If you have a bucket and blooms in your yard you can create a lovely table centerpiece. This floral bouquet features a garden bucket covered with folded magnolia and hydrangea leaves. All you need is a bucket, glue gun, florals and masking tape.
Inspired by Former White House Chief Florist, Laura Dowling, I set out to create a beautiful bouquet. First on the agenda was to find a pretty vase, well needless to say, I had a black bucket that I used for fresh flowers. I couldn’t use the bucket as it was, it needed something. Remembering Laura’s designs and always covering her vases with greenery this inspired me to cover my vase. But with what?
Using what you have in your yard
Because I have three hydrangea bushes and a miniature magnolia tree, these florals were the perfect selections for the arrangement and the vase. One of my hydrangea bushes always surprised me with unique combinations of color. I have a mop-head pink and blue sometimes purple hydrangeas on this single bush. It is so beautiful!!!
How did you get the combination colors on the hydrangea bush?
Hydrangea makes great cut flowers and dry really well so you can enjoy them all year long, however dried hydrangea are very fragile. As mentioned every year I get new colors with in this one bush. I don’t do anything to the soil. My soil must be part acid and part alkaline, which creates the blue, pink and purple combinations.
Aluminum Sulfate or Lime?
Blooms grown in an acid soil at ph of 5.5 or lower produces blue heads while pink blooms are produced in alkaline soil a ph of 7 or higher. So, if you want blue hydrangeas add aluminum sulfate around the edges of the soil to acidify but if you want more pinkish blooms add lime.
Some hydrangea as in white varieties such as Lanarth White, these selections are not picky about the soil’s ph. They will always bloom white. However, pruning hydrangea is a different story. Some if you prune in the fall, you cut the flowers for spring, meaning you won’t have any blooms. Interesting isn’t it?
So…how do you make the vase?
After searching and thinking about the flowers in the arrangement, I decided I would do a Laura Dowling technique, wrapping a bucket with masking tape and hot gluing magnolia and hydrangea leaves to the bucket in diagonals. Using green tape will conceal any possible gaps. The leaves are tightly folded in half and glued end to end alternating the leaves on the next row to create fluid lines.
Because hydrangeas were going to be used in the arrangement, the leaves and stems repeated in the vase covering brought the piece together. It’s like garnishing a dessert with berries. If berries are inside the dessert, repeating the berries to the garnish ties it together. People know what’s inside the dessert.
Tip: After removing the leaves from the magnolia branches, use the branches in the arrangement to help support the heavy heads of the hydrangeas as well as create interest and texture.
Other florals are hydrangea leafy stems, white snowball hydrangea, white wave petunias, english ivy and assorted greenery from my yard.
The arrangement is very large and probably not the best for a dining table for you can not see over it or around it. However, placing the arrangement on a side board or a foyer entry table would be lovely. Also, you could leave this outside in semi shade for a garden party or wedding. Bonus, once you create the vase, you can reuse it.
I took a lot of photos of this arrangement as you can tell. Ha Ha. But wanted to capture all it’s loveliness within the time frame of the late afternoon early evening. Hope you enjoy the photos too. Make one for yourself and send me pictures. xo Liz
Other Ideas you might like to try: