Make a Festive Summer Bouquet

The best part about growing flowers in the garden is cutting blossoms for bouquets in the house. Whether you grow roses, sunflowers, lavender or mums, there are always ways to bring the beauty of your garden inside.

Since my dahlias have been growing like gangbusters, I’ve been clipping stems whenever I get a chance. I also have roses that were here when we moved in (that I nearly cut down), mums that are blooming even though it’s not fall and Minoan Lace that reseeded from last year and has taken over a corner of my front garden.


Here’s a bouquet I made recently with dahlias, roses, Minoan lace and lavender. I reused a glass apple juice container I had saved.



Here are some roses I clipped from a wild shrub outside of my office window.



This one includes a lily, dahlias, poppies, Minoan lace, broccoli flowers and sprigs from my lemon tree in a teapot with bicycles on it.


To make flowers last, I use this recipe, that I got from the book Petal & Twig, and adjust it to adapt to the size of the container:

1 chopped up non-coated aspirin

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

3 cups water

Poppies in the Garden

red poppy 3_smaller

Last fall, I ordered a big ol’ packet of poppy seeds and spread them liberally in the front of the house. I also ordered a few packets of specialty poppies in pinks and reds and threw them around the garden. I also included orange California poppies in the mix. The only poppies that came up were the orange ones I threw in the garden as an afterthought. Figures.

pink poppy bee 4-smaller

A bee gathers pollen in a pink poppy

Since the poppies didn’t grow in the front this spring, save for one lone orange poppy by the fence, I purchased some starts when the local community college had a plant sale and planted them in my newly created front garden. They’re growing beautifully and enticing bees and ladybugs into the garden.


poppy and ladybug2_smaller

A ladybug chills out on the petal of an orange poppy.

This fall, I’ll order another large packet of poppy seeds and spread them liberally in the garden. Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Maybe I’m insane… or maybe I’m just a gardener.