Easy Floral Arrangements from Your Garden

It’s really hard for me to do this….enjoy the garden indoors. Because I love to see the abundance of flowers outside. After all, isn’t that why we plant a garden – to enjoy the outdoor beauty? But we’re not always outdoors especially if we’re working and only spend evenings at home. So this year, I’ve made it my plan to enjoy the blooms indoors by creating some bouquets to enjoy. Here’s some easy floral arrangements that bring the gardens indoors.

tea cup floral arrangement

Yesterday afternoon, I was out weeding and generally tidying up the garden and I came across these gorgeous sweet peas. I’ve never really paid much attention to this perennial sweet pea because it’s usually overwhelmed by the silver lace vine beside it. But the vine hasn’t thrived this year and there’s been more room for the sweet pea to expand. I love the little tea cup arrangement, don’t you?

elastic band cut flowers

Here’s my tip: secure delicate stems with an elastic band to create a mounded look.

viburnum cuttings

You don’t have to stick to small and delicate arrangements though. Here’s a large grouping of viburnum blooms cut earlier this season. The old “tomato” pot is one of my favourite containers.

flowers in bottles

Using flowers in unexpected places and containers is always fun too. Here I’ve used delicate lily of the valley in an old ink bottle and a bathroom cup on the kitchen window sill. The fragrance was divine.

pitcher with sunflowers

Even if you don’t grow your own, sunflowers in an enamel pitcher scream sunshine! I got those from a local grower who specializes in these gorgeous flowers.

fern table decor

You don’t have to stick to flowers though. These fern cuttings were used to decorate a woodland themed tabletop.

IMG_5652

 

Whether it’s casual, like this arrangement of clematis and roses in bottles tucked into a wine box or something more formal, bringing flowers indoors will extend your enjoyment of the hard work you’ve done in creating a garden.

Gardening Tips: How to Get Rid of Red Lily Beetles

asiatic lily pollen antennaHas your garden been attacked by the red lily beetle? Are your lilies being eaten alive before your very eyes? Here’s some gardening tips on how to get rid of these pests.

Red Lily Beetle

red lily beetle The red lily beetle has invaded North America in the last decade, causing wide-spread damage to the asiatic and oriental lilies in our gardens. This seemingly harmless looking beetle can strip the leaves off your lilies and eventually kill the whole plant. You will need to control them as quickly as you can in order to save the plants. But it’s not just lilies they are attacking, it’s roses too. So if you don’t have lilies, don’t think you’re immune to getting them.

Do I Have Them in My Garden?

leaf damage beetle How can you tell if you have red lily beetles in your garden? You can usually see them on your lily plants. But if not, look for damage like this – holes eaten into the leaves and lower leaves completely stripped from the plant. This is true for both lilies and roses.

Three Ways to Control Red Lily Beetle:

Hand Picking:

Put on a pair of gardening gloves and head out to hand-pick the beetles from your plants. This is probably the best method of controlling these pests. But picking them off and tossing them in the compost is not enough. You need to actually squish them. I know, it’s gross. But trust me, it works best.

Homemade Cedar Oil Spray:

spray bottles If you’re looking for an organic spray, cedar oil works well on controlling red lily beetles. Here’s the recipe from Fine Gardening: Simply take a few red cedar planks say a foot long each and put them in a one or two gallon bucket. Pour hot water over it and let it steep like tea for 24 hours. Cut the planks in half if needed, but make sure they are totally immersed in the hot water. Then fill your spray bottles and give the plants a good coating. Repeat this every 5-7 days to control the beetles.

Traps:

beetle trap This whole article started yesterday when we picked up our puppy from the dog sitter and I asked here what the heck was that funny  looking thing hanging in the middle of her front lawn. It was a contraption similar to this – a lily trap. The idea is that they are attracted to the feed provided, fly into the bottle or bag and can’t get out. She said she got hers at the local garden centre, but you can order them – Rescue JBTZ-DB12 Japanese Beetle Trap (this is an link to Amazon – I will be compensated for purchases through this link)

asiatic lilies

Mid America Lily Society photo

With some good maintenance and pest control, your lilies (and roses) can survive the battle against the Japanese red beetles. Now where are my gardening gloves? I need to get out there and pick some beetles.

diy wreath burlap

Summer Burlap DIY Wreath

Burlap is huge in home decor right now – we see it on banners, on pillows, as window coverings and in wedding decor. So this burlap diy wreath makes a great addition to your summer decor – hang it inside or out, on your front door or back gate like we did. They can be expensive to buy, so we made our own and you can too as it’s super easy once you know how. Here’s the DIY wreath instructions:

 

diy burlap wreath

DIY Burlap Wreath Instructions

supplies diy burlap wreath

You’ll need a wire wreath frame – you can choose any size, but mine is a 14″ wreath I got at Michael’s.

floral wire (or any other kind of flexible wire

burlap ribbon – this wreath took two 20′ rolls – also bought at Michael’s (ON SALE!!)

instructions burlap wreath

Follow Steps 1 – 4 to secure the ribbon. Getting started is probably the hardest part until you realize the simplicity of just looping the burlap.

Step 5 – the twist

diy wreath instructions

Once you’ve made those first three loops, scrunch them together in one hand. Turn over the wreath so you are looking at the back. TWIST the ribbon three or four times with your other hand.  Then start looping the ribbon again beginning at the inner edge.

Step 6:

close-up burlap wreath

Continue in this manner around the wreath. Then secure with another piece of wire (as in Step 1-4).

diy wreath burlap

I’m amazed at how easy and quick this is!! By scrunching each set of loops as you twist, the ribbon makes these gorgeous intertwined loops. It’s full and textured, just like the store bought ones.

Now it’s time to decorate your new wreath!

wreath with sunflowers

Because this wreath was meant for late summer, I chose to decorate mine with things that are commonly seen during August around here – sunflowers from the garden, bullrushes growing in ditches along the highway and wheat in the fields.

 

back gate with wreathOur wreath is hung on our back gate, greeting guests as they come for a bbq. I love how it gives a spot of sunshine to this shady pathway.

In less than 30 minutes, you can make your own burlap wreath with these DIY wreath instructions. Where would you hang yours?