Flowers Under $50: Delphinium Garlands

by Mary Kathryn Paynter

Spring is that particular time of year when I’m constantly second-guessing exactly which flower is my favorite. One week I’m dying over fritillaria, another I’m charmed by watercolor-like ranunculus, and yet another I’m pining for peonies. But one that really knocked my socks off this year is delphinium. Its long stalks of gorgeous blue flowers are stunning and manage to look both wild and regal. The blue that occurs in the petals is somewhat rare in plants: a gorgeous deep azure fading to a soft baby blue higher up on the stem, where the buds are smaller and closer together.

The delphinium that came from California this spring were especially gorgeous; the blues were pure, not inky or dyed in appearance. But as with many of the finer things in life, they come with a hefty price tag, sometimes retailing around $3 per stem. In order to stretch a few bunches of delphinium and bring their gorgeous color to a casual lunch with friends at my favorite outdoor hangout, I strung the blooms together to make striking blue garlands and hung them from the trees above.

All photos above and below by Jessica Clark

After the jump, I’ll show you how just a few stems can be used to make delphinium garlands to hang, wear or string anywhere you want for impact. I’ll also show you more pictures of our casual spring lunch accented with this beautiful bloom. — Mary Kathryn

The post continues after the jump . . .

All photos below by Jessica Clark

Above photos by Jessica Clark

Stringing flowers together for a garland is a great way to use the blooms from any flower to create a solid line of color. Any flower with blooms in a strong hue would work, and some of the most gorgeous garlands I’ve ever seen are made of less expensive flowers (think of the marigold chains used in Indian weddings or in Dia de los Muertos celebrations). Delphiniums are wonderfully suited for this re-creation because of the many blooms per stem and the color and shape of each bloom, which has a center that is easy to puncture with a needle and thread.

Above photos by Jessica Clark

To make your own delphinium garland, you’ll need fishing line and a small sewing needle. Cut a length of the fishing line and tie a knot in the end. Thread the other end of the line through the eye of the needle. Holding a single delphinium bloom in one hand with the petals away from you, insert the needle into the base of the bloom, pulling it through the center of the bloom. Carefully slide the bloom down the length of fishing line to the knot at the end, being sure not to tear the base or lose any petals. Repeat until your length of line is filled with blooms. Finish by tying a small knot above the last bloom, leaving about eight inches of free line to hang the garland. Now go decorate your favorite doorway, tree, table or mantle or wrap it around your head a couple of times for a lovely, easy hair wreath. 

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