DIY

  • How to Make Bouquets of Flowers

    bouquets of flowers

    So, you need a bouquet of flowers? You can always find beautiful, prearranged bouquets at many top quality florists. But sometimes, it’s just fun to make your own! Making your own bouquets isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds.

    If you’re going to go the DIY route, the first thing you’ll need to do is purchase flowers.There are a few places you can buy them:

    a) a flower market

    b) an online wholesaler

    c) the supermarket/grocery store

    d) a professional florist

    If you’re looking for something particular or want the widest range of choice, it’s probably best to head to the flower market or talk to a professional. But if your local grocery store is full of beautiful flowers, then go for it. There’s no rule for where you have to buy flowers -- as long as the flowers are beautiful and fresh, choose the option that’s easiest for you.

    bouquets of flowers

    When picking the blooms for your bouquet, you should keep a few things in mind. Most importantly, don’t forget seasonality (this is a hot button word for florists). Be aware of what flowers are in season and choose those for your bouquet (or be prepared to pay steep rates for imported blooms that will be more likely to die in unseasonable climates).You can always go with a bloom that thrives at all times of year, like hydrangeas.

    Lastly, consider color, shape, and size when selecting your blooms. If you’re making a bouquet to go with wedding or bridesmaids dresses, select a color that pops with the gown (if you select a bloom of a matching shade, it will fade into the dress). Pick a color sequence of no more than three colors when arranging, so, for instance, shades of red, white, and pink. Any more than that and the bouquet can become overwhelming and clash. If you want to make multiple bouquets using coordinating colors, select a base flower, such as a large white bloom, that will help tie them all together. Lastly, consider cost and try to select larger blooms – they go further because they take up more space in an arrangement which means you don’t require as many of them.

    Building a Bouquet

    Now that you’ve got your flowers, it’s time to arrange them. There are several steps to making the perfect bouquet.

    bouquets of flowers

    Prep

    First, you must prep your flowers to be the ideal selection for your bouquet. This means trimming any excess leaves, thorns, etc. and pruning petals that are dead or dingy.4

    Next, fill a bucket with cool water and holding the stems under water, cut them at an angle about 2 inches from the bottom (if you have flowers of varying lengths, you will want to end up with stems that are all equal). You’ll likely want to work with longer stems while arranging and cut the tips to their final desired length once the bouquet is complete. Be sure to use a sharp knife or stem cutter rather than scissors – it gives the flowers longer life. And never cut straight across, always at an angle. When you’ve finished cutting, allow the flowers to drink in some of the water before moving on to arranging.

    bouquets of flowers

    Assemble

    Now, it’s time to arrange your bouquet. There’s really no science to it – simply pick the blooms and color arrangement you think looks best. You’ll want to build a base of anchor flowers – select 2 to 4 flowers, bunch the stems together to create a square with the blooms and wrap with floral tape to create a strong base.

    You’ll want 4 to 5 inches of exposed stem on the bottom and at least one to one and a half inches to the start of the tape on the top. Now, start adding flowers around your anchor blooms to begin creating a “bunch.” Add elements one by one building from the center to create a dome shape. If you have heavier flowers or particularly flimsy stems, you may want to have floral wire on hand to wrap around the stems and secure them against other flowers.

    This is where your creativity comes into play – mix and match colors and textures with your various blooms, fillers, and greenery. Remember to keep the eye of a photographer while arranging – if you’ll be carrying the bouquet, don’t build it so big that it will overwhelm you and become the focal point. You may want to stand in front of a mirror while arranging to keep an eye on what the bouquet looks like in your hands.

    Secure and Finish

    Once you’re satisfied with your arrangement, you must secure it. You can secure it at both the top and bottom with two rubber bands or floral wire. But, we recommend you also wrap the bouquet with floral tape, starting about 1 to 1 ½ inches from the flower heads and leaving anywhere from 0-4 inches of stem exposed on the bottom. After you secure your blooms, cut the stems one last time to ensure they are all the same length.

    Next, you’ll want to beautify the arrangement by covering the tape with a ribbon. Cut a length of ribbon three times as long as the stems. Start by tucking one end of the ribbon into the top of the binding and wrapping in a spiral down the length of the stems and covering the floral tape. Once you reach the bottom, wrap back up in a spiral and tuck the end of the ribbon into the binding. Secure the ribbon along the stems with pins and cut a separate length of ribbon to tie around the bouquet if you want a bow.

    bouquets of flowers

    Preserve

    Now that you’ve made your bouquet, you want it to last as long as possible. Wrap the bouquet in tissue to protect the blooms while transporting it. Store it in the refrigerator until you leave for your event. It’s best to build a bouquet the morning of the event and to leave the flowers in water before binding them as long as possible.

    bouquets of flowers

    To Keep in Mind with a Florist

    If all of them seems like too much for you, you can always hire a florist, but keep some things in mind. First off, don’t wait until the last minute to decide you can’t handle a DIY bouquet. If you need a florist, hire them with plenty of advance warning.

