people who know more than me, there are also many who know less. So these meager tips that you probably already know may do someone good. This blog is mostly just a place where I store various pieces of information that I don't want to forget. It's handy. I shamelessly refer to my own tutorials when mucking around in HTML/CSS.

Also I got a little Camera-happy when photographing the rose bush, so you shall have a taste of my lovely farm props, completely unrelated from the tips. 

So here goes:

Yes I did take this picture in bathroom. What can I say? It has
good lighting and the flowers look good next to the wall.
1.  Twist Ties
Problem: There are many sorts of flowers that really were never meant to be cut. You're lucky if you get two full inches of stem. Thankfully, there are wonderful and adorable things called bud vases that these fit into, but it seems that the flower is always outweighing the tiny stem, and out goes the flower. Another problem is when you don't have very many flowers, and they look cute in your hand, but then leave sad gaps when in the vase.
Solution: Arrange the flowers in your hand and once you like the way they look, secure the stems loosely (we mustn't hurt the precious) with a twist tie, and set into the vase. Obviously string or ribbon or whatever would work, but I arrange my flowers in the kitchen, and there are lots of twist-ties handy. I'm far too lazy to go hunting for string. Plus, you could reuse the tie later, and in my experience, there always seem to be more twist-ties lying around then I am ever going to use.

Some honeysuckle and clematis that are growing together, and
were too lovely to pass up.
2. Wet Paper Towel
Problem: I don't really like store bought flowers. I vastly prefer to pick my own. Which results in a basket full of jumble leaves and blooms, that are rather sad and wilty since I dilly-dallied outside to long looking at the sky.  Obviously, I am far too absentminded to have remembered to set out vases with water beforehand, and in the time it would take to just "set them in water to wait until they are arranged' I might as well just arrange them.
Solution: Douse a few paper towels in water , lay them in, on, and around the flowers in the basket, then proceed to hunt down the elusive vases, or empty them of previous bouquets.

My baby goat, Zizi, being adorable as usual. She is quite a bit
more photogenic than the others. 
3. Sugar Water
When filling vases, dissolve a little sugar into warm water (about a tablespoon sugar per quart water, but it doesn't really matter) and use that water for your vases. I have no idea what this does, or why sugar is good for plants, but it helps them last longer. The fancy-shmancy plant food that comes with store bought flowers is, essentially, just sugar and isn't even remotely magical. When my mother told me of this, it dashed my childhood theories that plant food was some sort of fairy dust, and that was why the flowers liked it. Thanks mom, for ruining my dreams.

The chickens were following me around outside and tramping all
over my feet, they were very interested in the camera.
4. Re-cutting and Stem-crushing
When you by flowers from a store, you should always cut of the bottom of the stems, otherwise they will have trouble drinking the water. Crushing the bottom half-inch with the flat of your scissors or anything else near at hand will also help the flowers last longer.

5. Buds
Our faithful dog Max protecting his flock.
When cutting flowers yourself, pick a few buds with the outer green leaves completely open, and stick them in the vase with the flowers. Not only do they look adorable and add a lovely touch, but they will be opening in the vase about the same time their predecessors are shedding their leaves, so you don't have to change out the flowers as soon.
The odd duck with the funny thing on it's head. 

6. Petals
It is is a sad day in the life of a flower lover when their beloved arrangement begins to shed its petals. In order to stretch the botanical loveliness as long as possible, take old, shedding flowers and pick off all the petals into a pretty bowl. Add some sugared (or plain) water to the bowl, and voila! a lovely centerpiece. For extra fanciness, add some fresh leaves, glitter, beads, pieces of that glass that you clumsily broke earlier, rocks, or whatever else suits your fancy. The water is also optional, as you can just let them dry in the bowl, and they will still look and smell nice. I personally prefer the 'watered' look.  This is also a remedy for the sad moment when you cut that one flower far too short for the vase. Just cut the stem very very short and place the blossom in the bowl of water, where it will float prettily and pretend to be a water-lily.

Another goat, very interested in the camera. Mocha loves having
her picture taken.
7. Grass
Every fall, I go out and pick a 'fall bouquet'. I pick grasses and odd looking branches and anything else that suits my fancy. Then I stuff them in a vase. I don't like having flowers around in fall, as it feels wrong. Much better an elegant bouquet of dead grasses and shrubs and branches. For an added touch, I sometimes put rocks in the bottom of the vase, to provide something to stick the grass into, and to look lovely. It's surprising how much beauty you can find in a roadside meadow in fall. Every now and then, I find something that keeps it's colour as it dries, and looks frabjous.

A very elegant black chicken, and my personal favorite.

More adorableness.

This is a very angry duck that runs around and hisses at people.

This is the Dramatic One. Staring off into the distance.
One of my lovely Primroses

The stealthy chicken that thinks I can't see it.

And finally, this adorable creature that walked on my foot, so I picked it up and
photographed it's face.

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  1. What glorious photos! I particularly like the primrose and the first goat picture ^-^

    1. Thank you. Sadly, the very last of the primroses bloomed today, and there are no more buds. Summer is here. I shall have to venture into the wild in search of more flowers.

    2. Oh, that's too bad.
      By the way, I've nominated you for the Three Day Quote Challenge. Here's the link if you're interested: