Monday, October 8, 2007

Taking the Garden Indoors

is something that I enjoy doing. I'm nuts about flowers and plants and can never have enough of them around me. Not only do I want flowers in my garden, I also want them inside my home so that I can enjoy them 24/7.

One of the challenges a gardener faces, is having flowers in the garden all year round. I have upped the ante by planning to make bouquets from my own garden flowers all year round.

Of course, living where I do, it's not easy to have a bouquet of your own flowers during the winter months. But not impossible, if you are a bit flexible about the size of your bouquets.
Here's a very modest bouquet of Snowdrops and March Violets that I made in early February. Yes, it's tiny but the amount of pleasure I got out of it was immense.
See? Another compact and bijoux little bouquet in February.
Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to bouquets; flower, herbs, fruit and plant arrangements are great fun too and cheer up any room.
This is what I used in March to cheer up the kitchen windowsill. A few daffodils from the garden, a Cyclamen and some herbs that come in handy for cooking as well.
How about this fruit display, isn't it a sight for sore eyes and doesn't it make your mouth water as well? I love fruit, don't you? So don't limit yourself to flowers or plants, be creative and look at all kinds of things to use for decoration.
This nice little flower arrangement cheered up my living room in April, followed by, among others, these two in May.
Going out into the garden with my flower basket and secateurs, is one of the great joys of gardening for me. I love wandering around my garden, looking for flowers to cut for the vase.

I have big bunches of flowers from my own garden for about 8 months of the year, from March to October, and tiny little posies for the rest of the year. I prefer my homegrown and homemade bouquets to those from the shops as mine have more variety in the materials I use and, if at all possible, my bouquets are scented too, something that is hard to find in a shop bought bunch of flowers.
This is a shop bought bouquet that did have a scent as Hyacinths were used. But for me there are too many leaves (that are cheap) and not enough flowers (that are expensive). I prefer one of my little creations, like this one here.
I use lots of different materials but I also use all kinds of containers. Think outside the box and use whatever you can lay your hands on, like this little milk jug for instance. Cute isn't it? And those last few Sweet Peas of this year scented the whole room.
It isn't necessary to have big bunches of flowers all the time; you can create a lovely effect by making a few small posies and grouping them all together to maximize their impact like this
or this.
This is one of my most recent creations; it's made with roses, gaura, sedum and 4 different kinds of asters. October is the last month of the year that I can cut big bunches of flowers from my garden but nature is kind and gives us lots of other materials to work with in the coming months.
This little autumn display I made this weekend. It was very easy to make and except for the basket, everything else was for free. Here are the materials I used: walnuts, pine cones and acorns (collected on our walk in the forest last week, remember?), seed heads from a Clematis, leaves, a bunch of grapes, peppers and 1 pumpkin.

And last week I made a nice little wreath for my front door. I was pruning the 2 bay leaves in my kitchen garden and didn't know what to do with all those leaves when I'd finished pruning. Sure, I use a bay leaf or two for soups and stews, but what should I do with this vast amount of leaves? Well, I could use them for decoration and that's what I did.

Recently I'd bought a straw wreath for 65 cents and with it I wanted to make a simple but elegant autumn wreath, so this is what I did.
I used thin, green coloured metal wire to wrap around the wreath fixing the bay leaves to it. I made sure that every part of the straw wreath was covered by the leaves, like so.
To add a bit of colour I picked some faded Hydrangea flowers from my garden and fixed them to the wreath with the aid of my hot glue gun.
The only thing I had to do then, was adding a piece of string to hang up my wreath with. I used another natural material for that : raffia.
And here it is in all its glory, my homemade autumn wreath, costing 65 cents and 20 minutes of work. Now that's what I call cheap and cheerful, and it's so easy to make!

This is what the front entrance of my house looks like now. The bay leaves from the wreath echo those in the container. And waiting for me to come home is my feline friend Macavity. For me this spells a very warm welcome indeed.
copyright 2007: Y.E.W. Heuzen

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown,
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
Emily Dickinson, 'Autumn', 1924


Gadisa said...

wat ziet het er gezellig uit zeg!
en die krans ... prachtig!!
ik ga het zeker ook proberen ... iets met halloween dan :)

A wildlife gardener said...

