August is one of my favorite times of the year. Flowers are in bloom everywhere. Gardens are full of color and, if you planted the right things, your plants are giving off a very pleasant aroma. There are so many flowers that smell well; it is a shame if you didn’t think to plant some. Perhaps reading on will encourage you to look for some next year at planting time.
There are literally hundreds of flowers with pleasant aromas. But I want to touch on just a few today because we are mainly talking about bringing color into the house this time of year, and if we select carefully, we can add another dimension to our beautiful arrangements: aroma. Of course, we experience it even during the winter months when someone brings us a gardenia corsage or one of those lovely mini gardenia plants with small flowers. And then there are the hyacinths, both as plants and as cut flowers, during the spring months. When it comes to aromatic flowers, in my mind, nothing can beat the stephanotis. You will only see it in bridal bouquets. And, from Hawaii, the plumeria fills the air when it is in bloom.
Back to reality. Back to our own gardens. In late May, my garden is full of lily of the valley. And, on a warm night in May, I just enjoy sitting in that area and relaxing with music, the simple beauty of that flower and the smell of it. It is relaxing. During the day, I will pick a lot of them and arrange them in small vases and have them throughout the house. Who needs spray cans full of scented aerosol to make the house smell good?
Lavender is the next to bloom, and it will replace the valley in those small vases. Again, a pleasant aroma. I always dry some because when I store my sweaters, it is as good as those smelly mothballs in keeping my sweaters from being damaged.
As summer progresses, I have some lilies to bring in. However, it is a challenge, because I never know whether I like them in the house because of their bold colors, or in the garden showing off their beauty. Fortunately, a stem or two of lilies can go a long way. Throughout the summer, there are dozens of aromatic flowers to bring in for your evening enjoyment. Think roses, perennial phlox and sweet peas. The list is endless.
But it is not all about aroma. It is about color. It is about livening up the house. Yes, those flowers look good in the yard. But do you realize that cutting flowers promotes the formation of new flower stems? To a point, the more you cut, the more you will probably get. I think that reflects life itself. We all know that the more you give of yourself, the greater the return in satisfaction and love.
Here are a few tips on using those garden flowers at home. I like to cut them in the early evening because they have had the whole bright day to fill themselves up with nutrients. A day in the sun does wonders for any plant, and for people, too.
Keep the arrangements simple — not a lot of flowers. Just a few small stems in a bud vase will brighten any room. And yes, there is nothing like a big bouquet of mixed flowers on the dining room table. Be sure to cut some foliage from the garden. It will act as a background for the arrangement and will help hold the blooms in place.
Be sure with all that color to include an aromatic flower or two for that next dimension. No fragrant flowers? You will be surprised at the effect of some stems of basil or parsley in an arrangement on the kitchen table. And remember to add some flower food for lastability.
I sometimes forget that not everyone has a lot of vases. If you do not, there is a great source right here in Auburn. The Dollar Tree store on Grant Avenue usually has a great selection of different sizes and colors. And they are but a dollar each!