A Thousand Threads

Tag: flowers

Floral Inspiration: Hydrangeas

Mark and I have a special love for hydrangeas.  Early on in our relationship, I moved into a new apartment with a lovely front patio.  To celebrate the move, Mark brought me the most beautiful hydrangea and placed it outside the door in a big red pot.

We joked that it was our “love hydrangea,” and in the end the joke kind of stuck… we got attached to the thing.

Over the years we’ve fought to keep that little hydrangea alive and as strong as our love… and despite a few setbacks, it’s stronger than ever.  So, the day he proposed, Mark left me a hydrangea.

Season: Hydrangeas are available nearly all year, but are most plentiful in early spring.

Meaning: Japanese legend has it that the emperor once sent a bouquet of hydrangeas to apologize to the family of a girl he loved.  It was his only recorded apology. The flower has come to symbolize earnestness and honest emotion, from joy to grief.

Pros: Hydrangeas have very sturdy, woody stems and come in a wide range of colors.  Common shades are blues, purples, whites, pinks and greens.  Hydrangeas are also beautiful dried, so if you plan to preserve and keep your bouquet, you might consider using hydrangeas.

Cons: Hydrangeas can be fragile and dislike the heat.  To avoid drooping, keep your bouquet in water as much and as long as possible.

Photo: Matchbook Magazine

Floral Inspiration: Ranunculus

Native to Asia and celebrated for its bright beauty, the ranunculus is available in nearly every color, from white to pink, red, yellow, and orange.  Often considered as a cost-effective alternative to the rose and the peony, the lush, multipetaled bloom is actually a relative of the buttercup — that little flower you might have picked and held close to your chin as a child — and stands just as well on its own as it does as an accent.

Season: Late fall to early spring.

Meaning: You are radiant with charm, attractive.

Pros: The sturdy stem and hardy flower of the ranunculus make it a popular choice for wedding arrangements.  Once cut, ranunculus can last up to a week, making it an ideal pick for both bouquets and centerpieces.

Ranunculus comes in many colors, and is pretty in bouquets at all levels of openness, from a tight bloom to a fully open flower.

Cons: Because there is only one flower on each stem, and the flowers tend to be small, many stems will be needed in each bouquet.  Unless, that is, you use the ranunculus as an accent flower.

The ranunculus can be wire-wrapped, but prefers to be in water and may begin to droop by the end of the night without it.

Photo: Once Wed

Floral Inspiration: Poppies

Of all the temptation one suffers through planning a wedding, I’ve managed to resist, well, a little.

I love flowers more than I can say.  So believe me, my decision to DIY is not for lack of respect for incredible women like Kate and Kelly — whose bouquets I would gladly give my right arm for.  But a girl has to pinch a penny here and there… and flowers are one thing I’ve decided my limited crafting skills might allow.  So, research wonk that I am, I’ve set off to learn as much as I possibly can about the flowers I might be able to use.  And, along the way, I thought I might share a little of the information I learn.

Starting with one of my very favorites… poppies.


Poppies are a part of the Papaveracea family, which contains around 200 species, 120 of which are named “poppy.”  There are many different species, including the famous corn poppy and the bright orange California poppy.

The extremely diverse flower can grow almost anywhere, from Iceland to California, on sand dunes and mountains, and comes in many colors including red, orange, pink, white, yellow, and blue.

Season: Poppies are most commonly available in the spring and summer, and are grown both commercially and in gardens throughout the US.

Meaning: Poppies are often associated with sleep, but they also stand for imagination.

Pros: Poppies are available in many colors and are a standout showpiece in any bouquet.  They can be used in small and large arrangements alike (even as a single stem) and pair well with many other flowers.

Cons: Unfortunately, poppies are also very delicate.  They don’t last long once cut, a few days tops, and may be tough to ship in good shape.  If you decide to go with poppies, you should arrange them just before use and keep them in water as long as possible.

Tip: Hand tie your bouquet so that the ends can be kept in water right up to the last moment.

Photos: Jen Huang, Charley Star, Jose Villa

A Little Inspiration: Fresh Fig and Lavender

Photo by Jose Villa / Table via Dreamy Whites / Boutonnieres via Dreamy Whites / Cake via Daniella Marie / Figs via The Kitchn / Lavender Mobile via Dreamy Whites / Photo via via Dreamy Whites

You know, I’m not always the biggest fan of purple, but when it comes to this combination I just die.  I love the look and smell of lavender, and there is absolutely nothing bad about a fig… nothing.  I would take every little detail up there.

Baby’s Breath

With a little help from my flower-savvy aunt, I think we’ve decided to DIY our flowers… so I’m on a mission to gather as much information and as many ideas as I can, and one thing I’m really loving is baby’s breath.

Photo by Elizabeth Messina via Ritzy Bee.

DIYing our flowers makes a lot of sense.  Mark and I spend a lot of time outdoors and I tend to be a little crunchy as it is, so it really wouldn’t be right for us to have anything that looks too manufactured… we want a natural look, and I think that’s something we can get on our own.

Of course, there are a million amazing florists who could also get that look for us.  What we’re really talking about here is money, and in my opinion, flowers are a great place to find savings.  If you’re like us and want a really natural look, not only can you probably get that look on your own, your flowers will be that much more personal because you did them yourself.  DIY projects can be really rewarding that way.

(… and speaking of money, baby’s breath is super cheap.)

Baby’s Breath Poms / Chair Decor / Bouquet / Bouquet and Books / Burlap Cone

Ultimately, I’d like to add some color in as well.  Mark would like to incorporate snapdragons and I love sweet peas.  I would also like for our flowers to be as local and in season as possible (and I have no idea if that applies to either snapdragons or sweet peas… or baby’s breath ack!).

Lots to learn!  But I really do like those big masses of baby’s breath.