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Bouquet 6 Ways

$12 is a lot of money when you’re a renter.

So here’s a real quick post about how I make my mixed bouquets worth the outlay:

Even though I’m always tempted by the giant bunches of single-type flowers, I restrain myself & pick a nice, varied bouquet, which will pay off down the line. And be way more fun 🙂

As soon as I get them home, I disassemble the bouquet, remove all the gunky waste & trim down the ends.

Then I grab my biggest vase & play florist for a while! Headed to the bell tower? Arranging flowers is very zen. And foliage is cheaper than bullets ;->

Tip: If there’s a packet of flower food included with your bouquet, use only half to start. Save the rest for later. If not, think about picking up a some plant food. Not expensive + works great + lasts forever = Worth the money.

If I did a good job choosing a fresh bouquet, the original arrangement should last 2-3 days.

But eventually…

… time takes its toll on us all.

Not to worry — a little primping can spruce my bouquet right back up!

So, I find a nice, spacious workspace & pull my flowers out of the vase. I remove any obvious goners & trash/compost them.

Often, during this process, I’ll find smaller flowers tucked amongst the larger ones that are still in pretty good shape — but headed downhill quickly:

I’d feel bad throwing them out quite yet, but they’re not going to last long enough to go back into a bouquet. That’s OK… I just pull them out & set them aside. I can still use them.

Now — I sort through the rest of the bouquet & figure out what can be salvaged. Once I begin to pull out the early wilters, I still have quite a bit to work with. Of course all of them will be a little less plucky than they originally were, but I don’t go throwing the baby out with the bath water. Instead I use my secret trick…

My “secret trick”: Re-trim the stems & change out the water.

Yup. That’s it.

(Don’t forget to add more plant food…)

This refreshing technique was probably once common knowledge, but I’d never heard of it. And almost everyone I know says, “Huh. Well, there you go!”  when I tell them about it. So I guess common knowledge sometimes gets lost along the way.

Anyhoo – it just occurred to me one day (Loooong ago… man, I’m gettin’ old.) that flower stems are essentially straws. And that when the bottom of the straw gets all gummed up, it must be harder for the flowers to get a drink of water.

And no water = dehydration (read: wilting). So I trimmed them.

Then cleaned the vase & added a little fresh plant food.

I mean, would you wanna drink that? 

And they perked right up & lasted for several more days. In fact, they were a little perkiER… like they had a new lease on life. And I’ve been doing it with 100% success ever since. So, there you go. Huh.

Still, if I just pulled out the wilters, trimmed the stems, changed the water and then plunked them back into the same old vase… well, what fun is that? As long as I’m doing all this maintenance, I might as well shake things up a little.

So… I grab a couple more vases. ‘Cause I’m crazy like that. Recognize.

Tip: Vases are stupidstupid cheap at Goodwill. Stock up. They’re hugely versatile & there are styles to fit every taste.

The really nice thing about this step is getting to play florist again 🙂 See: Bell tower. 

First, I take those almost-goners (the ones I set aside earlier) and I trim the stems really short … then I set them afloat in a bowl-style vase.

Trimming the stems way back & letting the blooms sit directly in the water usually gets me another day or two. I’m tellin’ ya — hydration. Learn from the flowers. Drink your 8 cups a day!

Then I took a few of the other small almost-goners & bundled them together with a rubber band, waaaay up near the base of the blooms. I put these into a modest Mason jar for a charming hand-picked effect.

Then I rearranged the remaining viable flowers from the original bouquet & put them back in the big vase, changing up the positioning a little. It wasn’t a huge difference from the first big arrangement, but it definitely cleaned up the look a little.

In all, I’d created three fresh arrangements. All from my one formerly gloppy, days-old mixed bouquet:

These phase two arrangements lasted another couple of days.

When they started to drop petals, it was time to repeat the whole process… disassemble, trim, clean water, reassemble. (Gently.)

Which yielded me three, yes, three more arrangements. For a total of seven. From one bouquet. I’m just sayin’.

1) Original mixed bouquet

2) Floating blooms arrangement

3) Red & yellow flowers in Mason jar

4) Scaled-down/rearranged original bouquet

5) Sunflowers and small blooms arrangement

7) Lily arrangement

8) Red carnations in Mason jar

Full Disclosure: I brought in some of the leaves from my nasturnim outside to accent the lilies.

Tip: Look around your yard. There’s probably foliage out there you could use to spruce up your thinning bouquet. (But please be smart — don’t use anything unless you’re sure it’s non-poisonous. Leaves of three? Let it be! Small red berry? Don’t touch — scary!)

The third set of arrangements lasted me another 2 days before they started to look rough.

And by constantly regrouping the flowers, changing vases & artfully scattering my new arrangements around the house in different spots each time, I created the illusion of being an heiress with an unlimited fresh-flower budget. OK, maybe not. But it did brighten up the place 🙂

So let’s do the math: $ 12 mixed bouquet = 6 arrangements = 1 week of fresh flowers all over the house.

Worth it? Absolutely.

COMING UP: THRIFT SHOPPING & MORE PORCH PROGRESS 

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3 thoughts on “Bouquet 6 Ways

  1. I think nasturtium leaves are so beautiful. Love all the cute snaps of the mini-bouquets, too. Nice post!

  2. Thanks for the tips on prologing the cheeriness that fresh flowers bring to inside living quarters. Buying them feels like a splurge, so the practical tips assuages my frugal spirit.

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