Foraged Flowers

This spring has been quite a ride for me – after starting the year with some serious self doubt, I’ve felt lately like I’m starting to settle into myself a little more. Some dreams are starting to come into focus and I feel my confidence growing. I’m learning to be at peace with knowing life stretches out long and far ahead and there is a lot of beauty in small, present moments too.

My bouquets this spring are works in progress – better than some of my very first, and I’m sure not as lovely as future bouquets might be. But I made them from garden herbs, neighborhood trees, and railroad weeds. It feels good to remember the corners of my world that are in bloom, and gather the flowers together.

 

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I love foraging for flowers in the city – there are many lovelies growing in plain sight! While I grow a few flowers, my space is too small to grow many, and I often forage in weedier spots and parts for good filler and foliage type flowers. My general rule of thumb is it’s ok to forage sparingly from public parks, apartment complex landscaping, medians, and railroad trestles, while keeping in mind that 1) there’s no need to be greedy with quantity, so it’s best just to take a few from one place and 2) particularly showy flowers should be left where everyone can enjoy them.

With that, here’s my working foraged bouquet ‘recipe’ –

Gather

  • 3-4, 12-18-inch stems of 2-4 kinds of foliage – colorful branches, herb stems, dried grasses, bush branches, etc. I look for things that are nicely scented, interestingly shaped, and perhaps a nice color like purple or yellow streaked foliage.
  • 3-8, 12-18-inch stems of 2-4 kinds of filler – weedy flowers like false queen anne’s lace, small flowers like yarrow, or flowering fruit branches.
  • 3-5, 12-18-inch stems of blooms – garden grown flowers or spectacular tree flowers!

Make 

Note: This is a rough instruction, and there are many more excellent flower arranging

  • First, sort the stems into types. Cut them all to roughly the same length (does not need to be exactly the same, but trim stems that are excessively longer than the others).
  • In a vase, add about half the foliage, alternating types. Tuck in half the filler, again alternating types and turning the vase as you go so that all sides are addressed. Add half the blooms in places that accentuate their appearance. Repeat with the remaining stems.

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