Pink Roses Simple Bouquet

Simple rose bouquets nicely brighten up any room. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Simple rose bouquets nicely brighten up any room. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Pink Roses Simple Bouquet

Another home decorating magazine at a local business office was extolling the virtues of huge flower bouquets to decorate rooms, including dining room tables. The challenge with making huge, tall bouquets is that once people are seated across from each other, they can’t see because the flower bouquets are in the way.

Over the years, I have developed a preference for smaller, simpler bouquets and you can’t get much more basic than one or two roses in a vase like this pink roses simple bouquet now in my den.

To help simple bouquets last longer, cut roses at different stages of opening. I try to have one fully open rose and then several rose buds so they can extend the life of the little bouquet as the rose buds unfold.

Rose buds unfolding, left, are the best ones to cut for bouquets. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Rose buds unfolding, left, are the best ones to cut for bouquets. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

To ensure you extend the flowering bouquet, pick roses in bud form and ready to start unfurling.

The rose bud on the right in the photo may be a little too early to cut for a bouquet. It may open if cut but I would tend to wait another day or two before bringing it inside.

The rose bud on the left, however, is at just the right stage to be cut and added to a flower bouquet.

Cutting rose in bud form helps them last longer in a vase. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Cutting rose in bud form helps them last longer in a vase. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This pink rose starting to open was picked at the budding stage in the earlier photo and, after two days in a vase, is starting to open.

Remember to cut roses early morning when it’s still cool; take a jar with water with you so once the roses are cut you can place them immediately into water. The less stress for the flowers the longer they will last.

And yes, this rose bud has a bite out of one of its petals. If you don’t like seeing the missing piece, you can gently remove the petal by pulling on it, which is what florists do to clean up a wilting rose.

I myself like to see the hole, it reminds me that some bug was partaking of the edible flower. Every flower, just like handmade quilts, has a story. Part of enjoying this simple pink rose bouquet is imagining a story for these flowers.

What would your story be?

Charlotte

June Wildflowers Bouquet

These are Missouri wildflowers cut from starts I am planting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These are Missouri wildflowers cut from starts I am planting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

June Wildflowers Bouquet

In addition to adding a touch of nature and beauty to a room. I am going to add “relaxing” to the reasons why you should have a bouquet of flowers in your most-used room.

This is a bouquet of Missouri native wildflowers from a pile of plants someone tossed. The wildflowers were broken at the top of the plants so I cut them off and placed them in a jar of water before trimming the rest of the plants so I could more easily plant them in my garden.

By cutting off the flowering sections, the plants will concentrate their energy on establishing their roots in their new homes and may bloom again later in the growing season.

In the bouquet, there is a mixture of hardy perennials that will start blooming this month and continue until fall. How do I know?

In addition to having some of these already growing in my garden, I easily keep track of what is blooming in nature through Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events calendar. These calendars are usually available October through the beginning of the new year.

Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events calendar lists what wildflowers are in bloom. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events calendar lists what wildflowers are in bloom. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

This wonderful annual calendar also has a natural event on every day of the week including when hummingbirds migrate and when honey bees swarm. This year, the honey bee swarm season began May 9, 2019.

These calendars are now staples in the beginning beekeeping classes I teach through Rolla Bee Club. It is helpful as a beekeeper to know what is blooming because that is the source of nectar and pollen for insects.

Now that you see the list of Missouri wildflowers in bloom, can you identify some of them in this flower bouquet?

Can you identify some of the Missouri wildflowers? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Can you identify some of the Missouri wildflowers? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Here is a hint, purple coneflowers are among these bouquet flowers.

And yes, I find it very relaxing to sit in my den sofa and look at the bouquet of flowers. Some of them are still opening up so it’s interesting to see the flower bouquet evolve as the flowers bloom.

Charlotte

Tiny Flower Vases

A close up of the toothpick holders turned flower vases. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A close up of the toothpick holders turned flower vases. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Tiny Flower Vases

I like to include fresh flowers in most of our beekeeping classes and meetings. It’s a good reminder that bees have a special relationship to plants as nature’s matchmakers and that we wouldn’t have one without the other one.

I collect baskets with the same thought. Sometimes a flower vase can be set inside a basket to bring flowers into a room, just as this handmade quilt has Tulips in Basket.

In one of our late winter bee club meetings, several attendees were struck by the tiny flower vases holding early daffodils. One said she was looking for something similar for a wedding. Another said she would love to have some small flower vases to easily scatter fresh flowers around her house, something I can relate to and do.

The trick to finding tiny flower vases is to be creative. The “vases” at the meeting started their live as toothpick holders. The reason I like to use them for flowers is they have wider bases to hold water. None of the toothpick holders were the same but they were the same height.

Early daffodils cheered up this beekeeping meeting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Early daffodils cheered up this beekeeping meeting. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Some miniature orchid pots, the ones without holes in the bottom, also work well as tiny flower vases.

I once used asparagus cans with their paper removed as flower vases so you are only limited by your imagination.

Now can someone pass me a toothpick, please?

Charlotte

A Small Garden Flower Bouquet

Uh-oh, is there a rabbit after this beautiful little bouquet of red hybrid tea roses? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Uh-oh, is there a rabbit after this beautiful little bouquet of red hybrid tea roses? (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

A Garden Flower Bouquet

Of all of the things we can do to decorate our homes, adding a small bouquet of fresh flowers out of our gardens is the simplest, and most enjoyable, thing we can do. Not only does it bring some beauty into the room but you can add whimsy by pairing the flowers with a favorite decorating item.

In my case, the white porcelain rabbit has been a favorite coffee table partner for many years. I confess I make bouquets in relationship to the porcelain piece, such as this little bouquet of red hybrid tea roses I snipped from one of my rose beds.

I have real rabbits in my garden as well so having the little porcelain one inside reminds me of the ones living happily outside. Many are native wild rabbits, released into my garden when I was a rehabilitator for our local conservation office.

To easily add a small garden bouquet to your room decor, cut the flowers early morning and keep them in a vase of water not treated with salt for water softeners. That salt quickly cuts down the time the cut flowers will remain fresh in the vase.

Once you have the vase you want to use, re-cut the stems to the appropriate length. Add a pinch of aspirin to help keep the flowers fresh, then position them where you can enjoy them. Don't place them on top of electrical appliances such as TVs or anything else that produces heat. The heat will cut down the lifespan of the flowers.

Hardly. There is a rabbit but its porcelain and still has the good taste to admire the flowers. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Hardly. There is a rabbit but its porcelain and still has the good taste to admire the flowers. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

These small red hybrid tea roses are sitting on my den coffee table so I can enjoy them when I am working.

I could have cut them with longer stems but I chose to keep them small. The smaller bouquets are easier to incorporate into a room close to where everyone can enjoy them.

Charlotte

Gooseneck Loosestrife Bouquet

Gooseneck loosestrife with miniature roses bouquet.

Gooseneck Loosestrife Bouquet

One of my favorite flowers has a funny name and can be invasive but I would still say find a spot in your garden for gooseneck loosestrife.

This perennial produces lovely tiny white flowers in clusters that resemble a goose neck. The flowers last a long time as cut flowers, and are a favorite of butterflies and a variety of bees.

Relatively easy to grow where I live, USDA zone 5b, gooseneck loosestrife will grow in shade. It can also grow in sunshine but if it has a preference of where to invade, it will choose a shady spot.

I would give this plant its own corner of the flower garden, allowing it to grow until you have a nice little bed you can cut from and enjoy in vases inside. The flowers are pretty all by themselves or mixed in with other flowers blooming at the same time.

If gooseneck loosestrife starts to move into areas you don't want it, just pull out of the ground. The plant grows with shallow roots and can be easily removed by hand.

Charlotte

Bouquet of Daffodils

Daffodils blooming on my Missouri hillside at Bluebird Gardens.

Daffodils blooming on my Missouri hillside at Bluebird Gardens.

Bouquet of Daffodils

One of the most wonderful bouquets of flowers to add to your home decor is a bouquet of daffodils. Yes, the very same spring-blooming flowers you can grow in your garden from bulbs you plant in the fall. 

These wonderfully hardy perennial bulbs will bloom repeatedly year after year once settled in. They will also expand and give you more flowers if you let them go to seed. And because they give off an unpleasant toxic, they are not nibbled on by deer and other wildlife.

What Stage of Flower to Pick

If you want the inside flowers to last longer, pick the flowers when they are still in bud form.

If you want them for a table decorating that evening, then pick the flowers already open.

I wanted a little vase of daffodils to brighten a corner of my den before having a meeting so I picked this handful early morning using a pair of my gardening clippers and cutting the stems close to the bottom.

My picked daffodil bouquet, ready to take inside.

My picked daffodil bouquet, ready to take inside.

Once inside, I added them to a flower vase with room temperature water, let them sit for a few minutes, then changed the water one more time and set them in water again, in the vase, their final spot next to my little bee gourd.

A daffodil bouquet fully open like this should last a good 3-5 days, depending on how old the flowers are. In this bouquet, the more yellow-cupped daffodils are younger so they will last longer than the ones that have turned all white.

Daffodil bouquet inside, keeping my little bee gourd company where I can see both of them!

Daffodil bouquet inside, keeping my little bee gourd company where I can see both of them!

Scientists have proven than having flowers around us is a mood-booster so go ahead, go pick yourself a bouquet of whatever you have blooming in your garden!

