Blooms Day: In February, make something from nothing

Not very promising for Blooms Day, eh? But don’t go away. You might be surprised by how this story ends.

Yesterday’s wind did a good job trimming branches from the trees, including these whips from a weeping willow. I wish I’d found more.

Because, with their flexibility and buttery colour, weeping willow whips make excellent material for flower arrangements. And they’re free!

Gather as many as you can find, and twist them together into a loose rope. Then insert both ends into your vase to form an armature or framework for your flowers. With the armature in place, it will be easier for the flowers to stay where you’ve put them. Plus, the armature adds a little extra something to the design. Here’s what I did with mine.

I learned to make something from nothing as an amateur floral design competitor in my local garden club. Floral design can often cost a bundle in fresh flowers. As I didn’t have a bundle, but liked to play the game, I often used what I could find for free (or at reasonable cost).

For a design themed around clouds, for example, I used rhubarb flowers and leaves from my sister-in-law’s garden, in blue glass vases. I thought they looked very cloudlike, and so did the judges.

For a foliage design (shown left), I used curly kale, red cabbage, rosemary and some fronds from a fern I already owned.

For a design called “Blast Off” (right), I scoured vacant lots around town for weeds. It won a Judge’s Choice. (Please forgive the lousy images – they’re hastily shot photos of bad photos.)

Keep your eyes open – and sometimes keep them on the ground – because you might find something humble you can use to great effect. I’m sure you already have ideas. Why not share them here?

For other ways to experience the garden in February, go straight over to May Dreams Gardens, where every 15th of every month Carol hosts a floral show and tell from bloggers worldwide.


  1. Thanks, everyone! Last night brought us a little more snow, but the sky is blue, blue, blue, and it all looks quite pretty. The new snow even disguised the ugly grey stuff on the roadsides (which my sister has dubbed "meggin"). So I'll put up with a little more winter. Of course, it helps that yesterday I noticed the tips of snowdrops pushing up through the frozen earth. Spring is on its way!

    Hey, Wiseacre, I'm always bringing rocks home, too!

    And, Esther, I haven't competed for a few years due to time constraints. But I did enjoy the challenge of coming up with unconventional designs to interpret the themes. More people should give it a try. It's fun!

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