01 of 07
Capture the Best of the Summer Garden
In the dog days of summer, the well-tended flower garden overflows with blooms that make DIY floral arrangements easy. Those who grow trending white flower gardens can put together a luxurious bouquet that includes cutting garden favorites like dahlias, zinnias, hydrangeas, and bells of Ireland in an afternoon.
The home-grown flower arrangement starts with proper harvest techniques. The best time to harvest the flowers is early in the morning before the sun's harsh rays strive to strip... moisture from your fresh blooms. Use your sharpest garden clippers: crushing the stems with dull blades will prevent water uptake and shorten the life of your arrangement.
Make generous cuts; in other words, take more stem than you probably need. You can always remove excess stem, but to add length to short stems you must wire them to floral picks, which is laborious and adds expense.
Carry a bucket of water with you and plunge the stems immediately into the water. No floral preservative is needed at this point. If you have time, you can take the extra step of conditioning your cut flowers.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
02 of 07
Add Foliage Accents
Have your vase of choice at the ready when you've gathered your garden flowers. A galvanized zinc container with handles lends a rustic French appeal, and holds a large amount of plant material and water without toppling over.
Using foliage as your arrangement base is an important step overlooked by some beginners. Foliage adds necessary texture and a natural green foil that helps blooms pop. Foliage also provides bulk, and helps you to fill up that vase without cutting down every last... flower in an attempt to fatten up the arrangement.
Sources for foliage can include trees and shrubs that don't mind sacrificing a few branches, and may even need some maintenance pruning. Include a variety of leaf shapes like lobed, round, compound or heart-shaped leaves. Even weedy material can provide interesting cuts for the vase, especially those that have gone to seed, so check nearby fields or vacant lots for greens.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
In addition to the calming green tints added by foliage, you can add texture with green flowers. Green amaranth is so easy to grow, and as a bonus both the leaves and seeds are edible. 'Green Thumb' is a compact variety that doesn't exceed three feet in smaller gardens, while the heirloom 'Love-Lies-Bleeding' grows long tassels that look stunning in bouquets. Amaranth reseeds vigorously in the garden, something to look forward to or to guard against, depending on your... affinity for the heat-loving plant.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
More Green Blooms
The apple green calyxes of bells of Ireland provide a final oomph of volume before you begin to add your white flowers. These flowers grow best in areas with mild summers, so if you haven't had luck with the cool weather annuals, you can substitute other green summer flowers like 'Green Jewel' coneflower, 'Envy' zinnia, or 'Green Star' gladiolus.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Choose White Flowers
It's time to insert the divas of the arrangement, the large white flowers. Both dinnerplate and ball dahlias shine in this bouquet. Buy tubers of 'Snowbound' or 'Mike's Dinnerplate' for your large dahlias. 'Tiny Treasure' and 'White Nettie' are two ball types that have small tubers, but won't disappoint in the production of many blooms with strong stems.
As you add flowers and stems, the plant material should stay in place with the support of... neighboring stems. However, if you have a top-heavy bloom that continues to flop and just won't cooperate, hold it in place with a grid of clear floral tape. You may also insert a wire floral frog into the vase to organize stems.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
06 of 07
Customize your floral arrangement with other white blooms at their peak in the garden. A couple of stems of hydrangea will close any gaps in the arrangement. A gathering of cosmos lends an airy feel with daisy-like flowers and ferny foliage. If the all-white theme doesn't look as jazzy as you had hoped, change it up with a few stems of your favorite red, yellow, or blue flower.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
07 of 07
Make it Last
Change the water daily in your arrangement to inhibit bacterial growth. Extend your bouquet by ten days or more by removing dead flowers each day, and replacing with a fresh stem from your garden. An arrangement like this can easily cost upwards of $75 at the florist, but your green thumb yielded significant savings and the pride of displaying the fruits of your labor.