Episode 201- Arrangements from the Garden

Season 2 Episode #201 – Arrangements from the Garden

Host J Schwanke shares ways to bring your garden indoors. From creating simple arrangements with cut flowers, to incorporating flowers into your kitchen and gift giving—it’s easy enjoy the health and wellness benefits of flowers from the garden.

Create Flower Arrangements from the Garden

Flowers from the garden are fun to grow and even better you can use those flowers for arranging!

I’m so excited about Season 2 of “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom”- if there is a silver lining in these challenging times- it’s the opportunity for us to reach more people all across the country- with the Health and Wellness Benefits of Flowers. Long before – this pandemic was even a thing- (about 2 years ago) when we were planning and creating Season 2- we decided the entire Season of 13 shows- should reflect and educate about the Health and Wellness Benefits of Flowers… Who knew- that this Season would premiere in the midst of a global pandemic- and how wonderful to have the Power of Flower leading the way for creating your own Life in Bloom!

There have been very valuable studies and proven research released- about the Power of Flowers- when it comes to health and wellness. There are lots of studies and I’ve compiled them in one location- with links to the actual studies and proven research- if you want to view them or read more about the Health and Wellness Benefits- visit my blog at this link- www.uBloom.com/Research

Havesting Flowers for Arranging

Early Morning provides the optimum time for Flower Harvest

There’s also additional research about how working in the garden can help lessen depression from the micro-organisms that can get under our fingernails- and provide a natural anti-depressive remedy. It’s Magical to work in the garden- and to grow flowers! In my opinion it becomes even more beneficial when we can take flowers from our garden- and bring them inside – to create a bit of that same playful garden magic inside our homes.

I’ve planted my garden for Arranging. I introduce the term Arrange-Plant in Season 1 of “Life in Bloom”- episode 101- The Pilot for the Series! Everything I have planted (or will plant) in my garden- is for the intention of using it to arrange. I know that may sound “Extreme”… but I love arranging flowers more than anything… and so I want to be able to cut the flowers and foliage I grow and make arrangements- that I can enjoy, give away, or whatever…

The garden provides the perfect blooms that can be frozen inside ice cubes!

The garden provides the perfect blooms that can be frozen inside ice cubes!

I hear this a lot- “I want to come see your garden- it must be INCREDIBLE”… while I won’t disagree- I find it INCREDIBLE- but at the same Time- I try to cut everything… so there are times- that certain things are not Show Pieces- but look a little ‘mowed down”… but that’s me… you can choose to do what you want in your garden- for me … it’s all about Arrange-Plant- I even do this with my herbs, and container gardens too… nothing is “safe” from being cut to be arranged… heheheh!

Harvesting Flowers from the Garden

In this show- I teach you my favorite tips and tricks for harvesting flowers from the garden… there’s a segment about it… and there’s a little recap at the end of the show- with my favorite tips! I have Astilbe, Hydrangeas, Peonies (both Tree and Regular) Lilacs, Daffodils, Tulips, Basil, Hosta, Scented Geranium, Allium, Lilies, Ferns, Pussy willow, Clematis, Ornamental grasses, Sedum, Grape Hyacinth, Roses, Basil, Rosemary, Chives, Sage, Verbena, Lavender, Butterfly Bush, Callas, Nine Bark, Viburnum (3 kinds), Spirea , the list goes on and on… I’m looking for different things for different times of year… so that it can be interesting, textural, colorful… it’s an on-going adventure…

I always harvest Early in the Morning- just before the sun comes up- we’re lucky- that we live in a pretty high spot- in some rolling hills- with trees and wet lands on one side- so the sun brightens everything up- before it actually crests the trees… so I have a little time to get out there before the sun starts shining on the garden. This is important- as flowers hydrate overnight in the dark- (and typically cooler temps)… so they are hydrated and more turgid- and have not been stressed. The Worst time to cut is late in the day after the flowers have been dehydrated by the sun and warmer temps.

J's June favorites are Peonies and Snowball Viburnum for arranging!

J’s June favorites are Peonies and Snowball Viburnum for arranging!

I go out with a bucket- so I can cut the stems and plunge them immediately into COLD WATER with Flower Nutrient- I use two different types of tools- a By-pass cutter- and a locking blade knife. I like them because they make a clean- sharp -45˚ angle cut- that aids in water uptake. I use cold water- I chill it with ice- and there’s a trick to measuring the ice with the water- so that I don’t dilute the flower nutrient! I mark my bucket for a gallon of water (or 2)- and then I add the ice- then fill the water to the line- that way- when the ice melts it won’t dilute my accurately measured flower food!

Flower Food and Cold water are Key Ingredients for long lasting flowers- I love my flower food- by measuring accurately- I can make flowers last 2-3 times longer- it’s simple- using Cold Water (ice cold 34-38˚F)… and flower nutrient… starting in the garden IMMEDIATELY after cutting… and then again in the vase- and topping off as the flowers drink the water in the vase… I have LONG Lasting Flowers… I just dumped some today that were 6 weeks old… I know- but Trust me on this one!

This giant arrangement is "EMPTY inside- J shares the trick behind the Perimeter Urn in this episode of Life in Bloom!