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~Emma Goldman

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat. ~Beverly Nichols

'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth, "Lines Written in Early Spring," Lyrical Ballads, 1798

Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you. ~Edward Payson Rod

A few flower quotes for you, dear Yolanda Elizabet, for like your namesake, the sweet violet, your kind words certainly comforted me today.

We have both lost precious furry friends in our lives this year.

Julia said...

so nice to see that your enthusiasm for your garden spans the seasons! I tend to get very excited in spring, when the garden is fresh and new (and easy) and then my enthusiasm tends to fade with the blossoms. It is so wonderful that you love gardening in all seasons.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Wow! I stand awed by your talent & creativity. The pink/purple bouquet (with Cotinus? leaves) is outstanding & you're correct that it is superior to the store-bought 1. BTW I love the trug in the 1st photo.

jodi said...

Most excellent arrangements, especially those celebrating autumn's colour, Y-E! You've got me inspired now to wander outside (with a jacket on!) and see what bounty I might find around our property. Thanks as always for inspiring--and give MacAvity a pat from me. He looks so happy!

Vanillalotus said...

I love you flower arrangements. I wish I had a backyard garden that I could grow many flowers and plants so I could make flower vases and wreaths. Your wreath is beautiful!!!! I love your you little flower vases also they are so cute and simple.

Birgit said...

Oh Yolanda, so schöne Blumen-Arrangements aus Deinem Garten. Sehr kreativ die verschiedensten Gefäße, die Du dafür benutzt. Wunderschön das herbstliche Arrangement im Korb und der Hortensienkranz. Da ich noch so viele Blüten habe, werde ich versuchen, ihn nach zu basteln. Danke für die schönen Fotos.
LG Birgit

marl1 said...

Hier Fleur ik helemaal van Op...;-)
Heerlijk al dat gepluk uit eigen tuin en ik heb ook al van alles gemaakt van het laurierblad, maar nog nooit een krans...bedankt voor de tip!
(misschien komt de buurkat -een rode- dan ook even voor de deur zitten, zou mooi zijn....:)

guild_rez said...

Hello Yolanda,
wonderful creations, besides the cats we have one more thing in common, decorating with flowers.
It is easy and fun to do..
Yes, in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in September same day as Columbus Day in the US. But their Thanksgiving Holiday is one month later in November.
Today it is unusally warm +30C and we can enjoy dinner in the garden..
cheers Gisela

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

What a lovely scrapbook of the changing seasons in your garden. I just love those dainty snowdrops in their diminutive vase. Once again you show us that beauty is everywhere if we take a moment to look for it.

Layanee said...

YE: A lovely compilation of beautiful posies and your front door looks so inviting! I love the petals on the walkway and the cat on the step. I guess I need to get busy!

Carol said...

You continue to taunt me with that beautiful wooden trug. There is something new in it every day as you harvest vegetables, pick flowers and just enjoy the bounty of your garden.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Betty said...

Each bouquet is unique and beautiful...My Mother always had fresh flowers in our home that she grew in her garden....I enjoy them also.....

Thank you for visiting with, the pumpkin container on the table is a pitcher or as my Brit friends say, 'jug' not a teapot.....Betty

LostRoses said...

I swear they could make a whole gardening magazine out of your garden and ideas! I love, love that wreath and all your arrangements, large and small. If I came to your front door, I'd have to pull out my camera before I knocked!

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

What a talent you have. You have so much fun creating these beautiful arrangements from you garden and it shows. I really enjoyed seeing all you creations. Just gorgeous.

Richtsje said...

Wat een prachtige boeketten laat je zien, hier en daar komt de geur bijna door het scherm van de laptop ;-)
Ik doe dat juist erg weinig, vind het zo zonde voor de planten in de tuin als ik er in ga knippen. Maar eerlijk is eerlijk, ik heb ook minder planten en zeker ook weinig pluk-goed. Dus koop ik wel eens, maar wat je zegt, dan is er niet de voldoening...

Bedankt voor het mogen meegenieten!

Catherine said...

Very pretty pictures, love them all !

Brimstone said...

Dit zijn geen boeketten,
maar kunstwerkjes!

Het herfstmandje is echt

Nicole said...

You are a woman of never ending resources! All very lovely,and creative.
I also love to pick bouquets ( or even a sprig) of highly scented flowers, such as cestrum nocturnum or orange Jessamine, and have it scent my bedroom all day and night.

