Who doesn’t love to receive flowers for special occasions? Before you run out to buy a big bouquet, try making one yourself. Our friend and flower expert J Schwanke shows us how to create a stunning hand-tied bouquet. As a bonus, it can double as a centerpiece!
Those beautiful hydrangea blooms will last much longer if you dry and preserve them. There are three popular methods for drying hydrangeas. Choose the one that fits your needs depending on how much time you want to spend on the project, and the results you are after.
- 3/4 cup water (I use tap water, but distilled is fine too)
- 2 tablespoons vodka, witch hazel, or real vanilla extract
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 drops rosemary essential oil
- Combine in an 8oz spray bottle, shake well, and spray as needed.
You can create a beautiful hanging basket with just three plants: Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Lantana, Superbena® Royale Red Verbena and Goldilocks Rocks® Bidens. Add a couple of thriller plants (Angelface® Blue Angelonia and/or Prairie Winds® ‘Cheyenne Sky’ Panicum) to use this combination in a patio container.
It’s hard to find just the right gift that evokes all the things you’d like to tell the mother in your life on Mother’s Day. Whether it’s your own mother, a best friend or the mother of your own brood, a beautiful bouquet from Stargazer Barn just can’t be topped. This Mother’s Day Bouquet is a stunning fresh-cut arrangement bursting with beautiful complementary colors, and long, gorgeous stems grown on the farm at Stargazer Barn. The bouquet features six perfectly shaped, bright yellow Royal lilies accented with16 gorgeous deep blue irises. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond by topping your bouquet off with a package of coffee or small-batch chocolate to make her feel like a queen!
You can have this bouquet delivered directly to your treasured matron, or order one to your own home and use it as décor to host a delightful Mother’s Day Brunch! Help mom kick back and relax on her day by providing a bountiful brunch complete with a Stargazer Mother’s Day Bouquet as a centerpiece.
I’m always amazed at the resilience and tenderness of motherhood, and I like to invite the ladies in my life to kick back and enjoy the day at Moss Mountain Farm on this special day. The fare can be simple—try a chicken salad and Buttermilk Pecan Pie—after all, it’s the togetherness and enjoyment of the day that we all come to celebrate.
See the whole fresh flower collection at the P. Allen Smith shop.
Stargazer Barn Mother’s Day Bouquet
The Stargazer Mother’s Day Bouquet features 6 perfectly shaped bright yellow Royal lilies accented with a full cluster of 16 deep blue irises.
Stargazer Barn Orange Tulips
Dazzling deep red-orange blooms open to reveal an unexpected surprising black base. The rich, hand-selected flowers will arrive in bud form and continue to bloom over the ensuing days.
Stargazer Barn Pale Pink Priental Lilies
These breathtaking Stargazer Barn Pale Pink Oriental Lilies have large blooms, high bud counts and long stems. The blooms have a slightly sweet, almost citrusy scent. With proper care, they’ll have a long vase life.
I recommend planting lavender in abundance because it has so many
uses, including as an infused vinegar that works as a facial toner,
hair rinse and all-purpose cleaner for your home. Harvest this
perennial just before it fully opens.
Lavender vinegar can be used as a fragrant fabric softener, a bath
fragrance, glass cleaner or, when diluted in water (8 parts water
to 1 part vinegar), as a facial toner, hair rinse or deodorizing
body splash. This easy recipe only has three ingredients and three
- Enough lavender leaves and flowers to fill a 1-quart jar half full
- White vinegar
- Sterile, glass 1-quart jar with a plastic screw-on lid
- Place the lavender in the jar and fill with vinegar.
- Screw on the lid. Vinegar will react with metal so use a plastic lid. If your lid is metal, cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap before screwing on the lid.
- Place the jar in a dark place for 4 weeks, shaking occasionally
Giving flowers is the perfect way to let someone know you are thinking about them on this love-filled holiday. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, child, parent or closest friend, everyone loves to receive a bouquet of elegant flowers for Valentine’s Day and know they are in someone’s thoughts. The folks are Stargazer Barn have orchestrated some beautiful handpicked bouquets to brighten your loved one’s home or office this holiday. Add a small batch package of coffee, or an artisanal chocolate bar and hearts are guaranteed to flutter. Here are a few of my favorite bouquets available in the P. Allen Smith shop …
A dozen long-stemmed Jumbo Pink tulips and a dozen Telstar Irises are sure to get hearts swooning.
The Lilies For Lovers bouquet of Stargazer and Oriental lilies packs a colorful and fragrant punch when the enormous buds burst open with beautiful pink and white petals.
There is nothing more romantic than long stemmed tulips. This gorgeous combo includes 12 stems of the variety Ile de France and 12 stems of Jumbo Pink tulips to add sweeping romance to any room.
We have your Valentine’s Day gifts wrapped and ready in the P. Allen Smith shop! Whether your Valentine is a gardener, foodie or just loves nature we have just the thing for them.
This gift basket is perfect for your favorite gardener. We’ve hand-selected some of our favorite gardening necessities to satisfy any green thumb. This basket includes a Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Hand Trowel, “Love Grows” Journal, “Seeds From My Garden” packets to organize your seed saving, and an 8-piece Lambrecht Gourmet Fleur de Sel Toffee. It is creatively packaged in an Arkansas-made peck basket with a handle for easy toting, and wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with raffia ribbon.