This giant arrangement is “EMPTY inside- J shares the trick behind the Perimeter Urn in this episode of Life in Bloom!

I have some great videos on uBloom about care and handling of Cut Flowers… and share all my tips and tricks… Here’s a link to the archive we host on uBloom that features videos and more information for Longer Lasting Flowers!

Arranging Flowers from the Garden

This is another area where people can sometimes feel intimidated…but fear not- I also share my favorite tips for creating a beautiful bouquet from the garden. Here’s a good quick list of things to remember:

  1. Criss Cross a few stems of Foliage- into the vase first- this provides a structure that will make it easier to arrange
  2. Large Flowers can go in first- and flowers like Hydrangea can set on the rim of the vase to provide a “focal area”
  3. Add your next largest flowers- next- and continue that way- adding the smallest flowers last
  4. Don’t forget to use Cold Water- and Flower Food- it’s going to help the flowers last longer…

I always like to remind people to “TAKE THEIR TIME”… and “ENJOY the ARRANGING PROCESS”… these are two things that many people forget- they get all worked up and want to arrange flowers fast… while It looks FAST on the show- it’s doesn’t need to be… and I don’t like to do it fast- I usually – harvest my flowers one day- and make the arrangement the NEXT Day- I like to draw it out… and make it fun!

J loves to bring the Outside - Inside with Grasses and Tree Branches- Learn more in this show!

J loves to bring the Outside – Inside with Grasses and Tree Branches- Learn more in this show!

I put on my favorite music and wear my favorite sweat pants- fix some coffee- and enjoy… the act of arranging flowers reduces Stress… and makes us feel happier and relaxes us- (Think ZEN like feelings!) We think happier thoughts, lessen depression… (Who doesn’t need this about now)… Research proves- that arranging flowers increases creativity and having flowers in the home reduces arguments! Have I convinced you yet??? I hope so.

Harvest and Arranging Flowers causes us to release Dopamine- and being out in the sunshine- increases our exposure to full spectrum light- another benefit- when we are dealing with isolation or “shelter in place” status!

A vase of Variegated Grass is easy- with the "Chop and Drop" technique J Shares on Life in Bloom!

A vase of Variegated Grass is easy- with the “Chop and Drop” technique J Shares on Life in Bloom!

Unexpected Arrangement from the Garden

Several years ago I visited my Friend Els Teunissen in Des Moines IA… in her house she had these incredible vases – filled with Tree Branches (Small Trees… WOAH)… Ornamental Grasses and the like- I was totally inspired … it was like being out in the forest- except in her living room. I took that inspiration and started to do that in my house… I grow Ornamental Grasses and harvest branches off my trees just for this purpose. To bring the Outside inside… It’s a dramatic statement for the house- and it makes it Cozy and Nature-like. I love it!

I use big vases- but you can use smaller ones too… I like it to be like a forest in the house… I’m thankful Kelly likes it too! I love to bring in the variegated Grass you see in the show… another favorite is Japanese Maples… I also planted a cluster of Autumn Blaze Maples- so I can bring them inside in the fall and enjoy the colorful leaves… and YES- they actually fall off the stems inside- and I love that too! I’m bringing the outside INSIDE … In the winter I can bring in naked branches too… and hang ornaments or snowflakes on them… the skies the limit!

Dianthus grown in the garden can provide an unexpected ingredient to your next dessert!

Dianthus grown in the garden can provide an unexpected ingredient to your next dessert!

One of my favorite filming moments is in this show- when I’m cleaning the Variegated Grass- it makes such a cool- shshshshsh noise when I’m doing it… I compare it to “dead-heading” in the garden- another of my favorite tasks… but take not of the noise in this segment- I love it!

In addition I use the “Chop and Drop” technique with this grass- I gather it up in my hand and create the bunch I want to put in the vase- and chop off the ends- and drop it into the Amethyst Vase… (one of my favorites) – Chop and Drop is a fun way to create flower arrangements- it’s not limited to grasses… you can do with a bunch of tulips, babies breath, roses or whatever you like… you’re going to love “Chop and Drop”!

You can also bring in branches of Apple or Cherry Trees and let the blooms open in the House- I have a Red Bud Tree just for this purpose… I love letting those Purple buds open in the house… it’s magical. Think about Forsythia, Magnolia or Tulip Tree too!

Garden Art with J Schwanke

J creates Floating Flower and Foliage Frames on Life in Bloom!

There’s some great Flower Crafts in this Show- and you can learn more about them in these links I’ve provide below

Gladiolus Perimeter Urn

Pink Rosé Dianthus Wine Cake Recipe

Flower Cocktail Hour- with the Garden Gimlet

Framed Floating Flower Frames

One of my Favorite flowers is the Peony- and I have many varieties for arranging in the garden.

One of my Favorite flowers is the Peony- and I have many varieties for arranging in the garden.

I hope you enjoy this Episode about Flowers from the Garden- From Arranging Flowers and Foliage from your own garden to creating Crafts, or Unexpected Arrangements, or ever Desserts or Cocktails with Flower from the garden… this show is all about the Magic of your Garden- and there’s lots of fun ideas- and Flower Power to help you increase your health and wellness with Flowers!