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CREATE A FRENCH COUNTRY SPRING FLORAL ARRANGEMENT

Today I am so excited to let you know about a “new” design adventure we’re all going on together.

On every 1st and 3d Friday of the month, we’ll be joining three of my inspiring blogging friends to bring you floral inspiration.  Each one of them {and me, too!} will share a captivating flower arrangement that you can copy to make at home. Especially in spring, it’s a joy to have fresh flowers in your home, isn’t it?

 

 

We’re thrilled to share a beautiful arrangement with you each time, and hope it will inspire you to add the beauty of real flowers to your home.  My friend Shirley, the editor and designer at Housepitality Designs organized this, and I’m so honored she invited me to be a part of this fun and inspiring group!

 

 

My very first Floral Friday Arrangement is inspired by the colors of spring in Europe. Bright, fresh, and a little bit country.

When we lived in Europe, our house was across from a huge field of tulip and bulb growers.  In the spring, the sight was absolutely breathtaking!  Because the growers actually planted the flowers to sell their bulbs, not their flowers, right after they put on their best “look at me, I’m beautiful” show, they were cut down to the ground. {I hated that part!} But the bonus was that I could literally buy armfuls of tulips for our home for a few Euro’s.

 

 

Isn’t it gorgeous?  This is right before the flower “farmer” {because this farmer only grew bulbs in spring time – the rest of the year he planted regular vegetable crops – the Dutch called him a flower farmer} cut off all these little pink beauties.  After the workers bundled the flowers, I could drive to his barn and literally gather up huge bunches of 30-50 tulips or other flowers for less than 8 Euros. It was difficult not to be greedy!

So let’s talk about styling a simple and gorgeous SPRING floral arrangement.  Some of you might not feel confident in arranging flowers, but I promise, it’s not difficult! At all.

Just like you, I have a passion for flowers.  I carefully choose les fleurs that make up my bouquet each week, even though these days driving around to the farmer’s barn in Europe is in the long ago past.

There are so many beautiful flowers to choose from! We are lucky in that here, in California, there are plenty of flower growers, and the small flower boutiques are plenty. But there are also beautiful flowers at our Trader Joe’s, or any of the other markets to choose from.  And arranging flowers yourself at home is a huge money saver, as well as creatively satisfying.

 

 

For this very first arrangement for Floral Friday, I chose the most simple French Country flowers to share. Really, you can’t go wrong.  This arrangement looks equally beautiful in your entrance hall, on your dining room table, or as a “welcome home” in your mud room.

Here’s how to design your own Spring Arrangement:

I’m going to start with the very basic “rules” of arranging flowers, so go get your flowers, container, water and clippers or a knife, and join me at the table, kitchen or potting bench.

I  know you will produce stunning floral arrangements. Every time. Guaranteed.  

 

1. CHOOSE YOUR CONTAINER.

Pick a container that can hold enough water, it can be a “real” vase, a bucket, a tea pot, or a French antique.

I started with an antique French zinc pitcher. I love these, and sell them at FrenchGardenHouse, because not only are they very handy in the garden, they have wonderful patina, and  look sensational filled with flowers.

Add luke-warm water, and floral preservative, if you have it. Most flower bouquets come with it.  I also add a few drops of bleach, to keep the water fresher.

 

 

2. CUT THE STEMS OF YOUR FLOWERS.

Cut each flower with a sharp knife right before putting it into the water in your container.  Some people use snips, just be sure they are super sharp and clean.  I find that scissors or snips  “close” off the end of the stem, letting less water travel up to nourish the flower, so I prefer a sharp knife.  {I know this is not a flower I used for this bouquet, but I already had the photo! Sorry!}

 

3. ADD THE FLOWERS TO YOUR CHOSEN VASE.

Put your flowers in your container, and don’t be afraid to move them around until you love how they look!  Especially in a country arrangement like this, there is no wrong way to arrange your beauties.

You want it to look just like you went out into the garden – in France, of course! – cut flowers, and then casually dropped them into a pitcher.  Choose flowers that are different in shape and size for visual interest. Remember that an uneven amount of stems for each flower type always looks best. So: 3 hydrangeas look better than 4. etc.

Some flowers should fit deep into the container, while others can jump out a little bit, for depth.

 

 

4. DISPLAY YOUR ARRANGEMENT WITH PRIDE.

You can push and pull {gently} on your flowers a little until they look just like you want them to, this type of arrangement is meant to be “loose” and free.

Now display them somewhere where you can enjoy them.  Every time you see your arrangement, you will know it’s almost SPRING! And smile every time you see the beauty you created.

 

French Country Zinc Pitcher | Antique French Zinc Body Pitcher

 

For this arrangement I chose these flowers:  Hydrangeas, pink stock, violet larkspur, and ornamental cabbage.  I snuck in one little queen anne’s lace that I had left over from last week’s flowers.

 

 

Please be sure to visit my friends today for their gorgeous floral inspiration! 

