In which i branch out, so to speak
I have never considered myself particularly good with flowers, either keeping them alive or arranging them tastefully, much less dramatically. But in the last two months I have surprised myself with two flower- or plant-related projects that have turned out quite nicely.
Mom's funeral spray
When my father died in May and we were deciding about flowers for his casket, we went with a "special" from a local florist who charged $150 for 24 very large long-stem roses, some greenery, and a ribbon. The roses (not shown) were a beautiful color but started losing their petals immediately (at the service), and the whole arrangement really didn't look as full as we'd imagined. Because of the lack of freshness, we ended up getting our money back.
So when my mother, too, passed away not six months later, my sister Eva and I decided that we could come up with something at least as good for a fraction of the price. I think we spent less than $80 for about six dozen roses (from Fresh Market!), a similar number of bunches of baby's breath, wire, and a whole spool of ribbon. It took me (and Peter) time, of course, to put it together at the last minute and some finagling to get it to the church in water; but the result was lavishly beautiful, and the roses lasted quite well. After the services we were even able to send bouquets home with a couple of people and still had plenty of roses left for ourselves.
1st christmas wreath
Peter and I decorated for our first Christmas together earlier than my family ever did. We went to buy the tree the first Saturday in December and, after seeing no boxwood wreaths that we liked for the price, bought a few trimmings (plus what was trimmed from the bottom of the tree) to make our own. The tree trimmings were Fraser fir (free), I added part of three bunches boxwood and three small pine cones (for under $10), I scavenged a rustic ribbon that had previously adorned a wedding gift, Peter cut three barren forsythia runners for me to bend into a sturdy round frame, he and I pulled out extra crafting wire, and my sister-in-law picked up some winter berries that I traded for freshly baked Christmas cookies (later post). Several hours later, I had a much larger wreath than I'd intended (certainly larger than the ones we'd considered at Frye's) that looked very smart and festive on our front door. The only downside is that the outer storm door smashes it a bit.
With the leftover trimmings and winter berries I added a few other decorations to the dining room.