Looking Good Mum(s)

I love flowers. I love seeing them. I love smelling them. I love receiving them. I love everything about them. But who doesn’t right? They are the finishing touch to any beautiful event and there is just something about a vase of flowers in a home that can brighten it right up.  To me, it is the perfect accessory.

For as long as I can remember, I have started every trip to the supermarket with a longing gaze at the flower display, eyeing the buckets and buckets of bright blooms. To me, they were always a “splurge” that wasn’t necessary. Sure they were beautiful, but other than sticking them in a vase and watching them die what was I going to do with them? I didn’t know how to style them, I certainly didn’t know how to care for them. Then, I became obsessed with weddings and I started working for a florist. I have since grown a great appreciation for the power of flowers. I have also learned that guess what, they aren’t that intimidating.

One of the other upsides to working in this environment is that I have begun to value the difference of truly quality blooms. I may sound like a flower snob, but there is a big difference between flowers you snag from the street vendor or your local grocery store and the ones you can get from a flower market. Some of the grocery stores in our area, such as Milam’s, Fresh Market or Whole Foods carry great product, but I don’t shop there.  I am a girl on a budget so Publix is where it’s at for me.

I have recently moved into a new apartment and decided it was time to add some life to the space (besides the breathing human I sleep next to every night). Off I headed to do my weekly grocery shopping and decided that this week it was worth the splurge. I wanted to make a few simple bouquets to place around the living area – nothing too big – but something easy to work with. Not wanting to go too out there, I also decided that a monotone, tight modern cluster was exactly up my alley. I ended up choosing some deep purple mums.

Purple Mums

These are easy to find and pretty easy to work with, plus, for a nice bonus, they are nearly impossible to kill and will last a long time. I may work for a florist, but floral designer I am not, so easy is my jam. Creating a small arrangement is super simple and I swear, anyone can do it. I started by pulling the flowers out of the bunch and separating the stems.

Purple mums 2

These mums also have numerous stems coming off of the main stem which can be a bit messy. When used in a vase, it basically translates to flowers going every which way. Again, I wanted something tight and compact, so I carefully trimmed off the extraneous stems so I just had the one or two longest and largest blooms at the top. I saved the smaller buds for later us. (In my laser focus I forgot to take pictures of the in between steps. I’m learning – next time I’ll get there)

Next, I had to select my vase. I have a few industrial/vintage style elements in my apartment, like my old wood palette coffee table and some iron bar stools, so I wanted something to go with that. For the vases, small mason jars were perfect. (Who doesn’t love a mason jar!) I filled them up with water and added the flower food from the wrapper for good measure. Any precaution to not kill these things is good for me.

Starting with the largest blooms it was as simple as just plopping them into the vase until I got a nice “fluffy” shape. I then took the loose buds and smaller stems I had clipped off earlier and filled in the gaps. Done and done.

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If the “plop them in” method is causing some struggle, a great trick is to take some scotch tape (or floral tape if you are a friend of the craft store) and tape a grid across the top of the container. By placing the stems in between the grid it helps to keep them in place. This is especially helpful for shallow containers or anything with a wide opening at the top.

I especially liked the contrast of the bright green stems visible against the deep purple of the blooms through the glass. The Mason logo adds a little fun twist as well. These arrangements weren’t anything extravagant (in fact my boss would probably shake her head at the use of bloom), but I love the simplicity and the colorful addition to my living room. I placed one on my coffee table and one on my bar. I did this after work one day so the setting sun was just coming through my windows. Cue crazy photo shoot:

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Something like this would be super simple and easy to create for a small dinner or cocktail party. Place them around your house or run a row of them down a dining room table. A series of vases like this could even make for a DIY rehearsal dinner decor. For me, they are the perfect compliment to appetizers at my next book club!

Any other tips or go to flowers you like to use around your house?

 

 

 

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