Now that spring is here and flowers are blooming, you may be looking for ways to bring the beauty of spring indoors and decorate your home with some fresh cut flowers. Aside from their natural beauty and aesthetic appeal, flowers are renowned for their aromas. If you have a favorite fragrance, keep this in mind when choosing flowers for your home decorating. Certain flowers have a stronger scent – think gardenia, rose, and lilac – while others are more subtle, such as heliotrope, sweet alyssum, and lavender.
It’s important to remember that it’s not always the most expensive blooms that have the sweetest scent. Stock, for instance, might be a staple element of inexpensive grocery store bouquets, but there’s a good reason for that. These sturdy flowers have a spicy, clove-like scent and hold up well as cut flowers, so they feature prominently in many florists’ arrangements. Just remember when gathering flowers for your home that too many strong, competing scents can be overpowering when confined to smaller spaces indoors.
For color without fragrance, use tulips or irises, or buy silk flowers and mix them with some fresh cut greenery. Balance a sparse bunch of flowers with bowls of fruit or place a few pieces of color coordinating fruit around the base of your flower arrangement. For a brightly decorated space, using a neutral bouquet consisting of white flowers can complement a bright backdrop. Conversely, a bright bouquet of vibrant blossoms is an easy way to add some pops of color to an otherwise neutral room. For a bedroom, use a silver or mirrored tray to showcase several small vases, glass jars, or bottles with a single flower in each.
If you’re looking for some new ways to decorate your home with flowers this spring, here are some suggestions for incorporating fresh or silk flowers into your décor. If you’re short on time, start with something simple. Single flowers of different colors in tall wine, soda, oil, or vinegar bottles can fit almost any aesthetic. Choose similarly sized bottles or vary the shape and color for added interest, and jazz things up with ribbons, bracelets, or necklaces draped around the neck of the bottles. Single stems in separate containers produce a contemporary, designer look. You don’t need to have an entire bouquet to display a little springtime!
Having some friends over for a garden party? Bright flowers nestled in tea cups or coffee mugs are great for creating a light and airy mood when decorating for a tea party or outdoor brunch. Mismatched cups and tea pots are also good for growing small houseplants, herbs and spices, or succulents.
Arranging flowers doesn’t need to be intimidating or complicated. Some tips to remember for flower arranging:
- The most versatile vase size and shape is a mid-sized vessel with a slightly flared opening. This helps create a balance between the volume of flowers and the vase itself.
- A simple rule of thumb for floral arrangements is to choose three flowers in complementary colors and shapes.
- Trim the stems so that the flowers sit about two inches above the top of your container.
- Be sure to remove all leaves that will fall below the water line.
- Gather flowers together in a tight arrangement, slightly mounded at the center.
- To keep arrangements fresh, trim the ends of each stem and change the water every three to four days.
- Use tape to make a grid on wide open bowls and vases; the grid will keep your flowers in place and your arrangement will hold its shape.
- Most cut flower arrangements will stay looking fresh for a week or two.
For a rustic look, upcycle an old wooden box or crate as a piece of functional art by transforming it into a hanging shelf that can hold a potted plant or vase of fresh flowers. To really mix things up, choose a silver, gold, or another metallic vase for a glamorous touch. Who says you can’t mix rustic and glam? Speaking of upcycling, you probably have a multitude of containers around the house and yard that can be given new life as flower arrangement containers with just a little imagination. Got some leftover terra cotta pots from previous gardening efforts? Pick up a can of chalkboard paint and label each pot with the name of the flower seed you plant in them or write messages like “Happy Spring”, spell out the word “Welcome”, or the family name for a fresh front porch decoration.
Pitchers, old watering cans, and unused or mismatched kitchenware such as soup tureens, ceramic utensil holders, cake stands, grandma’s old gravy boat, that ice bucket you never use, or an old oversized coffee mug can all be repurposed for holding flowers instead of using the same old vase. Thrift stores and springtime yard, rummage, church or garage sales are great places to find treasures like these for your floral masterpieces. For smaller arrangements, old perfume bottles will work, also. If you don’t have time to hit the sales, you can begin saving glass jars and bottles to use for your spring flower arrangements, just be sure to run them all through the dishwasher first.
If you like white flowers but want to display them in a unique way, try using colored water. Gather a variety of clear vases, bottles, or jars, fill them with water, and add a few drops of food coloring in each. Place one flower in each container, and line them up to create a rainbow effect. This style idea works well for a unique window display or tabletop piece and creates an aura of elegance.
Don’t limit yourself to glass jars and bottles; you probably have a lot of household items that can be used to show off your spring bouquets. For instance, a pair of outgrown rubber rain boots can serve as a great container for taller stems such as sunflowers, gladiolas, tulips, irises, calla lilies, hyacinths, or bird of paradise. Add curly willow branches, blossoming fruit tree branches, or eucalyptus for extra interest. You can even perk up a potted plant with these butterfly stickers.
If you have broken or wilting flowers, don’t toss them! These blooms can live longer if they are placed in a shallow glass or ceramic bowl of water. This is a great way to create a fragrant floating arrangement of roses or hydrangeas that will hold their fragrance and color for quite a while, and the scent won’t be as overwhelming as a large bouquet.