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Category Archives: Floral Arranging

Force of Nature

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Bring a little Spring into your house while it’s still cold and snowy outside with early blooming flowers.  I tried my hand at forcing bulbs this winter and I must say that I was happy with the outcome.

These are Paperwhites that I picked up before Christmas.  Hyacinths, crocus, and any narcissi all work well for forcing in water.

To force them, put a layer of rocks in the bottom of vase.  This one was about 3 inches in diameter, but you can use any water tight container you’d like.  Make it clear because half the beauty is the rocks and water in the bottom.  The smaller the bulb, the smaller the rocks should be for stability.  Set the bulb on the rocks and fill in around the bulb with more rocks.  Be gentle.  You don’t want to drop the rocks into the vase and break it.  Fill the vase with water to about a 1/4 –inch up the side of the bulb.

Put the vase in a cool place that gets a full night of darkness.  Keep them from direct sunlight for a few weeks until you see roots starting to form.  Then move the vase to a sunny location.  Mine was a little slow in forming roots, so I moved it to a sunny window early and that got it going.  The bulb will bloom in about 4 – 6 weeks.  Once it starts to develop leaves, it grows very fast.  My bulb split into 4 stems, so I’m looking forward to continuous blooms for awhile.

These make great gifts for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.  Put 3 or 4 bulbs in a decorative glass bowl or cylinder shaped vase and tie a bow around the outside of the vase with wire-edged ribbon.

 Enjoy the beauty and fragrance!

 This is one I forced in soil.  It was very tiny, only about 3 inches tall and only lasted about a week.

Terrariums Part 2

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I told you in my Bring A Little Outside In article that I wanted to do a terrarium in a canning jar.  Well, here it is!  This one is a  moss terrarium.  That’s the only living plant I used.  I am lucky enough to have some moss growing in my backyard, so I dug up enough to put in the jar.

This is a Smooth Ball Jar from the craft store.  It doesn’t have the usual writing on the outside so you can clearly see what’s inside.  I made it the same way I made the other terrariums (see the article) – charcoal, stones, potting soil, moss, decorations.  In this case, I used 3 stones that matched the stones in the bottom and a plastic rabbit.  I put a thick layer of stones in the bottom because I wanted them to show.  Break up the moss into chunks to give it a more realistic outdoor look.  If too much condensation builds up in the jar, remove the cap.  I screwed the ring on, but left the seal off, so it looks like a jar, but gets some air to keep it from fogging up.

What kind of container can I find next?

Bring A Little Outside In

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The days are getting cooler and we are spending more time inside.  I love to be outdoors so I found a way to bring a little of the outdoors in.  I’ve started making terrariums!  Yes, that old craft is making a comeback.  Terrariums are inexpensive, easy, and like a breath of fresh air when you are feeling cooped up.

To make a terrarium, you need a glass container.  Use your imagination!  Anything will do.  I made one in a pitcher! I’m going to try a miniature terrarium in a mason jar.  I’ll post it when it’s finished.  The terrariums pictured in this article are much larger.  If you use very small containers, use miniature plants (you can buy them online) or just plain moss.

Gather some plants.  You can use house plants or plants you find growing outside.  Use plants that can tolerate the wet conditions.  Use plants of different textures, sizes, and colors.

Gather some moss, too.  You don’t need to dig it up with lots of the dirt still attached.  You only need the thin top moss layer.  If you can’t find moss outdoors, you can buy it online.  Don’t use craft moss.  It has dyes and chemicals that will kill the plants.

In your clean container, place a scant spoonful of charcoal.  This helps absorb any odors that may form from the damp dirt and moss.  Carefully place a layer of stone, gravel, or fish tank gravel in the bottom of the container.  You only need enough to create some drainage.  Then, place a layer of potting soil on top of the stones.

Now you are ready to plant.  Remove your plants from the pots if you bought them.  Place them in the terrarium where you’d like and move them until you get a placement that you like.  Remember, the plants will grow and fill out, so don’t clump them too close together.  And leave space for any decorations you’ll put in.  After you’ve got your plants where you want them, carefully fill in around the plants with more potting soil.  Only use enough to anchor the plants in place.  You don’t want to fill the jar with dirt – only an inch or two.

Then, tear the moss into shapes and pieces and place on top of the soil to fill in around the plants to the outside edge of the container wall.  You don’t need to put moss in between the plants.  The will fill in and hide the dirt.  Carefully, water your terrarium normally as you would with any houseplant.  Don’t over water.

Add decorations if you’d like.  You set the scene for your outdoor wonderland.  You can use miniature animals, birds, stone, etc..  What ever will go with your decor.  Use only items that can get wet.  Don’t put anything that will rot or get moldy in wet conditions.

Terrariums like indirect sunlight.  Keep it moist, but not soaked.  If you notice your terrarium getting dry to quickly, place a lid or piece of plastic wrap on the opening.  This will create its own atmosphere in the container.  It it’s getting too damp, take the cover off and let it evaporate a little.  Trim the plants as needed.

When the weather is getting gray and cold or snowy, you can look at your little reminder of nice days outdoors.

Pumpkin Topiary

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What’s better than something a little unexpected.  Here is an Autumn variation of a topiary.  The measurements of the supplies I used are in parenthesis.  You can adjust them to your needs.

Clay pot (2 ½-inches high, 3 ¼-inches diameter)

Styrofoam blocks

Wooden dowels (10-inches long, ¼-inch diameter)

Green floral tape

Craft moss

Ribbon (1 ¼-inch wide, about 2 feet long per bow)

Artificial pumpkins (2-inches high, 3 ¼-inches diameter)

Scissors

Tacky Glue

Cut the foam blocks to fit in the clay pot.  Glue these to the bottom of the pot being careful not to let any glue leak out of the drainage hole.  Wrap a dowel with floral tape and insert it into the foam block using a small amount of glue for security.  Carefully push the pumpkin onto the top of the dowel.  Start a small hole if needed and use a small amount of glue to secure it.  Tie the ribbon in a bow on the dowel just under the pumpkin.  Put some glue on top of the foam block and cover with the moss, so none of the foam shows.  Group these in odd numbers for display.  (see my article, Rules of Three)

Rules of Three

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I’ll share my (not so) secret tip on arranging, decorating, and placing just about anything in an eye-pleasing fashion…use odd numbers.  Simple as that!  And 3 is the best odd number to use.  When you are picking colors or decorating, pick a light, medium, and dark.  To mix prints when picking fabrics, pick a large print, medium print, and small print, in light, medium and dark shades.  If you are arranging flowers, several “3’s” apply: use large, medium, and small flowers, use dark, medium, and light colors, use 3 different textures such as spiky, fluffy, and cluster.  When you are arranging items for display, such as on a shelf, group them in odd numbers – 1 or 3 of an item work the best.  For example, group 3 frames and 1 decorative box.

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