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we like it wild: our recipe

by StudioChoo

We’ve made quite a few bouquets in our day. Along the way, we noticed a pattern had developed in all the bouquets that became our favorites. This week, we thought we’d share a little recipe that yields great results for a natural, garden-style bouquet made in hand. The ingredients can vary according to what flowers are available and what the recipient (ahem, perhaps someone with an “M” at the beginning and end of her name and an “O” in the middle?) would be into. Make an effort to collect a few beautiful stems this weekend (or any weekend really) to create a personalized bouquet for a special lady in your life. — Studio Choo

CLICK HERE for the bouquet how-to after the jump!

The key to this type of bouquet is quality, not quantity. Sure, you could go to the grocery store and grab several bunches of tulips and slam them into a vase, or better yet, a cellophane bag, but why not put a bit more care into the selection of stems? Try to think about things the recipient likes. Can you recall a particular color, flower type or fragrance that reminds you of them? A few thoughtfully selected stems can have a surprising amount of emotional impact. Our peony bouquet was made with an emphasis on color and memory, and the gardenia bouquet focused on fragrance with a variety of scented flowers and herbs.

When putting together a bouquet, we use a collection of ingredients that are very similar to the ones we use when creating a big arrangement, just fewer of them.

  • Base (3–5 stems): sturdy-stemmed greenery and branches that can provide physical support for the other elements in the bouquet
  • Secondary flowers (at least 3 stems): small blooms to visually support focal flowers and move the eye around the arrangement
  • Focal flowers (at least 1 stem): the anchors, or the biggest, showiest blooms
  • Bits (at least 2 stems): vines or delicate stems of small flowers that poke out gracefully

Sources for Stems

  • grocery store (vegetable, herb or flower section)
  • local fabulous flower shop
  • your garden
  • garden shop — purchase a plant or two to start your cutting garden
  • farmers’ market

Tips for Putting It Together
Lay out all the ingredients on your work surface; take note of the way the flowers naturally arc and use this layout as a guide for assembly. Don’t try to force the stems to go against the way they have grown. This may cause the stems to snap, and it is a lot easier to just go with the flow. Remove leaves and thorns from the lower part of the stems. Start with a base element and begin adding in all your ingredients, holding loosely just under the start of the lower leaves. Cluster flower heads together in odd numbers at slightly different levels. Tie the bouquet off with a special ribbon where you were holding it. Make sure to cut all the stems before putting the bouquet in water. Happy Mother’s Day!

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  • This really makes me wish I lived close to my mom and could hand her a beautiful homemade bouquet like yours. Thank you for the tips!

  • i love what Cynthia said about using the flower stem and leaves after the bloom has gone. i do that too! i also save all of the little “arms” and extras from things, like delphinium, freesia, and ranunculi… often they too will bloom, as well as add some delicate shapes. Hooray for flowers! (i work at a flower shop myself, and working hard for moms never gets old!) The gals at Studio Choo never fail to amaze me. These are just beautiful.

  • Thanks, I make pottery, and my child makes me the most amazing displays putting Lilies with Dandelions, which I would never have thought to do. I appreciate the useful tips especially for when I try to show my sometimes unusual vases in use.

  • These are beautiful! I love that you achieve a refined look with such wild flowers. I’m doing my own flowers for my wedding and I’ve been looking for something similar to this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • You make it look so easy. Effortless and all out gorgeous. Can’t wait for the peonies and lavender here in the midwest. Come on and bloom already!

  • anyone know a good, specific place in new york to find stock of long-stemmed herbs like the above for bouquets?

  • I’m a jewelry designer who loves color. I also express that love of color through floral displays for my home. This wonderful post is sure to send me right out into our garden to see what I can put together. As always the photography is breathtaking, too. Thank you.

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