Luxury of Flowers: Bargain Prices

How to Brighten Your Home, Office, or Loved One’s Heart with Beautiful Fresh Flowers Throughout the Year and Spend a Lot Less than You Might Expect

The floors of Cleopatra’s palace were said to have been carpeted with delicate rose petals, but you don’t have to be a king or queen to bask in the luxury of flowers. You can enjoy the room-brightening beauty of flowers throughout the year, or send flowers often to someone you love for a lot less than you might think. Simply make flowers a part of your everyday life, and keep on the lookout for bargains. Use these helpful tips to get started.

Treat yourself once a month to a bouquet of blooms from your local florist or supermarket. You’ll be surprised how a $7 to $10 bouquet can brighten any room.

While big bouquets are wonderful, a single perfect flower can be exceptional, too. For an elegant statement, display an individual rose, lily, or other gorgeous blossom in a bud vase or floating in a pretty bowl. It makes a tasteful accent when entertaining guests, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Most florists and garden centers carry delightful little blooming plants in 4″ pots that are surprisingly inexpensive and can add color and charm to any desktop or vanity. Use your own basket, cachepot, or decorative paper around the pot. Add a touch of ribbon, raffia, or other natural accent for the finishing touch. Then, just keep the soil slightly moist (never wet or soggy) for days or even weeks of enjoyment.

A few different 4″ plants can also be combined in a basket for a wonderful long-lasting garden. Use bits of Styrofoam beneath the pots to position them at the right height, with a little Spanish moss on top to help hide the pots and soil. Trim with a decorative bird or seasonal accents. Voila! What if one plant should fade before the others? No problem. It’s easy replace any individual pot in seconds without any fuss or muss.

Think roses are expensive? Think again. You can pick up a single rose on your way to see someone for just a few dollars, and many florists offer medium rose dozens at great discount prices. Summer is a particularly good time for rose bargains. While prices vary depending on stem-length, blossom size, quality, and variety, it’s not uncommon to find take-with rose bouquets for under $20 per dozen. And, with today’s online flower shippers, you can send a dozen long-stem roses almost anywhere by next-day air for as little as $40 to $50, including delivery.

You’ll find other fresh flower specials at most flower shops throughout the year, too. Just ask what’s in season and an especially good price. Don’t be shy. Good florists are proud to show you their freshest flowers and best values. Market bunches are particularly good buys when flowers are in season, such as tulips in late winter through early Spring and farm-fresh Gladioli in warm summer months. Fortunately, cut flowers now come from all over the world. So, there’s almost always something special in plentiful supply.

Build your own bouquet. Whether for your own use or to give as a gift, individually selected flowers in a casual bunch or arranged in your own container can make a wonderful impression. Remember all those vases and bowls in your basement? They’re reusable. So, put one to use today. Remember to choose flowers in coordinating colors. Include some foliage and “filler” to complete the look. A natural cluster in a clear vase is a good place to start, but don’t be afraid to experiment and use your imagination.

Remember, some flowers and foliages dry beautifully. Favorites include Yarrow, Baby’s Breath, Solidago, Cattails, and all sorts of wildflowers. All you need is a warm, dry place with good air circulation. Most flowers and herbs dry best when hung upside down in bunches. Use a rubber band to fasten them together a few inches from the stem ends. Remove excess leaves, and avoid direct sunlight to minimize fading. Then, wait two to three weeks. Discard any that don’t meet your fancy. Spray the remainder with clear lacquer or hairspray to preserve them even longer.

For home decorating, don’t forget silk flowers. They cost a bit more but last for months or even years. And, you can easily match them to your decor. Simply take a few pillows or fabric swatches to your local florist or craft store to pick out just the right shades. You can even change looks seasonally. Just store any unused silk flower arrangement in a plastic bag in your attic or basement, and it will be just as beautiful next year.

Bring the outdoors in. One of the best resources for fresh cut flowers is your own yard or garden. Clip a few blossoms, branches, or blooms weekly to enjoy inside your home. After all, why should all the flowers be outside your windows? You deserve some inside, as well.

In fact, that’s what the luxury of flowers is all about — remembering to bring the outdoors in. It’s about a bouquet here, a colorful blooming plant there, and perhaps an individual blossom tucked somewhere else. But above all else, it’s about sharing flowers with others. So, treat yourself and someone special to the luxury of flowers this week. It doesn’t have to cost a bundle. All it takes is a little care and thoughtfulness.