We’ve launched a delightfully fragrant line of candles based on inspiration from my own garden! I love this rose scented fragrance, and it’s here just in time for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to check out all eight scents!
Treat yourself, a friend or a Valentine to indulge in a little aromatherapy with this Bubbly and Berries Goat’s Milk Gift Set including handmade lotion, soap and lip balm with a bubbly berry twist. We also have a Rustic Spice fragrance set for those who like a warmer, spicier fragrance.
This gift basket is perfect for the birding someone in your life. It’s filled with some lovely bird-themed treats including a lightweight pink scarf printed with colorful birds, “Love Sings” journal, little bird letter organizer, and 8-piece Lambrecht Gourmet Fleur de Sel Toffee. It is packaged in an Arkansas-made peck basket with a handle for easy toting, wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with raffia ribbon. Sure to get their feathers ruffled!
My favorite gift to give on Valentine’s Day is flowers. I like the idea of a hint of spring arriving at a loved one’s door just when it seems that winter will never pass. It’s a wonderful reminder that sunshine and blue skies are on their way!
Whether your sweetheart has a brown thumb or loves to get their hands in the soil you can’t go wrong with flowers. Although red roses are the classic Valentine’s Day flower, there are so many choices available it’s easy to be creative. Here are some ideas for you to consider.
Basketful of Bouquets
Flowers are a wonderful way to say I love you. To make the statement even more personal, why not put together the arrangement yourself. Here’s a simple gift idea I featured in Woman’s Day that I still use. It’s a whole basketful of blooms. The beauty of this present is that the vases can be removed from the basket and put wherever the recipient wants fresh flowers.
- Gather enough juice glasses or small vases (2 to 3 inches high) to fit snugly into a basket.
- Head out to your local florist and choose your combination of flowers. Or try my selections of 10 stems each of white and pink mini carnations, pink and red sweet heart roses, red tulips and pink ranunculus.
- Make each bouquet by gathering a bunch of the same flowers in one hand just below the blossoms and then trimming the stems to 4 inches. Wrap a rubber band around the stems to hold them securely together, then push the band up the stems just beneath the base of the flowers.
- Drop the bundle into a water-filled vase. Trim more from the stems if necessary. Repeat this process for each vase. Add a ribbon gift card and you’re ready to deliver your one-of-a-kind gift.
Flowering Houseplants, Hot House Shrubs and Forced Bulbs
I feel safe in saying that by February most of us are tired of winter. Even with the daring blooms of early daffodils, winter honeysuckle and quince, it can be a pretty dismal month. I suppose that’s why flowers are such a nice gift on Valentine’s Day. If your special someone has a green thumb, consider giving them a flowering houseplant, hot house shrub or forced spring bulbs. The blooms will last for weeks and with proper care the houseplants will bloom again and the shrubs can be planted out in the garden. Here are a few to consider:
- African Violets
- Miniature Roses
- Peace Lily
- Lily of the Valley
- Mixed Bulb Gardens
Give the special gardener in your life more than just a single bouquet, a rose bush will provide fresh flowers year after year. And now is the time to order roses. Just be sure to be around when it comes time to plant! Here is a list of some of my favorites:
- New Dawn
- Old Blush
- Russell’s Cottage
- Sarah van Fleet
- The Fairy
- White Meidiland
Good to Know
Make sure the message you send is the right one! Here are meanings to some popular flowers.
Azalea = First Love
Camellia = Gratitude
Carnation = Fascination
Chrysanthemum = Friendship
Crocus = Cheerfulness, Dedicated to St. Valentine
Daffodil = Chivalry
Daisy = Innocence
Forget-Me-Not = Memories
Gardenia = Grace
Hyacinth = Sincerity
Ivy = Fidelity
Lilac = First Love
Casablanca Lily = Celebration
Orchid = Rare Beauty
Peony = Good Health
Rose, Pink = Friendship
Rose, Red = Passionate Love
Rose, Red and white = Unity
Rose, Rhite = Youthful Innocence
Sweetpea = Lasting Pleasure
Tulip, Red = Declaration of Love
Violet = Faithfulness
Zinnia = Thoughts of Friends
It seems like every year Punxsutawney Phil, our official forecasting groundhog, sees his shadow and forecasts an extended winter. It’s hard news to hear when you are eager to get outdoors and start gardening.
So what’s a gardener to do? One way you can defy Old Man Winter is by forcing blooming shrubs such as quince, forsythia and pussy willow into flower indoors. The process is simple and the results will brighten your home while you wait for spring. Here is how you do it.
As soon as you see the flower buds on your spring flowering shrubs start to swell, clip a few branches to bring indoors. Select branches that are heavily loaded with buds. You will usually find these towards the top of the shrub.
Once you get the branches inside it’s important to re-cut the ends at a slight angle. Then make a few slits about 2 to 3 inches long around the base. Both of these steps will help draw more water up into the stems.
Put the branches in a bucket of water and keep them in cool dark place for a few days, misting them occasionally. Then move them into a well-lit room and watch as the warmer temperatures coax the flowers into bloom.