Messy Bouquets

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It can be intimidating to put together a flower arrangement. With a little guidance, anyone can put together a beautiful arrangement. The following article is written by a former N.C. Cooperative Extension, Caldwell County Center intern, Rachel Kersey. Some may know her better as Rachel Adams. Rachel has a twin sister Sarah that is the Agricultural Teacher at West Caldwell High School.

Rachel first learned horticulture from Mr. Ben Kohnle at South Caldwell High School. She then earned a Horticultural Sciences degree from NC State University and now is an FFA (Future Farmers of America) Advisor for Central Cabarrus High School.

It is exciting to see youth follow their interests and have success in the working world. I hope the following article inspires you to create something beautiful.

We are well into the hot days of summer and most of us are busy taking care of our lawns and landscapes. If you are looking for a way to add some color, texture or something new to your home, you can try messy bouquets! They are fun and easy to do. Why the word messy? You can create them with whatever plant material that is around your home and landscape. Cuttings from shrubs, maybe cuttings from your annual flower garden, and even weeds! It doesn’t take long to create and if you pick the right type of plants they last for days!

What do you need for a messy bouquet?

  • A container (could be a cup, vase, or my favorite, an old jar.)
  • Flowers and foliage (could be wildflowers, backyard grown and weeds!)
  • Shears or scissors to cut the flowers and foliage.

The best part about these bouquets is you can be creative as you want. Bringing in flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors make the bouquet pop! As pictured, I like to use flowers like zinnias and sunflowers to add color and mass to the arrangement. Other types of flowers I like to use are lavender and angelonia that give the bouquet height. Seed heads like the weed I use, Pennisetum are great to use for height as well. As pictured, textures are another way to create a fun bouquet. I’ve mentioned seed heads for height, but they are a great way to add texture to your bouquet. Eucalyptus is another great texture and foliage plant (plus it smells great!) Lastly, I like to fill in any empty gaps in the messy bouquet which are known as “filler” plants. I have used Loropetalum or Chinese fringe flower cuttings, which bring in a nice dark purple color. A filler flower I use commonly is called Centaurea or cornflower. It is a small flower that fills in spaces and brings bright colors like pinks, purples, and deep blues.

Couple things to remember when making bouquets:

  • You can be creative as you want.
  • Cut your flower and foliage stems at an angle to increase water absorption
  • Change the water out every couple days to increase the longevity of your beautiful creation!
  • The bigger the vase, the taller the plants need to be in order to make sure the bouquet and container complement each other. And the smaller the vase, the shorter your stems need to be.

If you get really good at making messy bouquets (or just regular bouquets), you can show off your talent at the Caldwell County Agricultural Fair. Entries are accepted from 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, September 16.


Remember to have fun with making the bouquets and children love helping with these!

flowers flowers flowers