Ah, the last days of summer.
I think this is the only time of year that I let myself sit outside and take a break from my job of spreading the joys of the miniature gardening hobby throughout the world. But, then I remember that I could be doing one of the cutest projects in the whole wide world! So much for taking some downtime, huh? I keep tellin’ ya I’m obsessed about this topic of gardening in miniature… !
It’s Miniature Flower Arranging!
Be careful, it’s addicting. But it’s fun, fast and fabulous!
Here are the rules:
1. There are no rules.
2. When in doubt, please refer to rule #1.
Alright, I’ll stop funning around now, let’s get a little serious about tiny flowers. :o) Here is a bit more to get you started:
You Will Need:
~ Wee flowers
~ Sprigs of greenery
~ A tiny vase or bottle filled with water
~ Optional: depending upon the time of day, you may want a nice cup, or glass, of something to sip on.
The flowers and plants that I’ve used here are pictured below. These are just a hint at the many different plants you can use for you wee arrangements. Grab your scissors and take a stroll in your garden, or a friend’s garden – but do ask permission first or you’ll get screamed at if you’re caught.
You only need 3 or 5 stems of each, and maybe 5 to 7 different plants. to give you a nice variety. Get foliage as well as flowers. Remember you’re working in miniature so you don’t need a lot.
Some Plant Suggestions
From top left, going down by row:
1. Alyssum – all varieties
2. Variegated Boxwood – Buxus microphylla ‘Variegata’
3. Stone orpine – Sedum rupestre
4. Sedum – Sedum spathulifolium ‘Purpureum’
5. Lemon Thyme – Thymus x citriodorus ‘Archer’s Gold’
6. Tricolor Sedum – Sedum lydium ‘Tricolor’
7. Helmond Pillar Barberry – Berberis thunbergii ‘Helman Pillar’
8. Honiki Cypress – Chameacyparis lawsoniana
9. Variegated Andromeda – Peiris japonica ‘Variegata’
10. Boxwood ‘Graham Blandy’ – Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’
11. Strieb’s Findling Cotoneaster – Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Strieb’s Findling’
12. Miniature Daisies – Bellium minuta
13. Saxafrage – Saxifraga ‘Harder Zwerg’
14. Sea Pink Thrift – Armeria maritima ‘Dusseldorf Pride’
15. Dwarf Lady’s Mantle – Alchemilla conjuncta
Just like life-sized arrangements, you’ll need some greens to go into the vase first, then the flowers, then the filler. You are limited however, by the size of the opening of your vase. A small opening of about ½” wide may only fit 7 stems: 1 for greens, 3 for filler, 3 for flowers or focal points. If your container is more like an urn with a wider mouth, it will take more plant material of course.
For the smaller vases, I found it easier to arrange the bouquet in my fingers, then snip all the stems at the desired length (measure against the vase, then cut), then put the whole bouquet in the wee vase, all at once. Fluff and voila! You’re now a miniature florist!!
Where the vase will be kept will dictate how to arrange it. Is it going to be viewed from the top, or the side? Beside the bathroom sink or on an entrance table by the front door, the bouquet will be viewed from the top. Up on a shelf, or next to your clock radio on your nightstand, the wee bouquet will be viewed from the side. Design and fluff accordingly.
~ Salt and pepper shakers (with no hole in the bottom)
~ Votive holders
~ Sample bottles for liquor. Look beyond the alcohol for the color and the shape of the bottle. (You could make this idea part of a themed party!)
~ Spice jars
Where to Find the Containers:
~ Craft markets
~ Your local ceramic studio
~ Antique stores
~ Dollar stores
~ Garage Sales
~ Flea markets, rummage sales, church sales
~ Paint some thin twigs for a splash of color, nail polish works well, it’s glossy and waterproof
~ Color match with your décor or with the seasons
~ Feathers, tiny branches with moss, a ribbon
~ Dried roots
~ Skinny ribbons
More Fun Ways to Enjoy Your Miniature Flower Arranging
~ Table favors that guests can take home with them. One at each place setting, tailored to the guest.
~ Hostess gifts, start with a pretty vase that matches THEIR decor.
~ A party idea for young girls. Accumulate a variety of little vases at the thrift store.
~ “Little Spots of Sunshine: – bring one to the office to play with. Check out dried flowers for options.
~ Hospital visits for a little cheering up. Be sure to check the rules if you’re allowed plants.
~ Or just because – because it’s pretty and fun. Make one for your bathroom and your nightstand.
Once you start looking at plants and small objects to use for your miniature flower arrangement, the world of possibilities will open up to you. When I walked around my garden to pick material for these examples, I thought I had enough for 3 arrangements, but I had enough for six so I just kept making more. “You get a bouquet! AND YOU get a bouquet…!!”
I have them sprinkled throughout the house now, little treats for the eye where you least expect them. I heart summer…
EVOLVING & GROWING
SINCE this blog post was originally published in 2009, I’ve had the opportunity to write two Gardening in Miniature books about the hobby. If you like miniature garden or fairy garden DIY projects, learning new techniques and trying different ways of doing things, then you’ll enjoy our Prop Shop book. See another blog post on both this book and mini flower arranging, here.
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