Bert said...

Hi Yolanda,

Very nice flowe arrangements. You are a true magician with plants and flowers. Good that you show that with simple atributes, one can make very pretty flower arrangements.
It will bring a nice atmosphere in the house.



Green thumb said...

Lovely flower arrangements, dear Yolanda! The wreath looks great too. I never knew you had Bay leaves growing in your garden. They form an integral part of north Indian cuisine and the aroma they impart to the dish is heavenly...but to use them in home decor...well,that's new to me!!

Patricia van Hardeveld said...

Hallo Yolanda,
Eindelijk weer even tijd om jou blogjes te lezen, het blijft leuk.Jammer dat ik geen grote tuin heeft.
Ooit heb ik ook een krans gemaakt, maar dan van pinda's voor de vogeltjes in de winter. Misschien ook een ideetje voor je blog.
Zo te zien is Macevity nog in de buurt.
Groetjes Patricia

Poppins said...

Oh, so many lovely photos! Amazing pictures with beautiful arrangements. The little milk jug (the cow) was very sweet and unusual to have flowers in!

karin a said...

Thank you for all these beautiful and inspiring pics! I love to take the garden inside aswell and it's so much fun doing arrangements! Following the garden season from early spring bulbs to late flowers and vegetables is also nice. :)

Was it possible for you to understand the recipe? I really do like to do chicken (or tofu) with a spicy marinade and vegetables and fruits. The combination of both apples and pears is unusual but good! :)

shirl said...

Hi again, Yolanda

You really have an artist's eye! I have often wondered if you perhaps keep a sketchbook too? :-D

Bob said...

Really enjoyed you pictures. Having been a Florist for 25 years I always appreciate someone who brings in some of those beautiful flowers inside and enjoys them.

I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog so much that I wanted to put you on my link list. I hope you don't mind.
All the best, BOB

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss once more!

@ Gadisa: leuk idee zo'n halloween krans!

@ WG: thank you for the lovely quotes. It's hard losing our beloved pets. Sadly we both know how that feels.

@ Julia: I try to make my garden interesting all year round. Not so easy to do as we really have an autumn and winter season over here when many plants die down and very little flowers.

@ MMD: Thanks for the compliments. I was rather pleased the way that bouquet with cotinus leaves turned out. ;-) So far, everybody loves that trug. LOL

@ Jodi: excellent! I love inspiring people. ;-) I'm curious to see what lovely autumn arrangement(s) you come up with!
Mac got his pat from you and sends happy purrrrrrs back to you!

@ Vanillalotus: the wreath is so simple to make and you could use all kinds of evergreen leaves and flowers, seed heads, fruit etc. to make your own. Even stuff bought at the florists or supermarket. ;-)

@ Birgit: thanks, glad you like it and yes, go make something nice of your own. The garden has still a lot to offer for decoration.

@ Marl1: ik had geen idee wat ik met al dat laurierblad moest doen. Ik kook graag maar zo'n grote hoeveelheid laurier gebruik ik niet. Had net een stro-krans gekocht dus dat werd het toen. Tja, de foto wordt altijd extra mooi als er een katje op staat, dus hopelijk wil je buurkat zo vriendelijk zijn. ;-)

@ Gisela: yes, like you, I love decorating with flowers, fruits, leaves, seed heads ect.
Yesterday I had lunch in the garden as the sun had come out after a rather foggy start of the day. It's still mild here so I'm enjoying it while I can.

@ MMS: glad you liked the little snowdrops in their mini vase. By taking a few of them inside I was able to appreciate their delicate beauty far more than if I had left them outside where it was cold and nasty. I prefer admiring them where it's nice and cosy. ;-)

@ Layanee: Those petals are from my scented climbing rose Madame Alfred Carriere. I love being showered by her petals, another bonus of this wonderful rose. She's been flowering for 6 months now. Macavity was kind enough to grace my step with his presence.

@ Carol: poor Carol! Never fear, one day you will find the trug (or set of trugs like mine) of your May Dreams. ;-) And yes, those trugs come in very handy.

@ Betty: fresh flowers from your garden bring joy, don't you think? I also make little posies and bouquets for friends and family members and I love seeing their eyes lit up when I present them with a nice bunch of flowers from my garden. It's the little things in life that can bring so much happiness.

