Flowers in your home every day without spending a fortune

I have been inspired by my mother-in-law, Penny, to bring more flowers in to my home. She has the most amazing garden, which is filled with gorgeous blooms, so there is never a time that she doesn’t have some sort of floral arrangement in most rooms of her house. My lovely friend, Sara, follows me on Instagram and left this comment on one of my photos the other day: “Do you buy fresh flowers everyday???”. This got me thinking about some of the things I do to make sure there is always at least one vase of flowers in the house, despite the fact I probably don’t buy flowers more than twice a month and I never spend more than about £8 on any bunch I buy.

I promised Sara that I would share some tips on how to fill your home with flowers without having to spend an absolute fortune and to illustrate my point I am using lots of the Instagram photos that she may have seen in my feed.

Tip one: The basics

Im sure most people know all of this but when you make a flower arrangement, to make it last as long as possible, cut the stems diagonally so they can take in as much water as possible, change the water frequently and always remove the leaves – they should never be submerged in the water. Also, don’t over-crowd your flowers, allow them the space they need to survive as long as possible.

Tip two: Never buy bouquets

I learnt a long time ago that even though beautifully arranged bouquets of flowers look very tempting and seem like the easy option, they actually never look quite as good once they are unwrapped and they are not good value for money. When you buy flowers always choose your own, even if that can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry if you have the florist loitering behind you or you’re not sure which flowers go with which, just grab a few of anything you love the look of.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Always pick your own flowers – it’s much cheaper and they go a lot further.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

I bought these flowers because my flat was being shot for a magazine. I wanted to make arrangements for every room of the house, which cost me £12 in total.

Tip three: Make a few small arrangements instead of one big one

If you want a glimpse of colour and cheer in most rooms, it is far easier to achieve this for less by creating several small arrangements, rather than one large one – something my mother-in-law does so well. If you worry about not having enough vases use jam jars, kilner jars, empty spice bottles, jugs, even a mug! Group flowers together by colour, size, texture or height or a complete mix: there are no rules. However, make sure you only include in any arrangement an odd number of stems i.e. 1,2,3,5,7,9 and so on (I know 2 is not an odd number but this is the only exception to the rule). This will always look better than an even number of stems. Also, cut your flowers to different heights as this will make a more interesting lokking arrangement.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

From the bunch above, I managed to make these three smaller arrangements as well as…

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

…this one (which is in an empty cinnamon bottle) and…

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

…this one for the bedroom (a single rose can make just as much impact as a whole bunch)…

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

…and the main one in the green vase in my sitting room.

Tip four: Grow your own flowers

The best way to save money on flowers and to have a readily available supply is to grow your own. You do not need a garden for this, a small outdoor space will do, but you need to choose what you grow carefully. I have two Hydrangea plants on my balcony because I know they will give me flowers throughout summer and when you cut them, they last for ages – cut them at an angle, put them straight into cold water and if you have extra time and energy a spritz with water on the petals is a good idea as they feed through their petals. I also grow a Lavender plant, which is very hardy, easy to look after and has lovely flowers throughout summer and gives scent to the home. Plant a container of wild flowers, too, if you can, as they make the most beautiful, rustic arrangements during spring when not a lot else is in flower. Don’t be afraid to use herbs in your floral arrangements as these are really easy to grow and add an unexpected element to a posie – I use Mint, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Grow as much as you can yourself – these are my Hydrangeas on my balcony that have already started giving me flowers this year!

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

I made a May Day posie this year using just flowers and herbs from my balcony – Hydrangeas, Cornflowers, Forget-me-nots, Lavender, Mint and Rosemary.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Wild flowers are a great thing to grow as they provide flowers in the spring that can be used for teeny tiny arrangements or something more rustic like my May Day posie.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

I love this collection of wild flowers I picked from my balcony – beautifully photographed here by Katharine Peachey.

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More wild flowers with a few Grape Hyacinths that I grew indoors.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

I picked these this week from my balcony before friends came over for dinner. They would have cost a fortune if I’d bought them.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Don’t be afraid to break apart a large bloom and create a teeny tiny floral feature, which can have a really big impact.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Just add one stem to a vintage bottle – just as nice as a whole bunch of flowers.

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I always grow Sweet Peas as they produce so many flowers and they smell amazing! During the Sweet Pea season I have a vase full everyday.

Tip five: Recycle

Keep an eye on your floral arrangements, don’t just leave them to languish. If a stem is dying take it out and throw it away leaving the rest to continue. If the head of a flower is fine but the stem has collapsed, remove the head and place in water in a bowl or tea cup – they can last for ages this way. Also, if you have a few small arrangements, when they start to fade salvage the freshest looking and bring them together to form a new arrangement that will last that bit longer.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

When this gorgeous bunch of Ranunculus started to fade, I removed some of the soggy stems and salvaged the heads…

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

…pop them in a pretty tea cup or bowl and they will keep on giving for a few extra days.

Tip six: Plant bulbs indoors

Such an easy thing to do but adds so much colour and cheer and you have fresh flowers in your home for weeks for nothing! I did a tutorial about how to grow bulbs indoors so check it out.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

So there you go, my six top tips for adding flowers to your home for a minimal amount of money. It may seem a lot of effort, but once you start getting in to flowers, it almost becomes a bit addictive and the joy of having even the smallest posie sitting next to you as you sleep, eat, watch TV or work is just wondrous.

Katy x

P.S. Sara, I expect a bunch of flowers for writing this for you. Just sayin’ 😉

 

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5 Comments

  1. Made by Molu 22nd May 2014 / 7:43 am

    Brilliant – this is so useful and the photos you’ve provided of your beautiful home are an even bigger incentive to start bringing in fresh blooms especially when I have NO outdoor space whatsoever. My biggest fear has always been ‘growing my own’ as I never seem to be able to keep plants alive…..which is why I’ve resorted to cacti (or fake flowers – yep, its shocking!) most of my life! So perhaps, growing bulbs are a good way to start…especially as I@m always collecting jars and bottles (far to many for my husband’s liking!) Anyway, thanks so much for sharing!

    Ps. I think I’m going to have to invite myself over to that gorgeous flat of yours! I see freshly baked scones are available too! 😀

    • katy 24th May 2014 / 6:11 am

      Eeeep, too many kind words! Come round, we’ll chat about creative stuff, eat scones and pick flowers. Done. X

  2. tina@colourlviing 26th May 2014 / 6:26 pm

    Well, this is fantastic and so useful.

    You’re a woman after my own heart. I hate bouquet, mostly get wild flowers and love having small arrangements everywhere.

    I also use herbs and single stems and changinf water frequently and cutting stems diagnolly is a must.

    I also have a Hydrangea at the moment but can’t bear to cut it… the colours has changes so many times and I’m rather fond of the whole plant:-)

    As for growing bulbs I’ve never done that.

    We definitely must meet up. I shall come to Bermondsey and we’ll grab a tea and natter x

    • katy 27th May 2014 / 7:32 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Tina. Tea and a natter sounds perfect 😉 x

  3. Alejandra 18th February 2015 / 9:15 pm

    I enjoyed this post so much! I will try this great tips. The pictures were so beatiful. I am so glad I discovered your blog early so I can see how it becomes bigger as time goes by. Xx

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