Just in time for Mother's Day. I'd love to share with you a few tips on making the perfect bunch of wildflowers for that special person in your life.
You’re at the farmer's markets.
Bikes of varying colours and degrees of rust are littered on the outskirts of the gates.
There are elegant girls effortlessly roaming around in pale yellow linen sundresses and glasses that are too big for their faces, holding woven baskets filled with organic mangoes and crispy kale leaves. Every stall has freshly-picked daffodils and orchids, giving off the freshest of aroma’s and a delightful sense of calm. You're having the perfect day, so much so that you’ve almost forgotten what you’ve come for.
But then, out of the corner of your eye, you see it: the perfect arrangement of exquisite wildflowers.
You start floating towards it. This will be the day that you’ll finally be united with the floral arrangement of your dreams.
It’s looking at you while you’re looking back at it.
And then something terrible happens.
The price tag.
While arranged wildflowers do make beautiful centrepieces, they do tend to come at a hefty price. Making your own arrangement of wildflowers is a fun activity that can allow you to unleash your inner creative and florist while not breaking the bank.
Wildflowers add atmosphere to any home but also make for wonderful bridal bouquets and even small bedside table arrangements. There’s nothing I love more than walking into a home with freshly-cut flowers with a healthy dose of greenery interspersed with some tea lights.
If you’re wanting to live out that fantasy, the way to begin is by finding the perfect vessel.
Some people love to use a big vase on a mantlepiece to create a focal point for a room. You may choose to use a simple vase, upcycle your flea market finds, unearth treasures in junk shops or use different old tins, jars and cans to create a bohemian theme. Find the vessel that works best for your space and style.
Next, it’s time to find some greenery. When it comes to picking the greenery, I love foraging or as I like to call it, community gardening. When it comes to the rules of picking wildflowers, it is not normally an offence to pick the 'Four Fs' – fruit, foliage, fungi or flowers – if the plants are growing wild and it is for your personal use and not for sale. But back away from flowers in council parks, roundabouts and verges, community gardens, protected or threatened plant species or nature reserves.
Foraging has broadened my view of all of the beautiful wild things growing around me. Once I start looking for greenery, it’s hard to stop. The more you allow yourself the time to simply stop and smell the roses (ha!), the more you realise how much beauty there is around you.
However, if you do choose to forage, please be respectful of other people’s properties and only take what you need. You may like to grab greens from trees, bushes or overgrown, weeded areas. Insert your greenery at a variety of heights. I recommend pulling off the leaves that you can see are going to fall below water-level to keep your arrangement in line. This will keep the arrangement looking pristine and help reduce bacteria too.
Now, the best part: it’s flower time! When picking your flowers, always be sure to get a few more than you think you’ll need; you’ll be surprised how many flowers get stage-freight and break when they’re on display. Add your taller flowers to the center and edges of the bouquet.
I love Australian native wildflowers. They have a rich fragrance and add vibrant colours and textures and last a really long time too. There are so many to choose from so, have fun with it! Some of my favourite Australian wildflowers that are not threatened or protected are Eucalyptus, Wattle and Hakea. The wilder, the better. Make sure to cut each stem on an angle with secateurs or sharp scissors and cut to suit the length of your vase, you can also mix locally bought flowers with them to.
When it comes to arranging the flowers, simple works best and remember less is more. Don’t try to over-do things with too many different plant varieties rather, let your instincts guide you and choose the flowers that you love. You may choose to gain inspiration from Instagram, magazines or your favourite artists.
And if you don't have any wild flower areas around you that you are able to use then, shop local. One of the best parts about wildflowers is while they look fancy, they can be kept within budget. Whenever I shop for my produce, flowers included, I support local businesses. Not only is this a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, it also sends a message about where you decide to spend your money which has a greater overall impact on the economy.
When you’re done with the bigger flowers, insert your smaller filler flowers at different heights where you see fit.
Finally, it’s time to add some water to the arrangement. Be sure to keep your wildflowers out of direct sunlight. To keep your flowers fresh, cut the stems and change the water daily.
Don’t stress too much about getting the perfect arrangement; working with wildflowers means there’s no right or wrong. They look effortlessly beautiful however you choose to arrange them. As they say, there are many ways to … make a floral arrangement? Whichever way you arrange them, you can’t go wrong. Use your creative eye, have fun and enjoy!
Once you’re done, be sure to stand back, admire your arrangement and make any adjustments if you need to.
Then give them to the person you love with a smile.
If you're keen to spoil mum with breakfast in bed, here's a delicious recipe.
Happy Mother's day!