November 2013

You Can Grow That! November 2013: A bouquet to make someone’s day

A bouquet to celebrate a retirement sits on the kitchen counter. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Gardeners are lucky. We always have gifts at the ready. We only have to trek to the yard and snip a few flowers, branches, bulbs, seedheads, leaves, evergreen boughs and other pieces of nature to turn into a bouquet.

I love giving bouquets as gifts. Sometimes I provide the vase (which I usually want returned) and sometimes I just give the bouquet.

The bouquet is an easy hostess gift for my foodie friends when I’m invited to a dinner party. When doing garden presentations, I frequently cut bouquets to give away at the end of the session to someone who correctly answers a question posed from the talk. I have a talk, Snippets from the Garden, which covers whatever is going on in my landscape that day.

Sometimes for no reason, I’ll drop off a bouquet to family or friend. I’ll take one to the credit union or the doctor’s office or dentist. Bouquets make a nice birthday gift. They are perfect to take to a sick friend or hospitalized colleague.

In the past week, I gave a bouquet to a friend who invited me to a dinner party at her house. I left one on my sister’s porch to greet her when she returned from her last day of work, retiring after decades on the job.

For the two bouquets this week, I purchased a few stems from a local florist, including annual blue statice (Limonium) and locally grown yellow celosia (C. cristata). From my own garden, I cut a couple of dried flowers from White Dome hydrangea (H. arborescens ‘Dardom’) and pinkish-white blooms from ‘Limelight’ hydrangea (H. paniculata). Snipped a pink mum and white mum to fill it out and voila! A bouquet to celebrate retirement.

When I do the classes and head out to cut a bouquet, I frequently stand in the yard thinking there’s really not much to cut. But after a few minutes, I’m pleasantly surprised to have enough for a bouquet. My theory is if it lasts a few days in a vase, it’s a cut flower. And to go from thinking I have nothing to having a bunch of beautiful blooms is just plain satisfaction. When spreading a little cheer with bouquets, don’t forget to cut one for yourself.