Flowers make wonderful gifts and are great additions to dinner parties and date nights. They’re also an integral tradition at weddings, baby showers, and other special events. However, bouquets are expensive these days, especially for elaborate events. If you love flowers but hate the idea of spending much money, consider getting bouquets from flowers you already grow. Let’s examine some of the best options now.
Many gardeners know carnations as a “frugal flower” because they’re usually sold for low prices – $4 a bunch or less. They’re extremely versatile for weddings, fitting in the bride’s bouquet, the groom’s boutonniere, bridesmaids’ corsages, and more. Carnations are also prized for their variety of colors. Pink is the most well-known, but red is also popular. Purple is a striking and unique color, as well. With their layered, ruffled appearance, carnations stand out from the rest of the bouquet. Their fragrance will also last longer since they can survive 2-3 weeks in a vase with frequent water changes.
Roses are a longtime favorite and probably the best-known flower around. Scientific research states they’re about 35 million years old. In all that time, they’ve been used for everything from decorative purposes to legal tender. Red roses are an internationally recognized symbol of love, as Robert Burns proved with his poem: “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.” Pink, white, and yellow roses also provide gorgeous contrast to reds. Orange roses, symbolizing passion and enthusiasm, are growing in popularity especially with young couples.
Pansies are easy to grow and come in almost as many colors as you’d find in a box of Crayola’s. Their black centers play up those colors beautifully, and the right color combination provides great contrast to bigger, taller blossoms. For example, try pairing yellow pansies with red carnations, or purple ones with white hydrangeas, roses, or a bouquet heavy on the baby’s breath.
Daisies are popular choices for spring arrangements because they resemble the sun. Their white petals and bright yellow centers are generally associated with youth, cheerfulness, vitality, and fertility. Though they look delicate, daisies are hardy flowers resistant to most pesticides and bugs. Honey-makers also like them because they attract bees, so once your bouquet has served its purpose, consider replanting these beauties and letting bees pollinate to their hearts’ content.
Anemones come in a variety of species and colors. The party dress anemone is a striking hot pink with a vibrant yellow center, while the Japanese anemone is a more docile white variety with petals slightly akin to a daisy. Anemones are fairly easy to grow and resistant to most weather changes. In particular, they’re known as drought-tolerant. Many of them show off double blooms in the fall. They’re also called “windflowers” for their ability to “dance” on their stems – a good reason to replant them after the party.
No spring bouquet would be quite complete without a daffodil or three. With their trumpet-like structure and contrasting yellow petals with orange centers, daffodils are easy to spot and well-loved. They’re the symbolic flower of spring because their blooms are some of the first to poke out after a long winter. Daffodils also symbolize joy and lightheartedness, so they’re perfect for a wedding, anniversary, or baby shower bouquet. If you’re prone to depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), consider cutting an entire bouquet of daffodils and placing them in a prominent spot in your home.
Chocolate cosmos is a truly unique flower. They can be tough to find in America because they’re native to Mexico, but if you do, take full advantage of the seedlings and grow some for your own garden. They’re known as a black flower, but are actually more burgundy, wine red, or velvety brown. They also have a tempting scent – vanilla with chocolate undertones. Consider using them as a contrast to roses or carnations in a Valentine’s Day bouquet, just before you present the box of real chocolates.
Peonies are the national flower of China and are revered in Greece because Paeon, physician to the Greek gods, averted death when he was turned into a peony. Outside of legends, peonies have several practical uses, including medicinal benefits. In a bouquet, they serve as another ruffled, layered masterpiece. Pink peonies are the most recognized, and their deep shade provides a sharp contrast to white flowers.
Photographer Anna ER offered the photograph of Pansies under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Donna wetta offered the photograph of Anemone under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer PDGR offered the photograph of Daffodils under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Stux offered the photograph of Peonies under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay