Living on a budget for the past few months has been tough at times and I realize that a key element in making budget living more tolerable is feeling like I’m not being deprived. Turns out that having fresh-cut flowers in the house really makes me feel like I’m not being deprived, especially since even before we started our budget I rarely bought (or even cut from the yard) flowers for the house. Last week I clipped some daffodils to make a bouquet to bring inside. I enjoyed them so much that when it was time to send them to the compost bin, I thought it would be nice to replace them with another bouquet. I didn’t want daffodils again, although I certainly could have cut more since we have lots of them still blooming, so I started searching the yard for other flowers to clip. That’s when I decided to issue a challenge to myself (and anyone else who has a yard and would like to join me): create a bouquet each week from plants growing in the yard.
It didn’t take long to decide what I’d make a bouquet of this weekend. We have three camellia bushes that are currently in bloom and they’re gorgeous (sadly, I don’t know the full botanical name of any of them). My mother-in-law gave us one of the camellias in 2006. I’d planted it in the front yard and it clearly wasn’t particularly happy there. It never bloomed and each year a little bit more of it died away. So last January (’09) my mom and I dug it up and replanted it in the backyard which gets morning sun only. It seemed happier almost immediately. And now, for the first time, it’s blooming.
I couldn’t bear to cut off any of the blooms on this little camellia, but as I mentioned, we have two other and much larger camellias that are currently blooming. So I decided to make two bouquets. For the first, I filled a large, clear bowl with water and just lay the camellia flowers to float on top of the water:
I’ve put it as a centerpiece on our dining table and it looks great.
For the second bouquet, I just clipped about five flowers, wrapped a twist-tie around them, and put them in this lovely blue vase (actually the “vase” is really a tea candle holder, but since lighting candles with Charlie in the house is probably a laughably dangerous prospect, it works far better as a vase for us):
I adore this bouquet. It’s so simple and fun, and the pink and blue look fantastic together. I’ve put the bouquet in the kitchen and it makes my kind of ugly kitchen seem a little bit elegant. I can’t believe I’ve lived in this house with these camellias for five years and it’s never occurred to me to clip a few flowers to make bouquets.
So there you have it — two camellia bouquets to start off the challenge of creating a free bouquet each week from plants I’m growing in the yard. I promise to post photos of the weekly bouquets. Are any of you readers up for joining me in the challenge of creating your own yard bouquets? I doubt you’ll be disappointed.