Friday, March 30, 2007

Frugal Fridays-Frugal Fresh Flowers

I love to decorate with simple bouquets of fresh flowers. It doesn't even have to be a whole bouquet-just a stem or two will often look great! But just going out and buying a bunch of flowers in the grocery store is expensive. I used to pick up a "cheap" bunch when I did my grocery shopping at Wal-mart, but now either the prices on flowers have gone up or I don't have as much extra money to spend. Could be either.:-)

Call me weird, but I don't like the clutter or the have-to-clean of silk flowers. Of course, there is a time and a place for them, but as a general rule, I don't like to have too many of these in my house. I prefer fresh.

While I still buy a bouquet every now and then- (I have found that daisies are usually a great choice, because they last longer and one of those bunches can make about 4 small bouquets. Carnations are also not that expensive.) I've found that using the flowers and greenery that are already around my yard is fun, looks great and is priced right!

I don't have many flowers growing, but that's where the creative aspect comes in. Look beyond the normal"cut flower" varieties for many interesting options!

I think one of the first Christmas' we were married, I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't afford to buy garlands of greenery and such, when my mom told me to go out and cut greenery from the yard and arrange it. I did and it looked so nice and I felt so frugal that I've adopted that idea for the whole year!

So far from my own yard, I've used:
  • holly(for winter)
  • ivy
  • greenery from various bushes
  • azaleas(I have these in a bouquet right now. They don't last long once cut, but are so pretty and I know where I can find more!)
  • flowering branches
  • camellias
  • daffodils (I only have 2 blooms that come up every year, but we enjoy them on the dining room table while we can!)
  • zinnias(in the summer)
  • mums(in the fall)
Other non-flower ideas that are nice natural ways to decorate are with seashells, pine cones or even interesting twigs and branches. I made a centerpiece that I used most of this winter that consisted of a tray with a couple of candles on it and then pine cones scattered all around.

Once you have the flowers or greenery, be creative with containers for your bouquets. Vases are nice, but not the only option. I use ceramic or glass pitchers, teapots and teacups, canning jars and even shallow bowls for larger flowers that would be nice floating arrangements. By thinking outside the vase, you will discover that you may have something nice to use without having to buy a vase.

Another option is to make friends with neighbors who have lots of flowers or a nice garden! Of course, you would always want to ask before taking someone else's flowers, but often they will not mind sharing with you if you ask nicely.

When driving out in the country, I will stop if I see great wildflowers along the road. These make great bouquets. I've found wild roses, black-eyed susans and many other kinds this way. You have to be careful about bringing bugs home with you this way, but usually that's just a minor detail.;-)

Don't worry about your arranging techniques. I am not a professional either. I just plop stuff in the containers and then fix it until I think it looks nice. I really like the casual look of flowers just setting in a jar, unarranged. Often one or two blooms are all you need for an elegant arrangement with a candle. It all depends on the look you are going for.

By looking around your yard, you too, will be able to bring original bouquets into your home. Try it-you might just like it!

For more frugal ideas, please visit Biblical Womanhood!


Lady Why said...

I prefer fresh flowers to silk too! And, I love a great spring bouquet!!

devildogwife said...

Lots of great ideas! Thanks for sharing!! My daughter (almost 8) is always bring home pretty weeds to decorate our home. :)

Mrs. C said...

These ideas have made me eager to get outdoors and and some experimenting with arrangements.

Mrs.B. said...

What a great idea!

And I'm not so crazy about fake plants/flowers either. The only fake flowers I have is my ficus tree and an ivy basket. I tried growing a real ficus tree but I always end up killing them. )o:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I have recently started to pick up a bunch of flowers on the cheaper side on my grocery trip. I love fresh flowers and they really have lifted my mood. I struggle with some anxiety and depression. (although God is my ultimate light) Sometimes just a little jar of flowers on my counter makes me smile. But I can see where this could add up so I am excited to use me creativity to find different ways to get flowers. I have NO FLOWERS in my yard. I never thought of budding branches that is so chic.


Jessica said...

ahhh. Spring and it's green glory. I have branches in my dining room with leaves from last fall on them - pin oak and grape vine. I have already used simple green "grass" weeds when there was nothing else to bring color inside.

If you dig up your daffodils and replant them and do not!! cut the green tops off, they should bloom more profusely. Never cut the tops off. When the blooms are gone braid the tops if they are in the way. You can then roll them under to get the braids out of the way.

Alexandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexandra said...

We do this as well. I make our advent wreaths from greens and berries in the garden, and this year I made a wreath for Lent with shells(symbolizing the desert) and candles.

I just brought some ivy into the house from the garden. I potted it and hope to get a little greenery and air cleaning.