Easy Fresh-Flower Bouquet for Mom on Mother's Day

Updated on May 10, 2018
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Jill volunteers at community gardens & learns about gardening through the MD Master Gardening Program & MD Master Naturalist Program.

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Make a Bouquet for Mother's Day!

When it comes to a gift for Mom, it truly is the thought that counts. What could be more thoughtful than a hand-picked bouquet on Mother's Day?

Small bouquets of fresh flowers, greenery, and herbs small enough to carry in one hand are called tussie-mussies, posies, or nosegays. They're simple to make and incredibly charming. They're also highly portable, so Mom can carry her small bouquet everywhere she goes on her special day. Afterward, she can place it in a small vase to stay pretty for days—a sweet reminder of your love and devotion.

If you're on a budget, don't worry! To make the bouquet inexpensively, use flowers and greenery from your yard, the roadway, and the woods. You can even use leaves from houseplants.

Mom can prolong the life of her bouquet by placing it in water.
Mom can prolong the life of her bouquet by placing it in water. | Source

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers

Many lovely plants bloom in May, so the plant choices for Mom's bouquet are numerous.

  • Here in Maryland, irises, roses, pansies, lilac, forsythia, and yarrow are in bloom on Mother's Day.
  • Herbs like lavender, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and chives produce fragrant green shoots in May. Ferns are unfurling their fronds in the shade.
  • Along the roadside, many weeds and wildflowers are in bloom.

Where Can I Find Flowers for the Bouquet?

Cuttings from plants Mom has given you are also good choices for the bouquet, as are the stems from plants that have been passed down in the family.

In the bouquet above, I included a stem of a ground cover given to me by my mother, who received a cutting of it from her maternal grandmother.

When it comes to a gift for Mom, it truly is the thought that counts.

The Language of Flowers

If you'd like to send Mom a specific message through the bouquet, add flowers that have special meanings.

Some Flowers and Their Meanings

Flower
Meaning
Daffodil
New Beginnings
Fern
Sincerity
Iris (Purple)
Wisdom, Respect
Lavender
Devotion
Lilac
Beauty
Rose (Dark Red)
Beauty
Violets
Loyalty & Devotion
Yarrow
Love
The Farmer's Almanac online contains long lists of flowers and their special meanings. Online florists like ProFlowers, Teleflora, and FTD also provide information on the language on flowers.
Make It Fragrant
Make It Fragrant | Source

Make It Fragrant

As you combine your nosegay, crush the herbs a bit and breathe deeply, inhaling the mix of herbs and flowers. You're not only making a visually beautiful flower arrangement for Mom. You're also combining scents for her, in effect making her a perfumed bouquet.

  • Traditional tussie-mussies are made from sweet-smelling flowers as well as fragrant herbs like basil, rosemary, and lavender, so don't forget the herbs!
  • Some herbs like apple mint and lavender have a lovely soft texture as well as a wonderful scent.

Make Sure the Bouquet Is Not Poisonous

Whatever plants you choose, be sure to exclude those Mom may be allergic to.

Also, if you forage for stems in the woods or by the roadside, steer clear of pretty but poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak.

You're not only creating a visually beautiful bouquet for Mom; you're combining scents for her, in effect making perfume.

Source

The small bouquet above is composed of lilac, salvia (sage) and broomsedge, the latter taken from the side of the road in front of our house.

The sedge is not fragrant, but the salvia has a pungent aroma that cuts through the heavy sweetness of lilac, giving the bouquet a fresh, invigorating scent.

The stems are fastened together with a rubber band which was later covered with strings of sedge and hot glued in place. Otherwise, the stems are bare.

If the bouquet is left in water long, the lilac will probably develop roots. Wouldn't that be a lovely bonus!

1. Collect Greenery, Flowers, and Herbs

As you collect stems for Mom's bouquet, cut several of each. I usually collect three to five stems from established plants, being careful to take a third or less of it so as not to harm the plant.

Make Clean Cuts on the Stems

Rather than breaking off the stems, use scissors, a sharp knife, or by-pass pruners. As you work, place the cut stems in a clean container of water. A sharp cut that does not crush the stem will allow it to draw up water and stay fresh longer.

2. Strip the Stems of Leaves

Strip the leaves and thorns from the bottom portion of the stems, leaving Mom about six inches of smooth, clean stem to hold.

Use a flower stem stripper, pruners, or a gardening knife. For some plants, your fingers will work, too. For instance, the thorns on young rose cuttings can be easily nudged off with your fingernail.

Demo of How to Assemble the Bouquet

3. Assemble the Cuttings

  1. After you've gathered your cuttings and stripped the leaves, select one flower or group of flowers as the center of your bouquet.
  2. Hold the cutting(s) in your hand and then, moving around the center flower, add the herbs and other greenery to it with your other hand.
  3. Again, be sure you have stripped the stems. If you don't, your bouquet will be hard to assemble, and once it is, it will not last long, as the crushed leafy stems will speed up your bouquet's decline, especially if it's placed in water.
  4. Don't sweat it if your bouquet does not look florist perfect. That's part of its charm! Even if its appearance isn't astounding, if you've used herbs, your bouquet will smell far better and more unique than a bouquet purchased in a florist's shop or from an online florist.

