Image courtesy of FlowerBarn1.com
For years, though, I shied away from having fresh flowers around. I had the idea that having flowers in the house meant having a "flower arrangement"--you know, a formal piece of work from the florist. And I do so love the work that florists do--"flower arrangements" are among my very favorite things. But I've learned that I can enjoy fresh flowers in my house without the expense of employing a florist.
The easiest and least expensive way to have fresh flowers is to grow them yourself. I love the early summer months because of the abundance of hydrangeas, one of my favorite flowers. My hydrangeas are gone now, but I still have some gardenia blossoms on my bushes. Look how pretty just a few blossoms look floating in a crystal dish:
(Yes, that's a picture of the back of my powder room toilet.
In addition to looking pretty, the gardenias make the whole room smell delicious!)
When you don't have any home-grown flowers to use, try the floral department of your grocery store. At my local grocery store, the best buys are usually the bunches of one type of flower. These pre-packaged bunches come with a "Fresh Thru" date, so I always look for the bunches with the latest date. You can get a lot of bang for your buck by buying a single kind of flower, like these lilies:
Those are in a silver pitcher that I found at a thrift store. It didn't clean up well, so I just spray-painted it heirloom white and then rubbed off a bit of the paint with fine-grit sandpaper. I think it makes a beautiful vase. A good trick is to cut off the long stems so that you don't see a lot of stem above your container. You want to see the blooms, not the stems.
To tell the truth, I use alternative containers more than I use vases. For instance, look how pretty simple gerbera daisies look in water bottles:
My newest acquisition is this galvanized metal six-pack drink caddy from Pottery Barn. I had a Pottery Barn gift certificate, and I thought this was a pretty good deal for $29.
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn
As I looked at it, I realized that it would be just the right size to hold the plain glass cylinders available in the candle section at Dollar Tree. So I bought six of the cylinders.
And presto! A instant flower arrangement! Look at just a few grocery store stems in the caddy:
I took this photo when I'd had these flowers for six days. That's another trick: look for long-lasting flowers, like these spider mums. Daisies, alstromeria, lilies, carnations, and mums are all really good choices for long-lasting blooms. Roses? They're beautiful, but they droop after one day.
Do you have fresh flowers in your house? Have any tips to share? I'd love to hear them!
**Check out Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest and Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous for other great frugal finds!