Sunday, August 5, 2012

Indulge in Fresh Flowers

If you are a visual person - and even if you're not - having fresh flowers in your home can help you feel like you can still have some luxuries in your life, regardless of how tight the budget is getting.  When I was a university student living in one room with a shared bathroom and kitchen, I often spent my meagre entertainment allowance on a bunch of flowers rather than a movie or a magazine.  Sitting in my room, reading a library book, (no Internet then) I felt pampered a little each time I looked at my flowers.  Might sound silly, but you should try it.  You might be surprised at how much it can lift your spirits.

And they don't have to be expensive flowers either.  Cutting a bouquet from a garden is just as effective if you have access to one.

Just a few seasonal flowers arranged in a clear glass can be simple and beautiful.

And if you have to buy your flowers, you don't need to buy lots.  One or two can be just as effective as a whole bouquet.

As long as you buy flowers in season, they won't cost you a fortune.  A bunch of tulips in the spring cost only a few dollars.

If you really love flowers and want to enjoy more of them, why not take a flower arranging class?  When I was a young mother I took an evening class at a local high school while my husband watched the kids.  It was a break I looked forward to all week.

Not only will you have a chance to be creative and meet some new people, you'll learn how to make the most of the flowers you do have.

 Another option is to buy a good book on flower arranging.  The photos are usually beautiful as well as inspiring, and you will be surprised at how quickly you can become proficient at creating beautiful bouquets and centrepieces for your home.

If you like simply arranged flowers like I do, then this book will be for you.  There are many beautiful examples of arrangements that show off the natural beauty of the flowers rather than relying on expensive vases and accessories.
  Simply Elegant Flowers With Michael George

Here you will find more traditional arrangements as well as a lot of information on equipment and containers to use.
Fresh Flower Arranging

This book is aimed at Wedding planners, but there is a lot of great information here that can be very useful when you want to create everyday arrangements as well. And, of course, if a special occasion is in your future it could be invaluable, even if just for the ideas.
  Knack Wedding Flowers: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Ideas for Bouquets, Ceremony Decor, and Reception Centerpieces (Knack: Make It easy)

Flowers will beautify every corner of your home, and some, like these sweet peas, will fill your space with a lovely scent as well.

A simple vase of flowers on your coffee table can transform your living room from ordinary into something beautiful and elegant.  Just consider the photo above and picture it without the flowers.  See what I mean?

A small vase of flowers on your home office desk can create a sense of calm that can be very welcome when you are dealing with work problems and deadlines.

And a couple of cheerful flowers on the kitchen counter can turn an impromptu meal into a mini special occasion.  Even if you're just grabbing a quick bite by yourself, you deserve beautiful surroundings.

Having a small bouquet on your bedside table where you can inhale the scent and gaze at it last thing before you close your eyes will give you sweet dreams.

And don't forget the bathroom.  A few flowers there will help you start your day on a cheerful note.

Of course if you have a bathroom like this one you will definitely be cheerful, but the nice thing about flowers is that just about everyone can afford this luxury in one form or another.

Having a small collection of favourite vases can be a little luxury that you allow yourself that won't cost much.  

Garage sales have lots of vases for sale, and even collecting nice empty jars and bottles can work quite well if that's all you can afford.

If you have a few dollars to spare, you will be surprised at how inexpensive it can be to collect a few containers for your home.

This beautiful glass vase only looks expensive.
  Bormioli Rocco Vinciana Flower Vase, Gift Boxed
And this bud vase will allow you to make the most of just a few blooms.
  Torre & Tagus Lila Flower 3 Bud Vase, White

Of course you don't have to use vases to display flowers.  Coffee cups, glasses, even empty jars will work.  In fact as long as it holds water, it's a potential vase.  Use your imagination and use what you have.

I wouldn't want to go this far myself, but obviously it works for someone!

At they grow their plants in teacups.

And at  they are taking recycling to a bit of an extreme, but I guess if you've got an old car sitting around ....

The point is that regardless of your budget, you can brighten up your life with flowers and plants.

Talking about plants, if you have the room, growing a flower garden can not only be a relaxing hobby but one that will keep you in flowers for your home most of the year as well.

A lot of people reserve specific flower beds just for cutting.

These can fit into your Square Foot Garden quite well, and even give it some much needed colour.

If you decide to go that route, investing in a good book that gives you a complete guide to growing and harvesting your flowers will make sure you get the most for the time and money you spend.  
The Flower Gardener's Bible: A Complete Guide to Colorful Blooms All Season Long; 10th Anniversary Edition with a new foreword by Suzy Bales

Flowers are a much overlooked simple pleasure.  Many people seem to think you have to be rich to indulge in them, but that is totally not true.  Making an effort to surround yourself with a few flowers can add a lot of pleasure to your life for very little if any investment.

Check here for a list of other Simple Pleasure posts.

A beautiful flower garden like this one from with give you hours of pleasure both inside and outside your home.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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