Nothing makes me happier than having pretty fresh flowers in my boy-filled house. At this time of year you can get some very lovely blooms at the grocery store. I asked my favorite floral expert Jen Daily to give us some tips on what to do with them...
Flowers on the table are an easy and inexpensive way to welcome Spring into your home right now. As a former floral designer turned mom-with-little-time, my taste in blooms for the house lean toward the simple and unfussy. Which is why my heart beats a little faster this time of year every time I walk into Trader Joe's.
I'm waiting for the daffodils.
To me, daffodils embody spring. They are simple, optimistic, and fleeting. And this week they are finally in! Right now ten stems are $1.29 at our market. I bought two bunches, but you would be well served by three or four. Or five. You get my point. If you choose bunches that are just beginning to crack you can watch them as they open up to their full glory, something my boys love to do at our kitchen table.
In this case, the most difficult thing about displaying your daffodil treasure is selecting an appropriate vase to put them in. You want the daffodils to stand up straight in a close bunch. So choose a vase with an opening that isn't flared or too wide. The vase should be two thirds the height of the daffodils, so trim their stems accordingly. Always trim them at an angle, and put them into room temperature water to encourage hydration. It doesn't get easier than that.
In addition to the daffodil, another Spring bloom that has my heart is the ranunculus. They too are just beginning their season, and are a bargain at $4.99 a bunch. Choose ranunculus if you want a romantic, garden look and you have a few more minutes to spend on them.
Ranunculus have hairy stems which hold bacteria in the water and make them prone to rot. Always pull off any foliage or stems that will be below the water level, and keep that water level low. Check to see that all stems are in water, and then add an inch. You'll want to refresh the water every day.
Choose a small container about six inches high. I like this rectangular glass one because it makes a one-sided arrangement come together very easily. Cut the ranunculus stems (at an angle) so that the the container is 2/3 to 3/4 of their height. Put them in the vase with the larger blooms in the center, and the smaller blooms at the sides. We are trying to create a loose crescent shape. Save the buds (and any blooms that might break off) for the next step.
For this super easy garden style arrangement I harvested a bit of foliage from our yard. We have both star jasmine and pink jasmine vines, which I love to use for wedding work and at home. The pink jasmine is blooming right now and adds a delicious fragrance, but any type of vine with small leaves will do. I also trimmed a few pieces of camellia. Use what you have.
Add the camellia leaves, (pulling off any leaves that might be below the rim of the vase) a stem or two on each side to build out the crescent shape. Tuck in the buds you saved to fill out the shape.
Next use one length of vine, placing the cut end in water and wrapping the length of it up and over the ranunculus. Secure if needed with a bit of tape to the back of the vase. Easy peasy.
Did you have any broken stems? I did. I put that little beauty in an apothecary jar with a few sprigs of jasmine and camellia, and now its brightening up my bathroom. That makes three arrangements for about $8. And now my house feels and smells like spring, even on this dreary rainy day.