It's finally the time of year when the fear of frost is over and we all rush to the garden center to purchase all the blooming plants we want to put in our flower gardens and various and sundry pots here and there. Do you spend countless hours planting, weeding and watering? How much do you really enjoy all this hard work? I find there is something so calming about getting your hands dirty, digging and planting. It is a very rewarding job to watch things grow and blossom, nurturing and fertilizing, turning your yard into a garden Monet would want to paint.
At our previous home, I had worked for years creating my secret garden, a place I truly loved. Since our move a few months ago, I find that I am basically starting over. I have done some planting of blooming things, done a vignette or two on our deck, planted our vegetable and herb garden. But gardens take time and thought, many years of planning and planting. It is somewhat like raising a family and it takes a lot of hard work.
To me, true luxury would be to have fresh flowers in our home every day, but that takes a lot of disposable income. Since we have a yard full of blooming flowers, why not take advantage of that and bring them into the house to enjoy? Don't just let them sit in the yard for you to look at from time to time. It's like saving the silver for company only, or the good china. Bring flowers inside for everyone to enjoy. Flowers bring so much color and texture to an interior. Their fragrance cannot be copied by any scented candle or air freshener. Whether you place them in a simple jelly glass or make an elegant arrangement, there can never be too many fresh flowers in your house.
This morning I went out and cut a couple of magnolia blossoms from the magnificent tree in our yard. The creamy, waxy flowers have a heady scent that is wonderful inside. I used my big glass salad bowl, put some black river rocks in the bottom, filled it with water and floated two of the beautiful blossoms with some leaves attached on the water. Stunning. Fragrant. Organic. Beautiful.
I keep glass cylinder vases in several sizes to use for flower arrangements. I have found a couple of great places to buy them for cheap! TJ Maxx usually has cylinder vases for $3.99 up to $6.99 depending on size. Old Time Pottery is another place to purchase really reasonable vases. The hobby stores and JoAnn's charge $20.00 to $40.00 for the very same thing. I check out TJ Maxx every time I go just to see what interests me. It is truly an excellent place for decorative items at a reasonable price. If you need things in quantity, Old Time Pottery is the place to go, since TJ Maxx may have only a few of each item. Dollar tree will order vases or rocks in quantity for you. You can have them shipped to the store for pick-up saving shipping costs as vases and rocks are heavy. Another good place to check is Gordman's if you have one near you. They usually have a great clearance section. I have purchased vases for as little as a dollar there. And, don't forget Big Lots as a great resource for many decorative things.
If you have a wedding reception in your future, a shower, or even a dinner party, consider some of these ideas to help ease the pain in your pocket book. Magnolia leaves are beautiful all year round, green and shiny. You can cut branches and lay them in the center of the table, staggering floating candles among the branches, or remove leaves and lay them around your vases. Dollar Tree has black river rock, multi-colored brown river rock, clear glass marbles, or even beautiful sea glass in blue, green or tan for only $1.00 per bag. One bag per vase should work. You can use these with fresh or artificial flowers. Or, Pier 1 has tea lights in clear plastic cups which will float. You get 30 in a package for $6.00, cheaper than WalMart, and they are unscented. Using small cube vases from Dollar Tree with a little water in them, or taller cylinder vases from Dollar Tree, you can have really inexpensive floating candles for centerpieces. Dollar Tree also has packages of sea shells for $1.00 which can go in the bottom of a vase, or use rocks of your choice, add water and floating tea lights. Beautiful, simple and inexpensive. You would spend less than $3.00 per centerpiece.
In the picture above, I have used two small tea light holders from The Dollar Tree, one on each side of the centerpiece. I buy bags of tea lights at Big Lots for $5.00 that contain 144 tea lights, or one gross. You can do a lot of centerpieces for $5.00 worth of tea lights and dollar candleholders.
Do you have hydrangea bushes in your yard or access to them? Why pay a florist or wholesale club $10.00 per bloom, when you can cut all you want from your own yard? Just have buckets of water ready to put the blooms in as soon as you cut them. Hydrangea comes from the word hydra meaning water and they will wilt almost immediately if not placed in water. You can float them in bowls or place a few blooms in vases for lovely, inexpensive centerpieces. Hyrdrangeas come in many color varieties and are very showy on a table. There are lots of options in the summer.
Don't leave all the beautiful flowers you work so hard to grow on the outside. Bring them in. Enjoy their beauty and fragrance while you can! Wish you could smell these magnolias. Simply amazing.
Things to Remember:
Love is that which is without condition, it requires nothing in order to be expressed. It asks nothing in return. And it is free. Love is that which is free, for freedom is the essence of what God is, and love is God, expressed. Neale Donald Walsch