did you know that domestically, 75% of cut flowers are grown in california? internationally, the majority are imported from colombia or ecuador?
but what about our own landscapes? why do so many of us neglect the beauty within our own back yard? is it fear of nature's little critters? or uncertainty on picking your own greens & blooms independently? is it limited resources? if the latter, we can relate. if you're an urban dweller like us and don't have the luxury of a back yard, it's hard to commit to such a thing. it wasn't until this year that we found solace via air bnbs in new locations. we had mobility for long-weekend getaways all summer and definitely took advantage. in the heart of venice beach, california, a few minutes from abott kinney, we've found a few home away from homes with backyards filled with vegetation.
as firm believers in spontaneity and newness, this is the one place that has our heart and keeps us coming back. maybe it's the perfect temperature or the calmness of the ocean meeting the mountains. or maybe it's the versatile landscapes that make us feel so at home.
here we're sharing how to harvest garden greens in your or someone else's backyard, how to keep those fresh cuts living, and what a meaningful impression it can make to use what you have vs. going out and buying something pre-made.
What you'll need
Garden Scissors, Shears or Knives
Jar or Vase
Vessel of water for harvest
Height: Minimum of one ingredient should bare height to give your arrangement fullness
Width: Leafy, Lushy, Filler's to widen and give an impression
Depth: Consider texture with leafiness, branch, grasses and a splash of color if it's available
after your early-morning cup of coffee is the most ideal time to cut fresh flowers, greens and grasses. the cool night air and morning dew fill the stems with water and carbohydrates. as the day goes on and temperates rise, nature's bounty slowly begins to dehydrate, which makes your lush cuts more prone to limp, bent necks or issues with recuperating during their in-vase life cycle. be sure to bring your vessel with water in hand so as to not waste a second without supplying your freshly cut bounty with water.
cut your foliage at a 45 degree angle from the main stem, roughly one inch from the base. when you cut at an angle, it exposes your stems to uptake more water. we highly recommend removing any excess lower foliage to avoid bacterial growth, which will shorten your fresh cuts' lifespan, make the water murky, and may also produce a terrible smell.
once you're ready to transfer your harvest into that gorgeous vase or jar, you'll want to consider one last step. contrary to popular belief, you actually want your water to be 100-110 degrees f for that initial pour. warm water molecules move quicker than cold and are absorbed by the foliage with much more ease.
now that you've conditioned and prepared to give your fresh cuts longevity outside of the garden, it's time to arrange!
the height of the flowers should be in proportion to the size of the container—that is, the height of the flowers should not exceed one and a half times the height of the container.
the arrangement doesn't need to be symmetrical in any way or form. visualize nature in its truest form, allowing for each quadrant to fall in a natural direction.
support the flowers to keep them in place. one simple approach is to use the flower stems themselves for support. by placing each flower into the container at an angle, you can form a grid or web that will hold the design together. the only flower that should be inserted straight up in the container is the center flower. this flower cannot stand without the support of the other flowers and should be placed in the container only when the grid has taken shape.