Jan 5, 2013

fresh flowers

psst! you can read about me deciding to join the january cure here!

i was very excited about one of this weekend's assignments for apartment therapy's january cure: buy flowers. 

i've always wanted to be the kind of person that brings home fresh flowers from the market, but i've never followed through. why?? it just always seemed like a waste of money when it came down to it -- buying stems that would be tossed in a few days time. i'd rather buy potted plants...that would hypothetically last under anyone else's care but mine.

but, after reading this snippet, i was inspired to go for it. even if i eventually decide it is a waste of money, at least i'll know.


wait, no, scratch that. first, i went to trader joe's. their flower section right at the entrance always cheers me and i thought for sure i'd find just what i was looking for. however, i didn't want to buy a ready-made bouquet...and they had only a small selection of stems. while i didn't swoon over any of the flowers, i did fall in love with some fresh eucalyptus branches -- they came home with me!

K even got in the spirit and placed some primrose in our cart:

the first actual florist i visited was kind of a letdown. the worker kept asking me what kind of vase i'd be putting my flowers in. she said the type of container -- short or tall, simple or ornate -- would determine what flower to choose that would complement it. 

although i understand her reasoning...i thought it was completely backward. i wanted to walk in to her shop and be inspired by the flowers. my plan was to buy whatever bloom struck my fancy and figure out the vase aspect when i got home.

so...she was kind of a buzzkill.

the next florist i went to is one i drive by several times a week -- their "fresh flowers" sign always tempts me. i was not disappointed. the woman that greeted me was happy and helpful...and not at all pushy or preachy.

these are the beauties I came home with:

buying -- or even just browsing! -- fresh flowers is beneficial for me because i want to finally learn the names of different blooms. i adore flowers, yet the only ones i can name are orchids and tulips. and cyclamen. and roses. 
   okay, that's really all i know.

today i discovered: although i love the delicate beauty of orchids and the proud look of tulips...i'm more drawn to simple, wildflower-like blooms instead of the showiness of something like lilies. 

i bought one stem of each of the following -- i didn't want to get overwhelmed on my first try!
ah, you had me at "lemon" -- what perfect, beautiful leaves!

my goal was to combine the dianthus, white button chrysanthemums, and salal from the florist with the eucalyptus from trader joe's to create a small burst of a bouquet. i didn't want anything structured or too planned out.

this is what i ended up with:

arranging flowers is a lot harder than it seems...but i think it looks decent for my first crack at it. i wish i would have left the chrysanthemum stems longer, so they could have poked up and out from the middle of the dianthus.
   maybe i should try trimming the dianthus shorter?

i love the alternating leaf pattern of the eucalyptus branches!

the non-flowering eucalyptus was definitely my favorite purchase today!
...and it went waaay further than i was expecting:
p.s. am i supposed to prune the eucalyptus leaves that fall below the water line??

head count: one laaarge bouquet and two smaller bunches of just eucalyptus branches, my cheerful arrangement of flowers, and the potted primrose K picked out.

all this cost me about $10. not bad! BUT $10 x 52 weeks...i don't think i'm quite yet willing to spend $520 a year on flowers. i'm not sure this will be a weekly splurge, but i do hope to buy fresh flowers on a regular basis now.

i do agree with maxwell in the above quote: even just this one tiny bouquet definitely adds beauty and personality and a great burst of color to our home.

unfortunately, the fun flower-buying portion of the weekend tasks is complete. now, i'm off to mop the floors.


* mari

psst! read about my next flower-buying experience here!


  1. Wow, so gorgeous! I always told myself the same thing that I would always have fresh flowers in the house. Of course, like you I could never convince myself they were worth the money BUT now that I see how aesthetically pleasing yours look I just may have to splurge on some every once in awhile!

  2. yes, you should! and really, just the act of browsing the flower shop was so uplifting to me.