narcissus on a table with tea

Creating a Flower-filled Farmhouse

Having endured a long and cold winter now is the time to look forward to spring and all that it represents: lots of sunshine and vessels filled with beautiful flowers. Beautiful spring flower arrangements are the perfect way to welcome warmer temperatures.

purple lilacs in lap with book



Bulb flowers are the essence of spring. Daffodils, hyacinths, novelty tulips from Holland, and show-stopping ‘Clooney’ ranunculus and anemones from Italy are among my favorites. After being cut, bulb flowers make a show of opening and growing. If you buy a hyacinth with tight buds, it will open gradually and grace you with its sweetness for a while.

Keep in mind that bulb flowers are more sensitive to heat and light than other types of flowers, so they shouldn’t be placed near heat sources or in direct sunlight. Hyacinth and narcissus, in particular, have a pleasant fragrance and are good to display on a bedside table or in a bathroom.

Bulbs like water but don’t fill the vase all the way up. Just a few inches will suffice. When you first put the flowers in the vase, you can add flower food to keep the water clear and extend the life of your blooms. Make sure you change the water frequently if you display your flowers in clear glass so that they don’t become cloudy and unsightly.

tulips in vase on table


I am a huge fan of what is found in the garden. Large branches of dogwoods or azaleas or a long cut from a camellia bush work well. These trees are just beginning to bloom at this time of year. You can cut the branches and bring them indoors for an eye-catching display. The warmth will cause the buds to bloom within a few weeks. Vases of flowering branches make for a dazzling display because they can be up to five feet tall. For an impactful presentation, place flowering branches in an area with a high ceiling, like a foyer.

forcing branches


Whenever you get the flowers home, give the bottom a fresh cut and remove all the leaves that will be submerged.

Use clear glass when displaying a single variety of cut flowers. French tulips look stunning this way. Place all the stems together in a clear vase and let them fall as they may. Trim the ends of the stems and clear off as many of the leaves as you can. This makes for a stunning presentation, but you must ensure that all stems are uniform so that the display looks crisp and clean. You should use an opaque vase if you are showing multiple flower varieties.

Flowers can be arranged in several vases of various styles and heights and grouped as a dining room table centerpiece. The vases do not have to match. Even multiple sizes of mason jars filled with different spring flowers work well this way.

The vase’s mouth is important. The large opening demands more flowers, but it also allows for more of an arch and a looser feel to your arrangement. A vase with a very small opening can have a very architectural look. Don’t try to stuff too much into a small vase mouth.

flowers in stoneware vase

Favorite places and ways to display fresh cut flowers

Hold onto your glass bottles – Don’t get rid of glass bottles. Some make lovely vases to hold flowers of every hue and color. And don’t be afraid to call dibs on interesting bottles of wine. Remove the labels from the bottles by soaking them in warm, soapy water. Fill the bottles with chrysanthemums or roses and arrange them along a feature wall.

In a little teapot – A flower arrangement like this will look great on any dining table. You can either use an old teapot that you already own or look in thrift shops. If you choose a pot with an elaborate design on its surface, it may clash with your flower arrangement, so lean toward a solid color.

It’s a crock –  The simplest of old kitchen crocks can be given a new life by holding intricate floral arrangements. Look around your kitchen to find new and fresh ideas among the old pots and pans.

Pebbles and shells – You can also draw attention to your flowers by using interesting shells and pebbles you’ve found during your travels. Fill colorless vases like a mason jar or a simple, transparent bottle roughly one-third full with shells and pebbles. Top off the vase with water, then add your flowers.

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