Summer Bouquets


Freshly cut snapdragons last a long time in a bouquet, and bloom till frost in the garden.

It’s high summer and a perfect time to make indoor bouquets. Farmer’s markets are awash with flowers as well as vegetables, and it’s a great idea to pick up a bouquet along with the food.  I always plan to have flowers that I can cut in my own garden, as well. A full fledged cutting garden would be dream come true, but failing that, it’s easy to tuck in a few cosmos, marigolds or snapdragons in with your veggies. This time of year you can often get potted flowers on sale, too.

sweet peas

On a recent visit a friend surprised me with this huge bunch of sweet peas.

With cut flowers from your own garden you can enjoy your floral bounty from inside, with the added bonus of seeing your blooms close up, instead of just passing by them in the garden. Mix flowers with hosta leaves or other greenery for contrast. Even a leafy grouping of herbs, like sage, mint, lemon balm and scented geranium looks (and smells) lovely in a vase.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match: annuals, perennials, grasses, herbs all look wonderful in a bouquet. A simple arrangement of just hosta leaves is elegant and fresh. Another “free flowers” trick is to cut back your potted annuals in mid July, like trailing petunias and sweet potato vine. (They need to be rejuvenated right now anyway, as they’ve gotten leggy.) Trim off the long ends and put the remaining flowers in a vase. They are usually pretty perky once the long stems are trimmed off. Keep all flowers away from direct sun indoors, they last longer that way.

I collect small vases and glasses: a floral bouquet doesn’t have to be big. Just a few blooms in a tiny liqueur glass can be cheery on the edge of the sink. And it didn’t cost you anything if it came from your garden.

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