Spring Bouquet

A display of twigs, ferns, and flowering bulbs: Three simple ingredients that add up to a breath of fresh air in a spring vase.

Go to the next slide for Step One.

Spring Bouquet: Step One

Here's how I created this bouquet:

Step one: Select a vase with relatively straight sides. This green glass vase measures 8-inches tall x 6-1/2-inches wide. Begin with branches. These become the framework to support all the other ingredients. I've used black pussy willow (Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys'), arranged so the stems tilt outward and overlap one another at the base

Spring Bouquet: Step Two

Add the maidenhair fern fronds, tucking their black stems in between the crossed willow twigs. 

Spring Bouquet: Step Three

Insert the daffodils, cut to a length so their trumpet-shaped blooms emerge just above the twig-and-frond composition.

Spring Bouquet: Final

Together, this trio announces: Spring is (almost) here!

Bouquet of Lilies

I love old-fashioned metal or glass flower frogs. These floral design accessories offer today's flower-lovers an eco-friendly way to create bouquets - without using florists' foam, which is damaging to the earth and harmful to handle.

Bouquet of Lilies: Step One

Place vintage metal frog in bottom of vase. This frog measures 2-3/4-inch tall x 5-1/4-inch in diameter. The container is a vintage English cachepot, 9-inches tall x 9-inches in diameter.

Bouquet of Lilies: Step Two

Fill the vase with stems of lily-of-the-valley shrub (Pieris japonica), to fill the opening of the vase - let the drooping clusters of flowers cascade over the rim.

Summer Bouquet: Step Three

Insert 7 stems of Asiatic lilies. These flowers will stay upright and perfectly positioned, stabilized by the flower frog and the pieris foliage.

Farmer's Market Flowers for a Summer Bouquet

These are the freshest, most lovingly-grown summer flowers - straight from Choice Bulb Co., Jan Roozen's farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington. I met Jan at the farmers' market and brought these great ingredients home for a bouquet.

Summer Bouquet: Step One

I chose a green etched-glass vase, 8-inches tall by 5-1/2-inches diameter. Then I added several goldenrod stems.

Summer Bouquet: Step Two

Next, I clustered stems of Brodiaea coronaria, which has funnel-shaped, dark blue-purple flowers.

Summer Bouquet: Step Two

Detail of Brodiaea coronaria.

Summer Bouquet: Step Three

Then, I inserted 5 white dahlias, their stems shortened so they nestle between the other ingredients.

Summer Bouquet: Step Four

Add taller elements, including foxtail lilies (Eremurus xisabellinus), allowing them to emerge from the lower ingredients for drama.

Summer Bouquet: Step Five

Add ornamental allium (Allium 'Globe Master'). Their strong orb shapes play nicely with the linear foxtail lilies.

Summer Bouquet: Final

Insert some smaller drumstick alliums (Allium sphaerocephalon) to echo the color and textures of other ingredients.

Take a look at Debra’s video tutorial on eco-floral design techniques or visit her website for more tips.

You are here

How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets

Make pretty, rustic bouquets with flowers from your yard or the famers market

Written by Debra Prinzing
Slide 1 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 2 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 3 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 4 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 5 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 6 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 7 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 8 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 9 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 10 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 11 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 12 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 13 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 14 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 15 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 16 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 17 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 18 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
Slide 19 Of How-To: Slow Flowers Bouquets
  • Prev
  • Next
  • 1 of 20
Courtesy of Debra Prinzing

Slow Flowers

One of the joys of gardening is to step out my back door and clip a few sprigs to bring inside. The day's prettiest blooms and just-unfurled leaves – gathered simply into a bunch and displayed in a jar of water – provide everything I need to start the day. The tiny arrangement graces my kitchen counter or brightens a spot by the keyboard, connecting me with the natural world even when I'm stuck indoors, away from my beloved garden.

Is this floral design? I guess it is, but like many avid gardeners, I certainly never considered myself a florist. When I began a weekly flower arranging ritual, though, I discovered that there is great satisfaction in choosing blooms, foliage and other botanical elements – and then assembling them into a beautiful composition in just the right vase.

As each season unfolded, so, too, did my passion for floral design. My experiment turned into Slow Flowers, a season-by-season, week-by-week book of ideas and inspiration for gardeners and DIY floral designers. My goal was to use only seasonal ingredients from my personal garden or blooms grown by local cut flower farms.

A vase can be a little garden, its contents gathered and arranged to please the eye. So give it a try. Design a bouquet. Channel your inner floral designer and begin your own year with slow flowers.

Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm (St. Lynn’s Press).
Written and photographed by Debra Prinzing

St. Lynn's Press, 2013
144 pages, hardcover

Photography: courtesy of Debra Prinzing


Loading comments...