So it's a pitcher/jug. Hmmm, now my hands are itching to put a nice autumn arrangement in it. ;-)

@ LostRoses: that is what Marl1 is always saying too. LOL I showed the pics of a few of my arrangements to let others know how easy it is to make something pretty to enjoy inside. And what fun it is, making them.

Libbys Blog said...

You are so clever, I have an enormous baytree in my back garden which gets pruned every year! I give away bayleaves left, right and centre, people run and hide from me at this time of year, so I think I will do as you have done, and if its successful I will post on my blog!
Thank you!

Marian said...

Nou, dat zou ik ook wel willen doen, de bloemetjes binnen zetten, maar het stelletje tuig hier laat er niet veel van heel, nog een beetje te jong, misschien als ze wat ouder zijn dat ik weer eens een poging waag, nu valt er weinig eer aan te behalen.
Lekker weer de houtkachel aan 's avonds, dat vinden onze katjes ook zo heerlijk (zie die zijn er inmiddels al weer helemaal aan verslaafd!

groeten, Marian

SchneiderHein said...

Yolanda, Du hast eine herrliche Auswahl für Blumensträuße in Deinem Garten. Kein Wunder, dass Du bei der Viefalt immer neue Arrangements in Deinen Räumen zaubern kannst!
Ich hingegen freue mich so sehr über jede Blüte, die ich in unserem Garten entdecke, dass nur ganz selten ein im Versteck blühendes Pflänzchen für die Vase geschnitten wird. Wäre unser Garten blühfreudiger, hätten Maus & Allegra bestimmt viel Spaß die Blumen von der Vase zu tennen...

Kerri said...

How nice of you to pop in for a visit Yolanda Elizabet, and thanks for my daughter's b'day wishes and the kind words.
This post has given me some wonderful suggestions for flower arrangements, and I love your little wreath too. Thank you for sharing your creative ideas.
I love to make tiny arrangements....for instance, just one fallen tuberous begonia flower. I don't like to waste even the fallen flowers :)
We have been discovering "new" kittens lately (approx. 5 weeks old). Our count is at 8 now (2 litters). They are so beautiful!
It seems we share a love of cats :)

OldRoses said...

I need to grow more of each kind of flowers in my gardens so that I can bring some in the house. If I were to harvest flowers for indoor bouquets as I plant now, I would have no flowers left outdoors. I love the cow pitcher! What a great idea to use it as a vase.

Pam/Digging said...

Your bouquets are sweet, and your entry is delightful, very homey. The petals on the path make it look as if a wedding party has just departed.

Annie in Austin said...

This is such a fun post - combining all the elements we've come to count on from Yolanda Elizabet - gardening, art and a celebration of the bounty of the home grounds.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

ina peppels said...

mooi logje! ,je brengt me op ideen vooral met het meisjesbeeld dat vind ik een mooi plaatje ,mooie krans ook !!!gr ina

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Yolanda Elizabet, How wonderfully creative you are with your floral and fruit decorations and what a good eye for selecting colours. This is certainly a fitting post for this time of year, showing what beauty you have ‘harvested’ from your garden throughout the year. Inspirational!!!!
Now where are my secateurs???? Marion

KC MO Garden Guy said...

You are the type of person I strive to be!! So creative and articulate, your home and garden looks so wonderful. Love you arrangements and sometimes small is better!! Thanks for sharing!!

Curtis said...

You are quite the artist. Your arrangements are so nicely paired and put together.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Oh, I like this post! I'm so glad you put some your arrangements together in one post. I was just reading a book today on cutting gardens and your post is the perfect companion to it.

Julia said...

Grey Cat Blog Russian Blue?

Naturegirl said...

Magnifique! Wonderful!
Thank you for posting and teaching us how to make easy displays! hugs NG

~Becky said...

i love the look of your front door area. Wow, so pretty.

lisa said...

I really enjoy your creative ideas! Your bouquet puts the store-bought one to shame....thanks for sharing!

Connie said...

I loved this post...very inspiring! I have a bit of catching up to do on your blog...always an enjoyable experience. :-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda, your tiny bouquet reminds me that I can bring in some snowdrops now. They are growing in the front garden where I can only see them if I walk around to do so. Two things I must rememdy.

I need to go bring some blooms in before the horrid cold that is to come this weekend and plant some around back where I will be able to see them out the back window next year.