Jam jar bouquets

A bouquet of white clover.  Not terribly long-lived as a cut flower, but free and lightly fragrant.

Cut flowers on the table make even the rudest meal feel like a special occasion. (Mac and cheese out of a box suddenly seems more whimsical than dire when you’re face-to-face with cheerful sweet peas.) Proper floral arrangements, from a florist, are shockingly expensive these days; and the flowers in the cooler case at the grocery store, in their cellophane cones, are not priced for everyday use, either. What grows in your yard and along the side of the road, however, is free.

A bouquet of mallow and black medic, both of which grow as weeds on the edges of our property.
Jam usually comes in pint and half pint jars, so flowers should be sized appropriately. This is a rustic tradition so I prefer to use species that are native (or naturalized to) roadsides, hedgerows, and granny-style gardens (in other words: weeds). But there’s no reason that you can’t use intentionally grown flowers from your own beds. You can mix and match if you come up short but jam jars usually display a stout handful of a single variety. Ideal flowers for this purpose include:
alliums (ornamental varieties)
amaranth
anemone
asters
astrantia
bachelor’s buttons
bleeding heart
calendula
chives
chrysanthemum
clover (white and red)
columbine
coneflower (echinacea)
coreopsis
cosmos
daisies
dianthus
echinops
eryngium
hellebores
lady’s mantle
lavender
lily of the valley
marigolds
monarda (bee balm)
nicotiana
pansies & violas
penstemon
ranunculus
roses (small-flowered varieties)
rudbeckia
salvia
scabiosa
snapdragons
statice
sweet peas
verbena
yarrow
zinnias
Just about anything that grows from a bulb (crocuses, crocosmia, daffodils, grape muscari, irises, tulips, snowdrops . . .)
Larger flowers, with which you can make a single-blossom “bouquets”:
bells of Ireland
dahlia
decorative kale
delphinium
hydrangea
large rose
larkspur
lilac
oriental poppies
peony
Queen Anne’s lace
sunflowers
Berries:
beautyberry
holly berries
rose hips
snowberries
st. john’s wort (we had these in our wedding)
Foliage:
almost any kind of fern
hosta
ivy
salal
Be sure to experiment! I have made a number of successful, attractive arrangements out of flowers I snipped off of plants I had pulled and tossed in the compost. Weeds are free so if the arrangement wilts after half an hour there’s no harm done.
Now that I think I have the logistics of vegetable gardening mostly figured out I am spending a little more time on my ornamental garden. With the help of a handy Martha Stewart book I snagged at the thrift store (The Best of Martha Stewart Living: Arranging Flowers) I’m working on a plan that will allow me to have cut flowers year round from plants I can grow very cheaply from seed. When (read: if) I finish it I will share it here.
– Amanda
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s