    You’ll still need to take care of your blooms to make them last, so don’t expect your florist to be a miracle worker (for instance, if you have your bouquet outside in a hot climate for many hours, it will wilt). Remember that you’re hiring them because they’re a professional and be open to their suggestions and ideas – most likely, they know more about blooms and arranging than you do. It’s better to come with color schemes, tones, and a notion of look and feel than to be wedded to very specific flower selections.

    And lastly, don’t be afraid of more expensive flowers – they may be pricier, but often they’re bigger and have a more significant wow factor than cheaper options. In the end, they could result in a smaller bottom line.

    Whether you DIY your bouquet or hire a florist, be kind to your blooms and enjoy the beauty of the flowers.

  • What Gardening, fishing, and playing golf have in common

    What Gardening, fishing, and playing golf have in common.....It has been said that a lot of golfers are also avid fishermen.  What connects those two activities is very similar to gardening. We bet you never noticed just how much these activities have in common. We didn't either until we came across this gem...

    Fishing in Golf Attire

     

    Image courtesy of (Flickr)

    • It is solitary.
    • The results are entirely up to you.
    • Much of the enjoyment comes from the “doing”.
    • It is only done when the weather cooperates.
    • Mother Nature plays a part in your success.
    • It can be done by all skill levels, all ages and all economic levels.
    • Watching how others do their things is appealing.
    • It can be very costly or done for very little money.
    Golfer teeing off

     

    Image courtesy of (Flickr)

    The efforts of gardening can be most appreciated by simple results such as the single rose that blooms in the spring. This is right up there with catching the “big one” or having a career round. While you can certainly garden, play golf, or fish as a group, it is not necessary to the act or the outcome and often can be just as enjoyable all by one's self.

    Garden plants along walkway

     

    Image courtesy of (Flickr)

  • Decorate Your Home With Cut Flowers From Your Own Garden

    As you have seen in all furniture ads, home magazines, and anyplace where our living areas are displayed, flowers are added to make the space inviting, more attractive, and as recent research has shown better for our well being. Summer is a great time of the year. You can go out to your garden, no matter how small, and bring in a little color. Summer garden flowers are plentiful enough that they are a great value to purchase as well. The varieties range from ageratum to zinnias. The flowers you purchase have probably been grown locally and very fresh. We grow our own at our greenhouses in Churchville and often are in our customers’ homes the same day they were cut. To get the maximum enjoyment out of these summer flowers there are a few things you should know.

    Cutting and Collecting Garden Flowers

    Photo by ( Flickr )

    Planning your arrangement Flowers and foliage will instantly improve the ambiance of a room. Select a spot that will catch your eye, pick out a container that seems to be the right scale for the spot, and roughly measure how high and wide you would like the arrangement to be. The container could be something as simple as a glass jar. Then go out and find the materials that will fill the space with the right colors and shape. Don’t limit your imagination to any specifics. Dead or dried branches could be great for height, as could be tall grasses. Broad leaves like hostas could fill a vase in a mass design. Even rocks could be used as accent pieces. But of course, the flowers will usually be the main event. As different varieties come into bloom, take advantage of their beauty by bringing some inside.

    Cut lilacs and tulips in vase

    Photo by ( Flickr )

    When and how to cut

    It is best to cut in the morning or at least when it is cool. During the heat of the day, flowers are already in stress and this stress shortens their vase life. Cut the flower with as long a stem as possible but above a node. This is the point on the stem where leaves join the stem. This will allow the plant to send out more shoots for more flowers in a few weeks so don’t think that you will be losing the outdoor beauty. Your actions will actually stimulate more flowers later. The plan will also look better for there will not be any unsightly half stems sticking out.

    Purple garden flowers

    Photo by ( Flickr )

    Care and handling Probably the single best hint is to take a bucket of warm water with you and put the flowers in water as soon as they are cut. It would be best to use a plastic bucket with water that includes flower nutrient. The commercial flower foods interact with metal and that would harm the flowers. Warm water is used for it goes up the stem more quickly. This first drink by the flower is very important. This is the time that the flower is hydrating and the stem will stiffen up. Many times people cut the flowers, bring them in the house, lay them on the table and don’t arrange them for some time. During this period, the stems soften, the flowers wilt as does the enthusiasm of the flower arranger. When you buy your flowers this first conditioning step has been done for you.

    Cut zinnias from the garden

    Photo by ( Flickr )

    Arranging tips Be certain the container you are using is squeaky clean. The least bit of residue will contaminate the water and dramatically shorten flower life. Use flower food here as well in the dosage prescribed for on the label. With flower food, too much is just as bad a too little. If you are using Oasis brand flower foam, soak the foam in water that has the nutrient added. Either group the flowers by color or variety. A mixed bouquet of one variety of flowers is stunning. A few black-eyed susans in a small pitcher is easy and very effective. If the container has a large mouth, first add foliage or branches, ivy is a great choice. Re-cut the stems and take off any foliage that would be below the water line and insert the stem into the container. As a general rule, put larger flowers or those with darker colors deeper in the arrangement. Most flowers have a face. That is a side from which you would view them. Design the flowers in a way that the faces are aimed in a way that the viewer can best see the full beauty of each blossom. If you need to visualize something, think of the garden; a natural look will certainly show off the flowers. Be sure to keep the arrangement away from the sun or heat. For instance, do not put the flowers on the TV. Every day or two fill the container and if the water becomes discolored, change it. Your flowers should last at least 5-7 days.

