Introduction: Winter's Flowery Bouquet to Usher in Spring

About: I attend Clemson University majoring in Environmental and Natural Resources Management. Currently I do research on peaches at a Clemson research farm. I love the outdoors and anything dealing with it.

Where I live Winter is in full swing, in fact as I write this it is snowing and sleeting. With Valentine's Day right around the corner this very simple craft can come in handy and if you did like me, it's completely free.

1. Flowers, shrubbery, greenery, vines, etc.
2. Scissors
3. Knife
4. Bread ties or small diameter wire
5. Zip ties and/or duct tape
6. String (sewing thread)
7. Snacks, you might get hungry in the process.

Step 1: Preparing the Base

For this part your going to want something semi-sturdy because everything is going to be attached to it. Luckily for me I found a tree with budwood (new wood) with blooms on it, so I decided to use this as my base. When I was collecting my specimens I just broke them free, but when you go to assemble the bouquet your going to cut away the roughage at around a 45 degree angle, because one it looks nice and two it helps the plants absorb water easier. After cutting the end remove excess you branches you wont need or if they don't have buds. Finally lay them out in to a fan like shape and tightly tie and wrap string around the base of the fan shape to keep it secure. 

Step 2: Add Some Greenery Behind the Base

At this point your going to secure some greenery (although mine is red) behind the base using the string again. Remember keep the same general fan shape and during all of the steps try and keep everything as proportional as you can. As you can see, I always set up and observe the formation before I finally tie it down. 

Step 3: Adding Some Greenery to the Front

Now add some greenery to the front of the display. Dont be afraid to trip away something, more is not always better. As you can see in the photo I removed a great deal of the stems before I was satisfied with it. Again use the same securing method as before, remember to wrap the string around the entire thing, not just the new material.

Step 4: Now Add Some Pretty Flowers

Find some small pretty flowers that will fit well on top of the greenery you just added. All flowers have stems that are covered in leaves, remove all of the leaves. If the stem has more than one flower keep both, but if one is dead or dying remove it. Again place the new material in a fan shape and secure it in the same fashion. In the photo you can see how the flower stem was covered in leaves and then I have an example of one with no leaves, which is the one that I  will be using.

Step 5: Adding the Main Flowers

I was luck and found 5 yellow daffodils, which became the main flowers of my bouquet. Thread the stems of your main flowers through the base, try and be careful to not bend or break the stems of the main flower but if you do it's ok. Once you have threaded them through arrange them in an appeasing manner. 

Step 6: Adding Wire to the Main Flowers

Some large flowers can be top heavy so florist thread a wire through the stem to the flower to make it sturdier. All I had available was some bread ties, I removed the rubber coating to reveal only the wire, then began to insert it into the stem close the the flower and threaded it all the way to the flower. Be careful not the push the wire back out through the stem. Push the wire all the way in so that none is revealed. Now you can bend the wire so that the flower stays at a certain shape or angle.

Step 7: Optional Vine Wrapping at Base

You can either have the base of the bouquet showing all the stems or you can do like I did and wrap it in more greenery, I used ivy. Wrap the ivy around two fingers (or how ever many fingers it takes to make the size of your stems--all the stems) in a circular pattern. I used duct tape to secure the ivy since it was not that flexible and wanted to unwind. Slip the ivy ring over your stems and secure it using what ever means you like, I used a zip tie, but placed it so that the zip tie is hidden by the leaves. Remove any ivy leaves that are in the way of other material of out of place. All done! Now you should have a beautiful Winter Bouquet for Valentine's Day. 

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