Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
I love decorating with flowers and plants in our home. Flowers instantly brighten up any table or little corner. My Grandma Marshall loved flowers and always had gladiolus, lilacs, peonies, or whatever was in bloom in her home. Hollyhocks I associate with my Grandma Hanig. They were always growing on the side of her house. I notice that when Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper, decorates a home, she often uses foliage and fruit found in the yard. Some of her plant choices are pretty common and easy to grow. Check out her blog post on her plant choices for season 4.
]Flowers, greenery, and plants are a good way to bring the outdoors in. Cutting and trimming outdoor flowers is often beneficial to the plant. Plants will often become bushier and fuller after giving them a "trim". Why not use the greenery and blooms indoors?
Here is a sweet little pitcher filled with viola pansies I snipped from the front yard. The violas were actually getting rather leggy and needed a good cutting back. Instead of tossing the blooms, I took off most of the greenery, cut the stems to size, and placed the flowers in this sweet little pitcher that is part of my Fostoria American collection. It is one of the first things I see each morning and it really makes my day. It may seem like an "extravagance" to put flowers in your bathroom, but why not?
Here is the creamer with the tissue holder. I sprayed a plastic tissue holder and wastepaper basket with Hammered Rosemary spray paint by Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One. The hammered rosemary paint gives the tissue holder a great texture and wonderful color. I felt like elegance was added to some simple plastic pieces within minutes with the spray paint.
I have had this orchid since Valentine's Day and it is now July! The blooms are starting to fall, but I have enjoyed this orchid in the kitchen/family room in a variety of containers. For this arrangement, I placed the orchid pot in the galvanized bucket. I used plastic grocery bags as filler around the orchid pot. Then I topped everything with moss.
My husband has taken to giving me an orchid plant for special occasions--Valentine's Day, my birthday, and our anniversary. Usually he buys them at the grocery store or even Home Depot. The orchids will be in bloom for weeks if not months. I like to put them outdoors in the summer time. I have had them rebloom, without much help from me at all.
I've used "Americana" very loosely in my summer decor. Being guided by things I already had, I decided my rooster pitcher was definitely a summer time, fun piece. I've enjoyed arranging red carnations and babies breath in it. It's a cheery display piece in the family room.
My husband brought home two Coke-a-Cola bottles one day. He said he knew I could use these in something. What is more American than Coke-a-Cola? I placed one bottle in a little vignette on an end table next to a vintage typewriter. A couple of carnations and some babies breath in the Coke bottles, just say "happy, happy" to me.
I hadn't intended to have a vase of flowers in the kitchen, but I had enough red carnations, so I added this vase to a little vignette in the kitchen. I have liked having flowers in the kitchen so much, I've kept flowers in this vase for a few weeks.
This fun sunflower pitcher was looking a little empty on it's own on the living room coffee table. I was out trimming vinca vines from some hanging plants and planters. Once again, I decided to see if I could put them to use in a flower arrangement. The sweet basil and sage needed to be trimmed, so I incorporated them into the greenery of the design. All that was left was to cut some zinnias and add them to the mix. My zinnias were just coming on, so I only cut three of them and was happy with the look of this free form arrangement.
All of the greenery and flowers are from plants from containers and the yard that needed to be trimmed. The vinca vines, basil, sage, and zinnias are all trimmings! (Tucker is perched on "his" couch. I didn't feel like upsetting his world and displacing him for the photo. After all, he is a big part of our home and happiness!)
I have some very practical and functional things going on as part of this potted plant centerpiece. I layered a set of leafy placemats and galvanized chargers as the base for the galvanized bucket which holds the philodendron. The chargers and placemats are doing double duty as decor and enables me to have easy access to these items when setting the table. One of my principles: "Why hide it, when you can use it to accessorize?"
Sometimes, all you need to do is add a fun container. Consider using pitchers, galvanized buckets, and favorite dishes. I purchased this philodendron plant in January when I it was pretty gray in our neck of the woods. For summer, I placed it in a galvanized bucket that I purchased at Walmart. I added some red, white, and blue pip berries for the summer holidays. It's one of those simple arrangements that pleases me.
I have two violets that I have had for many years. They seem to really like the light they get in the small bay window in our dining room. I placed this deep purple beauty in a favorite white container. I did wrap some twig-like nesting material I found at a craft store around the base of the potted violet. The nesting material hides the plain, terra cotta pot in which the violet is planted. I don't do much to these violets, except water them and give them a dose of fertilizer made especially for violets every week or so.
I added some trimmings from some hosts plants to the broken stem of begonias. The arrangement was quite simple to put together and is a great example of contrast of color and texture in the world of Mother Nature. (After reviewing the photo, I think it would be fun to add some ivy, vinca vine, or some other vining plant. That would add the finishing touch!)
I frequently snip bundles of herbs from my outdoor containers. Basil, rosemary, lavender, and sage give of wonderful scents and have great texture. I like to make little vases up fro the kitchen and other living spaces throughout our home. Trimming back the herbs helps the plants to bush out and produce more foliage.
There you have it! It's as easy as taking trimmings and cuttings from outdoor greenery and plants. (I am making an effort to trim back my flowers, to encourage balanced, bushy growth this summer. Ultimately, it is healthier for the plant, than letting it get too leggy or gangly). Herbs, vines, and flowering plants are all at your disposal. Then put those trimmings to use in indoors arrangements. Scour your cupboards, closets, and collections for interesting containers: soda bottles, mason jars, galvanized buckets, serving pieces, pitchers, creamers. A powder room, end table, kitchen corner, or end table can all be "sweetened" up with a fun container of greens and flowers. Consider placing house plants in interesting containers for a fresh look. No need to repot the original pots. Just place the pot inside a new container and add moss or twig nesting material to hide the pot.
I would really like to see how you decorate with flowers and greenery. Please leave a comment and share photos to this post. As always--use what you have, use what you love, and use what brings you joy and happiness!
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