How to Forage a Backyard Flower Bouquet

September 8, 2017

One of my favorite thing about the garden is being able to enjoy the blooms to create a flower bouquet. I grow an assortment of plants during the spring, summer and fall and about once a week early in the morning, I go out into the garden and forage. Sometimes, I am sort of in-between blooms and other times the bouquets seem to be bursting with all flowers.  I like to take advantage of both the blooms and foliage in the garden. None of them are off-limits and somehow, even when things aren’t necessarily blooming, they still find their way into my impromptu bouquets. 

flower bouquet

I always create my flower bouquets in the morning. This is when the flowers are cool and refreshed. They are full of water and life and just waiting to greet the day and me!  I take with me my favorite pair of garden clippers and get to work.  I always start with flowers first, as they are the stars of my bouquets.  I select blooms that are in all stages, from buds to full blooms. This helps to extend the life of bouquet once inside.

I also pay attention to my color palette. This bouquet focused on pastels. I like to think of the color wheel. What colors are complimentary, adjacent and opposite? Black-eyed Susans are also in bloom but they didn’t fit this particular bouquet’s look, so I left them out of this one.  I wanted this bouquet to evoke feelings of a farmhouse country garden. Even though Black-eyed Susans are a country garden type of flower, I felt that their presence here would be too sharp, harsh, and draw attention away from the delicate and soft look of this flower bouquet.


The bouquets I create tend to change seasonally. The dahlias are putting on a show right now, so of course, they are the focus. I selected a beautiful assortment this year. I was so sad to have to leave behind the dahlias at the old house. When we moved they were in full bloom. The new owner loved them and my gardens. I left them for her, knowing that I could grow more, but I digress…..

Once I select for blooms that are the stars of the bouquet, I then think about other smaller blooms- lovely but not “stars of the show”- that can be used for filler such as this Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ or other dramatic interest such as these lavender ‘Phenomenal’ blooms that burst from the top adding height and vertical interest.

Lastly, I think of pretty leaves. Have I mentioned how much I adore foliage just as much as I love the flowers? When gardening I am always looking for plantings with interesting foliage. From the colors, shapes of the leaves to the way the leaves form on the stems. Even though the St. John’s wort (Hypericum ‘Hidcote’) is past bloom,  I adore adding the pretty light green leaves with pink stems and opposite leaves to my flower bouquet. I also am a huge fan of Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina). Its leaves are soft, fuzzy textured and the prettiest silvery blue color.

As I select all of the cuttings for a flower bouquet, I carry them upside down. This keeps the fluid in the stems verses having it drip out the clipped stems. I fill a vase with fresh water cool water. I usually pick a simple vase. In this case it was an antique blue mason jar that I had in the shed begging to be filled. As a rule, I always keep my vase simple. This way, it compliments the flower bouquet instead of being a distraction to the eye.

Learn more about growing and caring for dahlias in the garden.



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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.