    Cut sunflowers in vase

    Photo by ( Flickr )

    Hints for selecting purchased flowers When buying summer garden flowers, you should check the foliage and stems. They should be firm and a healthy shade of green. The flowers should not be bruised and usually fully open. Most varieties, like zinnias, will not open in water. Buy the flowers from someone you trust and if they do not last at least 5-7days, take them back.

  • How to Grow Apple Trees At Home by Kremp Florist

    Apple

    Photo by Elise (Flickr)

    Have you always wanted to grow your own apples, but weren't sure where to begin? Even if you don't have the greenest thumb, it's easier than you think! Whether you want to start from apple seeds, or plant a full grown one in your yard, here are a few things you need to know before you get started.

    If you are going the replanting route, then going to your local nursery should be your first step. Learning which apple trees grow best in your area is important because not all will flourish in every climate, so it's good to know which ones work best in your neck of the woods. It is also important to realize that apple trees do best when they are planted in the early spring, so deciding when you want to start planting is a key factor in how well your trees will do.

    Most apple trees must cross-pollinate in order to bear fruit, so grabbing more than one type of apple tree at your nursery will be necessary in most cases. While bees and other plants can help to pollinate your apple tree, its best to have two types to be sure your tree will bear fruit. When deciding what size or age apple tree to buy, remember that replanting a younger tree such as a dwarf or semi dwarf will be easier and will have fruit quicker than a normal size tree. Keep in mind the amount of space in your yard and the amount of light they will get; most apple trees need to get 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

    Once you have gotten your trees, you will need to prep your soil by getting rid of weeds and other plants that may interfere with your trees growing. You don't want to plant too close to forests or wooded areas, because animals will more likely get to your apple trees and cause damage. In most cases, digging a 2 foot deep hole and making the hole about two times the size of the tree's root ball (or container it was previously in) should be sufficient. Also remember that in order for your trees to cross-pollinate, they must not be more than 100 feet apart when you plant them. Keeping all this in mind will give you a better shot at having a healthy, fruit-bearing tree. After planting, be sure to add mulch to your newly planted apple tree. Be sure to never fertilize your young fruit tree. Fertilizing too soon can burn and damage the roots of your young plant. By adding mulch to the surrounding area of your plant base, your tree will retain water and moisture better. Watering your newly planted tree will be vital during the first and second growing season. Making sure to water your trees twice a week, without drowning them and just making the soil moist is important. If you see your leaves wilting or looking dry, watering more often might be necessary.

    The last thing you need to remember is maintaining your trees once you've planted them in the ground. Although there isn't a laundry list of care instructions, there are still a few things you need to do to keep those apple trees kicking! Adding a trellis, or putting a post alongside your trees in the dirt, can be helpful as they grow to give them stability. After a few years it might be unnecessary, but in the beginning, having some extra support can be helpful. Until your tree has matured, doing minor maintenance will be your best bet. Getting rid of dead branches or fruit is fine, but don't begin cutting branches or doing any intense pruning until your trees have been growing for a few years.

    If you are looking for an easier, kid-friendly project, then planting apple seeds at home is a fun activity for the family! All you'll need are a few apples, paper towels, a sandwich bag, and potting soil with pots. First, cut the apples down the center and get as many of the seeds as possible, leaving any that have been broken. Then, place the seeds on a plate or somewhere for a few days so they can dry out. Next, wet a few paper towels and stick the seeds inside them. You'll want to place them in a sandwich bag and put them in the refrigerator to allow the seeds to germinate. This part will probably take a few weeks, so keep an eye on them. Once the seeds have begun to sprout, the fun part begins! You can finally plant your baby seeds in pots. Be sure to water them daily and place them in a sunny area of your home. Once your seeds have grown to be about a foot in height, you can transplant them to your garden or yard and admire what you grew!

    Choosing a Tree

    Preparation

    Planting your Tree

    Apple Tree Maintenance

    Growing an Apple Tree from a Seed

  • 7 Totally Awesome DIY Flower Vases

    Do you have a cabinet full of dusty humdrum vases and jars? Well, it is time to give them a makeover; plain glass vases and jars can become just as pretty as the flowers they hold. If you are creative and frugal and enjoy upcycling items, then I have some ideas that you are going to love. The following tutorials will show you how to re-invent the ordinary vase, wine bottle, or glass jar with some paint and things that you probably have laying around the house. Although you may want to keep them all for yourself, these upcycled jars and vases make great gifts.

    Chalkboard Paint Vase

    Chalkboard Paint Vase

    Photo by Jordan Johnson (Flickr)

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