Enjoy fresh-cut flowers all summer!
By: Garden Gate staff
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Simple steps for a fresh bouquet
Don’t spend a small fortune on flowers from the florist! Get stunning arrangements made up of fresh-cut flowers, foliage and seedheads from your yard — no cutting garden required.
In summer, when perennials are at their peak, there’s plenty to choose from. Showy coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), spiky astilbe (Astilbe spp. and hybrids) and delicate coral bells (Heuchera spp. and hybrids) are some of the flowers you see at left.
As you arrange them, cut stems in proportion to the size of the container. A good rule of thumb is to choose a vase 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 the height of your bouquet, but more modern designs don’t have to follow any guidelines. Once you have the look you like, choose a place to display it out of direct sunlight and away from heating and cooling vents.
Click ahead to see how this beautiful bouquet got started and find out the steps for creating your own!
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To begin, criss-cross several sturdy stems, such as gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides) here, to create a framework in your vase.
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Add bulk to the framework with more sturdy companions. Choose some with a variety of colors, leaf sizes and flower shapes, like the airy flowers of pink yarrow (Achillea millefolium) at left.
Don’t pass up flowers that haven’t quite matured yet, such as the chartreuse panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) here. These provide different color and texture than if they were in full bloom.
Cutting flowers just before their peak has another benefit — they’ll usually continue to open in the vase, so your bouquet can evolve and fill in over time.
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Cluster showy flowers off center to give a natural, just-picked look.
Cutting different stem lengths of these coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) guaranteed that the striking form of each bloom really stood out. Red spikes of astilbe (Astilbe spp. and hybrids) contrast well with the other flower shapes and brighten up the entire bouquet.
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Observe your arrangement from every angle, adding more flowers and adjusting the height of the stems to create an even, rounded shape all over.
Fill in gaps with stems of dainty coral bells (Heuchera spp. and hybrids) blooms and even its colorful foliage, whose stems are the perfect length for layering around the lip of the vase.