DIY Ideas for Decorating with Late Summer Flowers
Spring gets all the floral glory, but late summer in New Hampshire brings its own bounty of blooms to makes homes brighter as the days grow shorter.
Gardening has its rewards, and sometimes not. If your plot of land doesn’t yield a field of colorful blossoms or if you don’t have the time to tend it, you will be “worry free” in the floral arena in these fading summer weeks. New Hampshire is dotted with little country farms with rows and rows of perfect flowers that you can go and pick at your own leisure. Even better, vendors at local farmers markets have pre-made bouquets that can be purchased for just a few dollars to create your own vase arrangements at home. To help you cope with the abundance, we asked master decorator Matthew Mead of Concord to reveal some of his favorite tips for keeping things colorful with nature’s best late bloomers.
Top end-of-summer offerings include: zinnia blossoms in an array of colors from green to hot pink, yellow black-eyed Susans and sunflowers, purple asters, pink cosmos, orange dahlias and hydrangea in blue, white and pink. With a bounty of pre-bundled bouquets and selections you can snip yourself, there is no reason not to fill your home with flowers and maybe take just a bit of the credit for nature’s bumper crop.
Cutting Your Own
Cutting flowers in the garden is easy, but there are a few good rules to follow:
- You will need sharp scissors or garden snips.
- Bring a flower bucket or pail for your selections as well as a couple of gallons of water to fill your container. Many times the farm will have a hose or cold-water spigot.
- Pick your flowers early in the morning or late in the day near sunset. The heat of the day often zaps flowers of their hydration and causes them to wilt.
- Cut flower stems on a 45-degree angle right above or below leaf growth.
- If the stems are woody like a hydrangea or lilac, then crush the end of the stems with a hammer to allow the bloom to drink up as much water as possible.
- Tips for long-lasting arrangements: Extend the life of your floral arrangements by using clean vases and change the water every two days. For regular blooms, add one or two regular aspirin or two copper pennies to the water. These elements add nutrients to the water that feed the flowers. For woody-stemmed botanicals, add two parts seltzer water to one part fresh water to extend the life of the blooms.
Make a Centerpiece
for enchanting table settings and presentation pieces.
Muffin Tin Arrangements
Hanging Glass Jar with Zinnias
Botanical Ice Tray
botanical tray made with flowers and frozen water. You will need:
5" x 8" baking tray, flower blossoms, water, freezer
Place cut blossom heads face down in baking dish. Add water to just barely cover backs of blossoms. Freeze for four hours. Add more cold water to fill tray. Freeze overnight. Remove ice from tray before serving (run lukewarm water over back of tray and gently release ice from dish). Place on a platter with a one-inch depth. Arrange with drinks or frozen desserts in decorative dishes. Serve immediately.
Linen Napkin with Blossom
You will need: rolled dinner napkins, rubber bands,fresh zinnia blossoms
Roll napkin and sleeve with rubber band. Place blossom stem under the rubber band.
Place on table setting an hour before gathering.
Colorful Mix Bouquet
Use an old bucket or painted watering can to create a lush and colorful bouquet perfect for an entry table or buffet sideboard. You can purchase a mixed bouquet already arranged and simply place it directly in a water-filled container. Or make your own bouquet. Simply start with a single central blossoms and add additional blossoms around it at varying heights. Tie off the bouquet with twine or a rubber band and display in a water-filled container.
Cosmos with Place Card
You will need: egg cups, cosmos blossoms, paper place cards and a marker.
Fill egg cups with water. Place cosmos blossom in cup.
Place tag with name written on it amongst blossoms.
Blooming with Ideas
Local Pick-Your-Own Farms
These 25 farms, spread over several New Hampshire counties, offer fields of fresh flowers for picking. They will provide scissors for cutting, but pack your own cutting tool and buckets of fresh water for best results. Best picking is July through mid-September. Call for picking times and variety availability.
Apple Hill Farm
(603) 224 8862
Brookdale Fruit Farm
Barrett Hill Farm
Beans & Greens Farm
Blue Moon Berry Farm
Blueberry Bay Farm
Carter Hill Orchard
Heron Pond Farm
The Garden Party Cut Flower Farm
Hillside Springs Farm and CSA Garden
Hollis and Milford
Milk & Honey Farm
Milkcan Corner Farm
Ridge Runner’s Farm
Rosaly’s Garden and Farmstand
Spring Ledge Farm
Two Sisters Garlic