Charlotte

Last Red Rose of the Season

Last red rose of the season from my garden.

This red rose is the last one of the season from my garden.

Last Red Rose of the Season

I was surprised to find this red rose in bud at the entrance to my garden. These started as miniature roses, a gift from a friend last year.

I planted the miniature red rose at the entrance to my garden, a reminder of her kindness and a pretty welcome when I come home.

The little rose bush bloomed most of the season, fed with a combination of dried banana peels, coffee grounds, crushed egg shells and a dash of Epsom salt.

As I was tucking my garden in for winter, I was sure I had seen the last of the roses.

Glad I was wrong; this one is gorgeous. I cut it off above a five-leaf and added it to a vase with a couple other flowers still blooming. There is little more I enjoy than having a fresh vase of flowers on my coffee table. Regardless of the weather outside, it's like having a little bit of my garden still blooming.

One of the home decor articles I read earlier said adding fresh flowers was a good way to finish a room. The article also said fresh flowers are the first thing visitors notice in a room. I know I do!

Charlotte

Plucking Peonies

Bluebird Gardens peonies in bud and bloom on my den coffee table.

Bluebird Gardens peonies in bud and bloom on my den coffee table.

One of the last spring flowers are blooming. I love peonies to pepper my home, give as gifts and surprise friends at their offices. 

How to Make Cut Peonies Last Longer

To make your cut peonies last, select unopened buds at the right stage. You want buds that are showing some color through the green bud. All green buds don't usually open after being cut. Buds that are also starting to unfurl will work.

Make sure to gently shake to remove hitchhiking ants.

Picking unopened buds will give you cut peonies a lot longer than selecting already opened flowers. If you want to hint at what is to come, include one unfurled flower.

Keep Water Getting Into Stems

To keep the opening buds and flowers fresh, cut half an inch off the stem every couple of days and change the water daily. Spent flowers and stems can be composted.

Also place them in a cool spot where you can easily enjoy their scent. I have yet to see someone spot my peony bouquets and not want to put their nose into the flowers!

Charlotte

Think Fresh Flowers as Cake Topper!

Fresh flowers are not just for flower vases any more.


I've been known to tuck flowers in all sorts of things - as decorations for gifts, inside a get well card, once in a book as a page marker.

Decorating cakes with flowers out of icing can be fun, but who wants to eat all of that sugar icing - or even cut into the flowers?? At a recent farewell potluck lunch, I was delighted to see the cake decorated with a stunning bouquet of fresh garden flowers, all held in the cake by a small glass flower vase.

Best of all, after the cake is gone, they will still have flowers to enjoy!

Charlotte

Pick the Right Flower Vase

Giving someone a bouquet of spring flowers out of your garden is a great gift for any occasion. Choosing the right vase makes all the difference in how flowers look, and how long they will last after being picked. I prefer to use flower containers that are rounded at the bottom. The rounded bottom gives cut flowers access to more water, and they won't be quickly traumatized by going dry overnight. So many cut flowers don't last long because they've run out of water!

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Chocolate Mice Flowers?

How do you thank a friend for taking care of cats and plants so well?

I first thought about giving her a vase full of garden flowers. Then I thought she also has cats so why not make something more personal.

I made this little pot of mouse flowers made out of homemade chocolate mice.

I used felt for the flower "petals" and leaves; floral sticks pre-wired to hold the toy mice, and the pointed end of the floral sticks to hold the chocolate mice.

Yes, she loved her bouquet of chocolate mice.  Yummm!

Charlotte

Welcome

Welcome to Made Just For You.

I started Bluebird Gardens in 1998 on the premise that everyone can make
something; they just don’t always think of it as being special.
In my world, it is the thought that counts.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; making something for someone is
sometimes more fun than giving it away.
I’ll be featuring those wonderful homemade handmade things,
and the people who are special enough to get them.

What are you making?

Charlotte

Spring Flowers Make Great Cut Flowers

Welcome spring by giving someone a bouquet of daffodils straight out of your garden.

One of my favorite spring flowers are early daffodils. They are small; they need flower vases that are no more than 6" tall and look good tucked into any nearby corner.

Mid-flowering and late flowering daffodils and tulips will easily fit into standard, taller vases. You can also cut them to fit smaller containers.

Anemones, snow drops, glories of the snow and other small spring flowers will best fit in 2-4" containers.

If you plan to mix daffodils with other spring flowers, let them sit bythemselves in water for a few hours before mixing them. Daffodils have a toxin that will kill other flowers if you mix them immediately. I leave cut daffodils sitting in a vase by themselves overnight, then mix the flowers in the same vase in the morning.

There's nothing like a bouquet of home grown flowers to brighten someone's day, including mine!

Charlotte