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Something from Nothing ‘Floral’ Arrangements

Spring Foraged Arrangements | How to Make Dried Floral Arrangements

It has been just over a week of us living within our homes as an important method of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. That right there is certainly a sentence that I never thought I would write and honestly feels like the opening line to a science fiction novel! However, we all know it is not and are all likely in a very similar situation right now.

Without our usual ability to get what we want whenever we please I am trying my best (even more so than usual!) to be resourceful and creative with what we already have around the house – food and home projects especially. While I certainly wish that all of us were not in our current situation, an exercise in ‘something from nothing’ is always a welcomed challenge to me. This weekend, after the forsythia branches I forced open last month were finally too far gone to keep around, our coffee table was looking a little empty. I would usually pop out to grab a bunch of flowers but, without that as an option currently, I chose to scavenge our immediate property to see what I could find to lift our space.

It is currently early spring in Ontario. However, aside from the constant chirping of birds you wouldn’t notice many signs of spring life. The purpose of this project is to embrace the season and work with what you have. At other times of year a walk around your property may present more colourful and traditionally beautiful plants but I hope this can show you that there is beauty in what we can find even at more bleak times of the year.

So…what exactly are we looking for out there?!

Honestly, anything! Whatever you can find. I focused on smaller containers because they are easier to fill with short stems and you are able to make multiple arrangements. Great things to find are:

  • sticks – there are so many on the ground at this time of year!
  • sticks with buds coming (even better!)
  • evergreen branches (things like euonymus and boxwood will have less of a Christmas feel than pine or spruce)
  • vines
  • dried out flowers – sedum, astilbe, echinacea, hydrangea…whatever you have is great! This is a reminder to never ever cut back plants with winter interest in the fall! Cut these things back in the spring so you can enjoy how they look all winter long – dried out plants is prettier than the bare dirt that would be there otherwise 🙂
  • grasses

Spring Foraged Arrangements | How to Make Dried Floral Arrangements
My little haul! Our property is not big by any means but I was able to find this handful of plants that I used to make the 5 smaller vase arrangements in the photos below!

The only tool you need! If you love gardening and making flower arrangements, owning a pair of pruning shears will make any flower arranging you do a whole lot easier…they are a MUST! This pair is my go-to, they are affordable and work well on smaller stems.

It’s about Intention

If all you can find are bare twigs, even those can be beautiful when thoughtfully placed and embraced for what they are. If you can find branches that will flower come the real spring, these can even be forced indoors. Below are some large branches that made a dramatic statement on my coffee table but a smaller vase with twigs on a side table is lovely – my friend Sarah on Instagram shared her beautiful ‘something from nothing’ arrangements and did just that.

Spring Foraged Arrangements | How to Make Dried Floral Arrangements

Tips for Making your ‘something from nothing’ arrangements look like something!

  • choose vases with a narrow mouth opening – 1″ or less is ideal! You will not have to use many branches/stems to make an impact
  • place your arrangements in pairs or clusters for added impact
  • stick to just one variety of plant material per vase
  • Create a vignette with your vases – pair your vase with a candle or place it on a stack of pretty books on a side table…this sort of vignette makes your arrangement look even more intentional
  • If you don’t have a traditional vase, see if you have anything else you can use – a liquor bottle, soap bottle, or even a condiment bottle are all viable options!

A Shift in Perspective

My friend Tristan (check out her super inspiring blog) went out and collected things from her property to make vases of her own and shared them on Instagram and described it as a shift in perspective which I absolutely loved. This is totally an exercise all about shifting your perspective to see things in a different light. Even items that may not traditionally be viewed as beautiful can be just that when thoughtfully created. This was a 30 minute activity that sparked creativity, got me out of the house (but still within a safe environment), and cost nothing. A perfect activity for anytime of year!

Spring Foraged Arrangements | How to Make Dried Floral Arrangements
A few sprigs of ivy paired with ornamental grasses – both vases are from the Crate and Barrel Artist’s Studio Collection

shop my vases

Spring Foraged Arrangements | How to Make Dried Floral Arrangements
From left to right: Euonymus greenery, dried sedum, and dried ferns paired with euonymus

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