Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Bouquet

This weekend our friends invited us over to dinner to thank us for watching after their home while they were away.  Naturally, I wanted to bring a hostess gift, but since the dinner was a "thank you" to me, I felt it would be inappropriate to bring wine or dessert - my normal "go to" gifts for dinner at a friend's house.  Instead, I put together a bouquet of fall flowers picked from my gardens.

I was going to just wrap a ribbon around the flowers, but then I thought it would be a pain for them to immediately run around to try to find a vase to put them in.  Big vase, little vase, goes with your tablescape, replaces your centerpiece.  Such a hassle to deal with when you are already dealing with cooking dinner, getting drinks passed out, servings appetizers.

I put the flowers in a mason jar and tied a card to it with twine. Simple. Country. Cute.

Total Time: 4 hours

Fill a watering can about 1/3 with water then go out and get some flowers and foliage.

These iris seed pods make a great vertical element - added bonus, the seeds can be planted and the irises were a gift from our friends.  I like to show that we appreciate and use gifts that we receive and what better way than to use the seed pods in a bouquet for them?

This tithonia is new to our garden this year.  The orange blossoms make for a great strong color splash. 

The nicotiana are going to seed, so there are seed pods along with a few blooms.  These will make a great filler.  They have a great subtle scent and their seeds can be planted.

The sedum's block of color should help soften the bright orange of the tithonia.  It will root in the water and can be planted in their garden.

These chrysanthemum's are a great shade of pink with purple buds.  They will brighten up the bouquet and the yellow centers will tie in the tithonia.

It's time for the hydrangea to get a haircut, plus their pink and rust flowers will be a great addition to the bouquet.  These will dry out so our friends will have a little bit of the bouquet to last them until spring.

The golden vicary privet makes a great filler.  It's leaves range from lemon yellow to pale green.

Time to arrange the flowers!

Fill the mason jar about 1/2 way with water.

Crush the aspirin.

Add the aspirin to the water.

Stir it in until it dissolves.

Remove the lower leaves from the flowers and shake all the bugs out.  (I found spiders, ants and a grasshopper!)

Criss-cross the stems as you put them in the jar to create a structure so the arrangement won't slosh all over the place and slide over to one side of the vase.

Layer the flowers in.  I started from the bottom with the hydrangea, then sedum.

Added the nicotiana then chrysanthemum.

Filled in the holes with the golden vicary privet.

Here's the final arrangement with the tithonia and iris seed pods topping it off.

To give it a more polished presentation, I made this card out of blank card stock and tied it to the jar with a piece of twine.  I stuck a small piece of sedum to the card as a little reminder of the bouquet.  The back of the card has a listing of all of the plants used in the arrangement. (I'll be posting the instructions for making the card soon!)

The final arrangement turned out to be over 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide - yikes! - but I thought it looked nice.  Our friends seemed to like it, although they initially thought they had won the Kentucky derby, and they placed it right on a table.  No searching for vases!!!  The card was a little buried in the arrangement, so I made sure to point out that it had a list of all of the flowers and that there were seeds they could plant in their garden.

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