I was counting the flower buds on my Peonies…43 and counting! (Yippee!) The Lady’s Mantle beds, right outside the kitchen door, are growing fuller, taller, and more chartreuse by the day, while the wild roses have re-seeded themselves in droves behind the house. It’s June, so that means it’s “showtime” in my ¬†cutting gardens!

It’s time to start making some bouquets – a great big impressive one for the front parlor, and a sweet little one for the powder room.

Here’s how:

  • Cut flowers early in the day.
  • Try to cut stems as long as you can (this way you’ll have more to work with).
  • Use an unusual container. I like to use old painted metal pails, wood buckets, and old crocks.
  • Line old containers with plastic inserts. They can be found at your local hardware/paint store, or the plastic packaging from a store-bought cake.
  • Fill with cool water.
  • The bottom of woody stems need to be smashed with a hammer so they’ll drink the water.
  • Start arrangement with stems that have the most foliage.
  • Keep turning the arrangement while arranging stems.
  • For small bouquets that have short stems, tie stems together with string or jute before placing into the container (this will help the bouquet stay in place).

For any size bouquet, when you think you’re done, stand back and look at the whole arrangement from different angles. It’s easy to readjust stems by gently pushing some in, and pulling some out.

Happy arranging and enjoy!

Love, Nora


  • Beautiful Nora! Peonies peak down here around Mother’s Day. Sadly when we sold our last home they were in bloom and the buyers wanted to keep them. Go figure. Never grown lady’s mantle but the combo is wonderful. We are installing stone steps this month – well my husband is, after work and on weekends. Don’t you us love the garden!

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