 

Everyday Living

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22 Responses to CREATE A FRENCH COUNTRY SPRING FLORAL ARRANGEMENT

  1. Lidy, I can’t imagine living across from that beautiful field of tulips, I would have been greedy for sure. What wonderful tips on designing an arrangement. Your French country design is perfect in every way from the zinc pitcher to each carefully chosen stem! What a fun series to be a part of. Happy Friday~

  2. Lidy, What a gorgeous sight that must have and then to able to purchase an armful of those beautiful tulips after they were harvested! I love your combination of hydrangeas, stock, larkspur, ornamental cabbage for your French Country arrangement…and I just HAPPEN to know a Potting Shed that would love have that handsome French zinc pitcher to fill with flowers! Your French Country vignette is wonderful from your chippy café chair to the wire basket and beautiful blooms. It was a pleasure to join for Floral Friday.?

  3. I always know that I can come here and both absorb the beauty of what you are presenting to us AND learn something about the subject matter! You are the aficionado of all things beautiful! I cannot imagine gathering tulips from that gorgeous field…what a sight it must be to see it in person….truly breathtaking…you must miss that for certain! Love the choice of flowers and LOVE how you used the cabbage at the base of the pitcher…yes we will all have to fight over that one! And a side note: Long, long ago when I took a floral arranging class, I came home with band-aids on my fingers from the slips of the sharp floral knife…yes, the instructor said as you did, always use a sharp knife when cutting flowers unless you have super sharp scissors…So every time I went to class, I covered my fingers with band-aids to protect my fingers!! So happy that you are part of this beautiful and fun group! Have a beautiful day and weekend Lidy!! xoxo’s

  4. Lidy, I love the new floral Friday! I’v always adored larkspur and for a number of years I had some in my garden from pass along seeds. I should get busy and plant more. There is not enough time in the day!
    Your sweet arrangement in the lovely zinc containers are so natural and pleasing. Makes my heart sing.
    Sadly, Sams is 40 miles away, Costco, 85 and Trader Joes, 185. Our grocery store is my only supply for flowers except my garden.

  5. Oh, great tips Lidy, I haven’t heard the knife one before and I just put bleach on my grocery list! I have seen photos of tulip fields from another friend, and she said one day they are blooming in all their glory and the next day they’re gone! I can’t imagine!! I am so excited about your Floral Friday group!! Your arrangement is just the way I like to enjoy flowers, free, loose, natural, and the colors you chose are beautiful…

  6. Bonnie, thank you so much for your kind comment. Flowers always make our hearts sing, don’t they? I am going to plant larkspur too, this spring, although it only lasts for a very short season here. Here’s to a beautiful floral cutting garden this year!

  7. Lidy, I can’t imagine living near that stunning tulip field! How beautiful… I would be purchasing arm loads as is adore flowers! You have given us such wonderful floral arranging tips. Your spring arrangement is gorgeous! Enjoy your weekend!!!

  8. Shannon, luckily it was only for a short season, because while I loved the armfuls, the arranging, changing the water and cleaning up for all those vases was a like part-time job! :). But a very fun one.

    I hope you enjoy your weekend too, sweet friend!

  9. That field of tulips is gorgeous. I’ve been to the Netherlands during tulip season and the colors are mind-blowing. So is Keukenhof, a kind of tulip theme park, which could be kitschy except that it’s so beautiful.

  10. We lived right by the Keukenhof, which is gorgeous, you are right! I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

  11. Beautiful arrangement, Lidy. I always love an added touch of vintage in anything styled. That flower farm – how gorgeous! Have a great weekend.

  12. This is such a lovely arrangement. I love the zinc jug. I would never have thought of adding ornamental cabbage leaves.

  13. Thank you Rita, antiques make everything look more beautiful, I agree! Hope you have a happy weekend.

  14. All the arrangements are lovely, Lidy! The zinc watering can is my favorite–I’m partial to old and rustic. I sometimes add a jar or vase to set down in a larger receptacle which keeps from damaging the pot or can. Still, I love your mix of flowers, the varying height, and your expertise on cutting and making the best combo for the water. Smarty lady!

    Jane x

  15. Thank you Jane, like you, I love old and rustic too. This watering pitcher just begs for a little bit more “wild” flowers, doesn’t it? Hope you have a happy weekend!

  16. Hello Lidy, I’m Dolores, I’m Spanish and I live in Spain. I landed on your blog through my good friend Pam.
    What to tell you about how beautiful your blog is! I love … It’s a good idea to connect with other people who have a common issue such as the florist.
    Tulips are also beautiful a little mysterious, at least that’s how I feel them. His bearing is aristocratic and elegant.
    A pleasure to contact you
    Dolores

  17. Thank you Dolores. It’s so nice to have you here! I agree, tulips are aristocratic and elegant.

  18. Thank Norma, we hope you will be inspired to make your own beautiful flowers to enjoy at home.

  19. Lady, my beautiful hydrangea stems arrived today. Gorgeous. Beautifully wrapped. Thank you.

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