Create a Flower Arrangement With Roses and Foliage From the Garden

9 Materials
1 Hour

Bring some flowers in from the garden to enjoy in a spring arrangement and/or to celebrate Mother’s Day.

To create this arrangement I started with a garden urn I had. It’s not watertight, so I placed a plastic container inside the urn and secured it with waterproof floral tape. A piece of chicken wire makes for easy flower arranging to support the stems and is an eco-friendly alternative to wet floral foam as it is reusable. You can see this piece of chicken wire has been used many times by the rust on the wire.

Chicken wire is easy to cut with pliers. You’ll want to cut a piece larger and wider than the opening of your container and bend it to fit inside your container. Use some waterproof floral tape to attach it to your container if needed. You can find chicken wire at garden centers, craft stores or online.

Privet blooms in early May here in North Carolina. I cut some branches to add to the urn for an arrangement and added some sprigs of boxwood cut from the shrubs for a foundation for the roses.

Once you have your greenery in place, you're ready to add your roses or flowers.

A tip about woody stems:

Privet has a woody stem. Some people crush woody stems to help them ‘drink’, but this can cause bacteria to grow; instead use a vegetable peeler to remove 3 – 4 inches of the outer bark to help woody foliage ‘drink’ and stay fresh longer.

I always add some floral preservative to my vase water to help prolong the life of my flowers and usually pick up a couple of extra packets at the grocery store to have on hand whenever I buy flowers. As I haven’t been shopping for flowers lately, here’s an easy recipe you can make to help prolong the life of your flowers using items you probably have in your pantry: Apple Cider Vinegar & Sugar!

Add a teaspoon of ACV and a teaspoon of regular sugar to your vase water. The vinegar helps kill the bacteria and the sugar provides food for flowers. It doesn’t have to be raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar, any apple cider vinegar will work. 

I cut some Knock-Out Roses that have been blooming their hearts out for several weeks now. This Double Red Knock Out is shockingly bright to the point of requiring sunglasses when you look at it. :)

I also cut some Double Pink Knock Out Roses to add to the arrangement. Learn how to certify your garden and create a wildlife habitat in your backyard, HERE, it's easier than you might think!

Popcorn Drift Rose were added next. They're easy to grow and start out yellow and fade to creamy white, reminiscent of buttery popcorn. Drift Roses are comparable to the family of Knock Out Roses in disease resistance and are low-maintenance, but smaller in size so ideal for small gardens or containers.

Lastly, I added some Earth Angel Roses. Earth Angel Rose is a fragrant old-fashioned rose with blooms varying in color from white to soft pink.

Here's the finished arrangement. I already had the urn, floral tape and chicken wire, so this arrangement only cost me my time and took about 30 minutes to come together once all the flowers and greenery were cut.

More tips to prolong the life of your flowers:

  • Cut your floral and foliage stems at a 45 degree angle for maximum water uptake.
  • Remove any leaves that would be below the water line that will cause bacteria to grow.
  • If cutting flowers and foliage from the garden, cut stems in the morning when they’re hydrated and not water stressed from the heat.
  • Change the vase water every other day if possible to prolong the life of your flowers.

More photos and details at the blog link below!

Suggested materials:
  • Greenery   (shrubs / garden)
  • Roses   (garden)
  • Vegetable peeler   (had / grocery store)
See all materials
Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  2 questions
  • Mersh Mersh on May 12, 2020

    What is good to keep mice always

  • Theresa Patrick Theresa Patrick on May 28, 2020

    I didn't know, or maybe remember privet having those blooms. Are they sweet smelling? I think that's what we had as a kid that I thought was honeysuckle. Been looking for it for yrs. If is sweet smelling, do you know the variety? Please let me know. Thanks. ☺

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2 of 24 comments
  • Suzzann Suzzann on May 13, 2021

    I thought vinegar would kill plants?

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on May 14, 2021

    Privet hedges are also considered noxious here in FL. The communities all planted them as foundation shrubs when built and they are always infested with whiteflies. Slowly they are all dying off and being replaced with native plants.

    btw - you always make the most gorgeous centerpieces!