Growing herbs is easy rewarding and delicious, but did you know herbs can also be beautiful. Here is my take on How to Make Herbal Bouquets: 3 Easy Ways
I am in no way a floral designer, but I am obsessed with keeping bouquets of my home-grown flowers all over my house. But doing so sometimes requires me to improvise on what I have on hand to put in those bouquets.
While I’m not a florist I am however, an Edible Landscape Designer, so I always have tons of gorgeous herbs, fruits and edible flowers growing around my place. So, I try to do my best to honour their beauty and include them in my herbal bouquets as well.
Herbs to Use in your Herbal Bouquets:
Herbs like Mint, Fennel, and Thyme all smell amazing and can be used to fill out a bouquet or cut flower arrangement when blooms and greenery are scarce, being able to improvise is vital when you are an urban gardener or you are homesteading without a farm.
Lavender is so easy to grow and will withstand a multitude of site conditions, it is also an amazingly useful plant. Not only can lavender be used for cooking, herbal tea blends, and bath products but it also makes a gorgeous cut flower, I made sure to include it in the Dark and Moody bouquet below.
True, this gorgeous culinary herb grows better in hotter, Mediterranian type climates so if you are a Zone 5 or warmer, be sure to include it in your garden or landscape.
Culinary sage is another multi-use plant that can be used in cooking, landscape design, and in the cutting garden. Sage comes in more than just silver green, I often use cultivars that are bred for their colours in my edible landscape designs. Variations such as Purple Sage (pictured above), White Variegated and Tri-Coloured Sage all look beautiful in herb gardens, culinary dishes, and herbal bouquets alike. So, let’s get into the how-to!
1. Formal Elegance: Peony & Mint with Variegated Ribbon Grass
I love peony and May through June, my house is thick with them. But last fall I decided to split my huge pink peony plant and create a drift of them in my Berry Garden. Doing so meant I would have to suffer a year or two of decreased production. So, while I did have some gorgeous big blooms, what you see here is about half of what I got this year. Hopefully, next year will be more abundant.
I do however, have plenty of mint, more than I could ever harvest and use for cooking, so the idea of including mint in a bouquet came to me while I was scrolling through Pinterest, I specifically loved this one from The Knot.
I used ribbon grass to bundle the stems and cover the string I used to hold the bouquet together. I made this bouquet for a photo shoot I did with Mary Jane from Home for the Harvest and I think the result was really pretty and totally compostable 😉 – Big thanks to Lianne from Flaxen Blonde Beauty for the gorgeous hair, I felt so pampered that day!
Here’s how you can recreate it at home, what you’ll need:
3-5 large Peony Blooms, mine are Sarah Bernhardt (I think, let me know if I’m wrong)
15-20 large sprigs of Mint, I used Chocolate Peppermint
3-4 stalks of Variegated Ribbon Grass
4-5 ft of Hemp or Jute string
Clip your peonies with 6-8 inches of stalk and keep them in cool water until you are ready to arrange them. Snip your mint sprigs 6-8 inches long as well and remove the bottom 4 inches of leaves, keep in water with the peonies. Pull the leaves off the stalk of ribbon grass and trim off any ragged ends.
Once everything is laid out and ready gather your peonies in your non-dominate hand (your left hand for most of us) and start adding in the mint sprigs, one at at time. Turn the bouquet as you add the mint to ensure the mint makes an even collar around the base of the peony. Do this 2-3 times until the mint is full and evenly dispersed. Twist the string around the stalks until they are secured.
Use the pliable ribbons from the ribbon grass, start at the top and wrap a few strands of the ribbon grass around the stocks, making sure to hide the jute/hemp and overlapping the next layer of grass as you make your way winding down the flower stocks. Tuck in the ribbon grass ends as you work and to secure the final few inches of the grass. Keep this bouquet in fresh cold water and it should keep for a week or more.
2. Modern Monochromatic: White & Lime Green with Aromatic Garden Herbs
For this bouquet, I started with these breathtaking lime green and white umbel blooms… Any guesses what kind of plant they are? Drum roll…. they are carrot flowers! Seriously, carrots are a biennial and when left in the ground over winter they will come back with these huge gorgeous lime and cream blossoms, which smell amazing!
Now, normally I would let the carrot blossoms form into seed heads but this year I planted Ammi or False Queen Anne’s Lace(also in this bouquet) within cross pollination range and I worry that they will affect the quality of the carrot seeds. So this year I will just use the carrot blooms for insect habitat and cutting flowers, besides I have plenty of carrot seeds in my stash.
Also included in this bouquet is White Swan Echinacea, Bronze Fennel, Hops, and Cilantro seed heads. I think the result is fantastic not only because of its monochromatic tones of greens but it smells amazing!
Here’s how you can recreate it at home, what you’ll need:
5-7 of each: Carrot blossoms and Ammi or substitute Queen Annes Lace
5-7 White Swan or Green Envy Echinacea
3-5 Sprigs Fennel Foliage
3-5 Sprigs Cilantro or Dill blossoms/seed heads included
3 Hop vines 18 inches long
Vase of cold water
This one is easy, start with the Carrot blossoms and Fennel arranged in your left hand, rotate and add the Echinacea evenly, then add the Ammi evenly, distribute the hops pleasingly and surround the whole thing with a collar of Cilantro seed heads. This is meant to be casual and unfussy so no need to strive for perfection here, it’s the messy look that makes this one so fun. Remove any leaves or foliage that will be under water and place the bouquet into the vase of cool water. That’s it… so easy!
3. Dark and Moody but Heavenly Scented: Sea Holly, Sage, Lavender & Mint
My garden is loaded with purples, deep green and blue right now. But my Sea Holly just won’t seem to stand up on its own so I decided to harvest almost all of it and use it as the main inspiration for this dark and moody bouquet. Don’t let the description fool you though this bouquet smells heavenly – just don’t touch your nose to the spiny sea holly!
I intended to create a collar around the whole bouquet with hosts leaves… but when I went to harvest them, I found that my hens had taken a bite out of almost every leaf! So, I had to work with what I had, I think the result is still nice.
For this bouquet you will need:
3-5 Stock of Sea Holly (snipped short)
3-5 Stock of Purple Sage (the young leaves have more purple colour)
20-30 Sprigs of Mint (mine were just beginning to flower )
3-5 Stems of Stonecrop (I used Brilliance but Autumn Joy would be nice too)
4-6 Stocks of Euphorbia cut short
27-30 Blossoms of Lavender
3 Young leaves of Hosta
Start by prepping your stocks and sprigs by removing the lower 6 inches of leaves. Gather 3 sprigs of Sage and add the Sea Holly blooms around, one-by-one so that they are evenly distributed. Next add the Stonecrop evenly around the outside, then add the Lavender blooms in bunches of 3-5. Make a collar with the Euphorbia by adding a few at time around the whole bouquet, feel free to blend in the Mint blossoms at this time. Finish with the Hosta leaves.
I hope this inspired you to use your herbs for more than just cooking and make your own herbal bouquets. If you liked this article you may also like this one: How to Create an Amazing Homestead Garden. Otherwise, feel free to share your thoughts below or find me on all the usual social channels.
Thanks for hanging out!