It is Teacher Appreciation week here, so it is time for me to make some bouquets. The parent group from our preschool tries to have something special for each day of the week for the teachers. I signed up last year to put together flowers for the teachers. This year, I signed up again. It is hard work and a bit tedious but our teachers work really hard, so I feel like it is the least I can do. This year there are 33 teachers and assistant teachers (plus 3 office staff). My goal is the same as last year, to make pretty small bouquets for under $50 (I spent $37 last year).
I decided my best course of action was Trader Joe’s, since I was overdue for a trip anyway (since it is a bit out of the way I try to only go about every 3 weeks or so). Their flowers are always reasonably priced, and they usually have a good selection. I first walked in and was disappointed (and I was thinking that I was going to have to go elsewhere). Fortunately around the corner in their seasonal section, they had beautiful bouquets for Mother’s Day. At $9.99 a piece, they already had a good mix of flowers to choose from. Score! I picked up 3, after looking through them and picking the bouquets with the most big flowers per bunch (yes, I’m sure they thought I was a little strange crouching over the flowers counting). I also picked up one bunch of
freesia(?) alstroemeria for $3.99 to round out the mix. I tried mixing up the flowers a little this year. Last year I did all tulips, this year I picked up tulips, gerber daisies & roses (with lots of wax flowers). Fortunately, I still had left over ribbon from last year (yeah! no trip to the craft store with two grabby children).
In general I wanted to follow the plan from last year, except I relied on tulip leaves for the back of the bouquet before, and I wasn’t going to have enough this time around. Fortunately, my hostas are going strong, so I ran out in the rain and cut some leaves off (where they were crowding out other plants). One nice thing about the hosta leaves is that they give the bouquet a nice scale. The second convenient feature is that their stems are indented, so it is the perfect place to put the flower stems.
One of the tedious tasks is cutting down the wax flowers. They tend to be on bigger branches, and I needed smaller clusters (with stems long enough to reach the bottom of the arrangement).
1. To start the bouquet I put down a hosta leaf and picked out one of the big flowers.
2. Hunt through the wax flowers for a branch that was the right size for to go with the flower (i.e. taller for some, fuller for others).
3. Fuss with flowers to get them in a pleasing arrangement.
4. Cut wide ribbon in about a 4″ length. Wrap ribbon around flowers as high as possible. (just below the hosta leaf).
5. Fold end of ribbon and pin in place.
6. Cut 6-8″ length of narrow ribbon. Tie bouquet tight into a knot.
7. Remove pin.
8. Adjust flowers to final arrangement.
9. Cut bottom of stems even.
10. Place in water. (I used plastic cups with water in a big garden tub with handles for transport.)
In the end I spent about $38 (if you include the ribbon that I bought last year). Start to finish the 36 bouquets and 1 boutonniere took 3 1/2 hours to make. Phew! The good news is that the teachers seemed to really like them.
I hope everyone has a lovely Mother’s Day! I am looking forward to spending a relaxing day with my family.