Episode #511 – Bouquets in Bloom
Today on Life In Bloom we’re gathering flowers together into bouquets. We’ll learn the origin of bouquets, easy ways to create bouquets and even use one as a cake decoration!
“Always keep that happy attitude. Pretend that you are holding a beautiful fragrant bouquet.” - Earl Nightingale
There are few things more inviting than a bouquet of flowers. If you want to make friends quickly, bring a bouquet as a cheerful offering – hardly anyone says “no” to a bouquet of flowers. I’ve found bouquets to be an effective calling card in all facets of living – personal, formal, professional, or casual – there’s an appropriate bouquet for any situation. Creating and giving a bouquet is a meaningful, personal, gesture – and need not be at all difficult – I’ll show you techniques for beginners to connoisseurs, on this episode of Life In Bloom.
The Origins of Bouquet Holders
J discusses how bouquet holders came to be and shows artifacts – including how flowers work with the holders. Nosegay, pillow, modern holder with prototype mold.
Surely bouquets have been around almost as long as flowers themselves. Who can resist gathering even a small grouping of flowers to enjoy? Small flower bouquets have existed since at least medieval times and are also known as a nosegay, posy, or tussie-mussie.
A nosegay, posy, or tussie-mussie is a small flower bouquet, typically given as a gift. They have existed in some form since at least medieval times, when they were carried or worn around the head or bodice. Doilies are traditionally used to bind the stems in these arrangements. Alternatively, “posy holders”, available in a variety of shapes and materials (although often silver), enable the wearing of these arrangements “at the waist, in the hair, or secured with a brooch”.
The term nosegay arose in fifteenth-century Middle English as a combination of nose and gay (the latter then meaning “ornament”). So a nosegay was an ornament that appeals to the nose or nostril.
The term tussie-mussie (also tussy-mussy) comes from the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), when the small bouquets became a popular fashion accessory. Typically, tussie-mussies include floral symbolism from the language of flowers, and therefore may be used to send a message to the recipient. In modern times the term specifically refers to small bouquets in a conical metal holder, or the holder itself, particularly when used at a white wedding.
Antique Pillow Bouquet
Hand Tied Bouquet with Flower Frog… J demonstrates the use of a wire armature- from the 19th century- and show us how a bouquet would have been arranged in such an armature.
Small Bouquets and Hand Tied Technique
J discusses how even a small bouquet is an appreciated expression of kindness and/or love.
A bouquet of Dandelions picked for Mom, is perhaps a child’s first experience with flowers. Along with detecting a love of butter – or forming a chain or crown, Dandelions give us a first taste of the power of flowers! Let’s create a simple bouquet for the beginner -it’s made of just a few flowers. It’s easy- once you know the secret- and THEN you can start bringing flowers where ever you go…
J continues with small grocery store bunch placed in a vase.
Bloom 365 Tip - Not Smashing Stems
You may have seen the ends of stems smashed on television, as advice for better water uptake by certain flowers. This behavior is in no way helpful to the stems and seems to be demonstrated only for shock value.”
The interior of every flower stem or branch is made up of vessels- that carry the water and nutrients from the bottom of the stem to the top of the flowers- smashing the stem simply- shreds, destroys and mutilates this delicate vascular system- A Sharp 45˚ Angle cut is much more beneficial- not mention less destructive, mean or otherwise unseemly!
Bouquets with Painted Succulents
Repurposed Bouquet Segment featuring Painted Succulents – and hanging amaranthus… J also color enhances the succulents in a fun twist!
Featured Flower: Astilbe
Information and Trivia-
- native to mountain ravines and woodlands in Asia and North America.
- known by the common names false goat’s beard
- They are widely adapted to shade and water-logged conditions- I innocently planted them on the 4 corners of my backyard fountain- to much success… Who knew?!
- Flowers of at least some Astilbe species have a strong and pleasant aroma.
- Some species, including Astilbe rivularis, are used in traditional medicine.
- They are often grown in gardens for their featherlike flower spikes of white, yellow, pink, magenta, or purple, which rise above clumps of fernlike leaves from mid- to late summer.
- These fragile looking flowers are incredible durable- and last a long time – in an arrangement or vase!
Bundt Cake Decoration
Adding a bouquet to the center of a bundt cake for decoration
I love a bundt cake- One of my favorite childhood memories- is when my Mom would make Great Aunt Kay’s Sherry Cake Bundt Cake… It was a staple in our house for special occasions- and even became a multi-generation treat… my Nephew’s love it… because they ‘thought’ they were getting drunk eating it… heheheh! It’s a simple bundt cake recipe… and the ideal prop for this segment…
A bundt cake is perfectly designed – for flowers- and filling the center of the Bundt- with flowers – just requires a simple bouquet… let’s do this… and I share a few tips and tricks for creating this simple ‘drop-in’ flower decoration…
And- as Promised in this episode- I’ve included my Great Aunt Kay’s Recipe here… Special Thanks to my Aunt Alyce- that had the original recipe in her recipe file so I could bake it for the filming…and EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS to my sister Cindy- who had a backup copy- since I lost the other from Aunt Alyce… – I do love that it’s in My Sister Cindy’s handwriting… My sister has always had Beautiful Handwriting- just like her Terrariums…
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup Sherry cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 360°F.
Combine all cake ingredients and beat for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Grease and Flower Cake Pan…
Pour into greased and floured bundt or tube pan.
Bake for 52 to 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then tip over…
Not Included in this Episode on Public Television- Extra Web- Bonus
Check out this Protea Bouquet Project- (there are actually 2)… it’s a member exclusive video (follow this link for a preview!)it’s also featured in my Award Winning Book: Fun with Flowers- You can buy that book here!
Viewer Feedback from Sean Bair
Today I have 3 arrangements to share with you from viewer Sean Bair – these are big, beautiful arrangements – Sean is not afraid to use a good quantity of flowers – which I love to do as well when I have the opportunity…
I Love a flower arrangement that commands your attention- and These Flower Powerful arrangements Sean share- This COLORFUL spectacular arrangement complete with Dahlias- is definitely a show stopper!!!
Thanks again Sean! Remember, I LOVE to see how you’ve been inspired by the show. Send in your creations of all shapes and sizes – simple bouquets are enjoyed just as much as elaborate arrangements – remember to please yourself! We call viewer arrangements “Schwankes” a nickname given by fans Brad and Kelly. Send in your “Schwankes” to email@example.com – the letter j at the letter u- bloom.com and watch for more Schwankes on upcoming shows”
Gather a bouquet of flowers at your next opportunity – maybe you’ll also remember how it felt to do so, when you were very young. Perhaps you’ll also have the chance to share your creation with someone special. Until next time, for Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.