Moms love gifts that come straight from the heart, so grab the kids and create your own Mother’s Day bouquet. Whether you buy or grow the flowers, the moms and grandmas in your life will appreciate the effort.
Shop in your own garden
Many spring-blooming varieties, such as tulips, anemones, clarkia, dahlias, moluccella, penstemons, and wallflowers are ideal for cutting (just make sure Dad has the pruners!). Cut flower stems at an angle so blooms can absorb the most water, and the stem won’t rest flat at the bottom of the vase. Remove foliage that would sit underwater in your container, otherwise it will decay and get stinky quickly!
A trip to the garden center
Most florists and garden centers sell loose flowers, so get the kids to choose their favorites for mom. Pick flowers with durable stems so that little hands won’t break them. Daisies, sunflowers and carnations are good bets. This is a great time to teach children where different flowers grow and what they’re called. Always buy more blooms than you think you need – there’s no such thing as too many flowers in a bouquet!
Set up a workspace and gather your materials
Spread out a plastic tarp or newspaper on the table or the floor. If you’re making an arrangement of cut flowers, you’ll need some greenery and branches to fill in your bouquet.
Find or create an interesting container
A large bowl is perfect for larger, floating blooms like magnolias, peonies or hydrangea. Place brightly colored marbles or stones at the bottom, and fill the bowl halfway with water before adding your flowers. A mug works for smaller arrangements. Or, recycle a plastic water bottle: cut a few inches off the top and then paint or decorate it with colorful jewels, glitter or felt letters.
Time to arrange!
Lay out your flowers and greens. Fill your container halfway with tepid water, unless you’re using tulips or daffodils, which thrive in cold water – but never put daffodils in with other flowers! They contain a substance that prevents other blooms from absorbing water. A tiny splash of bleach in the water stops bacteria from growing, and a tablespoon of sugar will feed your flowers.
Pick one pretty branch or big flower as the center stem. Insert green elements around your floral focal point, and add flowers individually, beginning at the base of the vase and building upwards. Fill holes with smaller flowers or greenery. Once you’re done, fill the vase three-quarters full. Place your arrangement out of direct sunlight and away from fruit bowls. Many flowers react to the ethylene given off by fruit and vegetables, causing cut flowers to wither faster. Change the water every few days.
Think outside the vase
Want something that’ll last longer than a cut-flower bouquet? Make a DIY terrarium with some family treasures to make Mom smile.