The bouquet below, for instance, is definitely not the most breathtaking one I've ever made, but because it contains apple mint and lavender, it smells good enough to eat! It's also velvety soft to the touch.

What Mom wouldn't want to cuddle up to that?

Source

4. Bind and Wrap the Bouquet

Once you've arranged the stems in your hand, it's time to bind them. I prefer rubber bands for initially binding my bouquets, but there are many other options, including the twisty ties off bagel bags.

  • In addition to binding the stems, people often wrap hand-held bouquets in decorative twine or ribbon, or place them in paper cones or pockets made of paper.
  • Traditional tussie-mussies are surrounded by lacy doilies.

Of course, you can use nothing at all if you wish, leaving the bound stems bare.

Ties
Wrappers
Florist Tape
Doilies
Florist Wire
Kraft Paper
Twisty Ties
Tissue or Wrapping Paper
Ribbon
Paper Cones
Rubber Bands
Newspaper
Twine or String
Washi Tape
To keep cuttings fresh, place them in water as you work.
To keep cuttings fresh, place them in water as you work. | Source

Keep It Simple

Finally, keep it simple. Shoot for sentiment rather than the expense. With just a few plant cuttings and items from around the house, you can create a thoughtful, fragrant and beautiful bouquet that Mom will love.

Handheld bouquets created by professional florists for weddings and other occasions can be incredibly elaborate and costly. But a small bouquet made by you? That's extraordinarily meaningful and wonderfully sweet. In other words, priceless.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jill Spencer

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      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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        Jill Spencer 7 days ago from United States

        Hi Solaras! Peonies are so gorgeous and smell so good. Your bouquet must be a beauty! Happy Mother's Day! Best, Jill

        Thank you, Thelma! It was an honor to be among those recognized. Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Take care, Jill

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 7 days ago from Germany

        What a wonderful tutorial! Congrats for winning the contest. Happy Mothers´ Day to you.

      • Solaras profile image

        Solaras 7 days ago

        Thoroughly enjoyed it! Now i am off to make my own from the Peonies in my garden.

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
        Author

        Jill Spencer 8 days ago from United States

        Happy Mother's Day to you, too, Ms. Dora! All the best, Jill

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 8 days ago from The Caribbean

        A very useful article, especially for this Mother's Day! Thanks especially for the table of meanings. I can imagine the smell of the perfumed fresh greenery. Thank you and Have a Happy Mother's Day!

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
        Author

        Jill Spencer 8 days ago from United States

        Thank you, Roberta!

        Thank you, too, FlourishAnyway!

        Happy Mother's Day!

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
        Author

        Jill Spencer 8 days ago from United States

        Hi Peggy! Those sound like wonderful memories. Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Best, Jill

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 8 days ago from USA

        This was beautiful and made me remember picking flowers for my mother as a young child. Your photos are lovely as well. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 8 days ago from the short journey

        So nicely done! Congratulations!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 9 days ago from Houston, Texas

        Reading this brought me back to my childhood when I often picked wild flowers and weeds making bouquets for my mother and grandmother. Your examples and ideas are lovely. Any mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher and other cherished people should appreciate gifts like this. Happy Mother's Day!

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
        Author

        Jill Spencer 9 days ago from United States

        Hi Marie, I hope you'll someday revisit the topic of floragraphia here on FeltMagnet. Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. Best, Jill

      • Marie Flint profile image

        Marie Flint 10 days ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

        I can only remember one special Mother's Day that I did for my mother as a young girl. I had painted a bird, I think a robin, from a model bird kit and presented in a box with Easter grass. She loved it.

        I love herbs, flowers, and even some "weeds." Sadly, my article on floragraphia has long since been deleted (lack of self confidence and impatience aren't traits for success--and it's taken me quite some time to realize this with writing).

        Happy Mother's Day!

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
        Author

        Jill Spencer 10 days ago from United States

        Thanks for stopping by, Donna! Always good to hear from you. I spent the morning volunteering at a garden and pulled my blasted shoulder out again. Aagh! Hope you have a good one!

        Larry, the language of flowers is an incredible subject I wish I knew more about. Maybe someday! Best, Jill

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 10 days ago from Oklahoma

        Wonderfully written and interesting. I learned a lot. I had no idea the flowers and plants were associated with metaphorical meaning.

        Great read:-)

      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 10 days ago from USA

        These simple bouquets are a wonderful idea for Mother's Day. I never thought of making a bouquet of sweet smelling herbs, but I love the idea. Thanks for these suggestions!

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image
        Author

        Jill Spencer 11 days ago from United States

        Yes, Mary, it really is the thought that counts. Thanks so much for stopping by! Good to hear from you. All the best, Jill

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 11 days ago from Ontario, Canada

        I like your advice of keeping it simple. Moms usually just like the thought of being remembered and something simpe will do and for her will always be the most beautiful ever.

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