Gardening with a Black Thumb: Silk Flower Arrangements

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Residing in rural Wisconsin, by day Eileen Troemel work as a clerical worker and part-time student. At night she spends her time writing. Raised on a farm, she has a love for nature and is inspired by the beauty and power she finds there. Nature and her just don’t get along though as she has the blackest of black thumbs.

Mother Nature frowns heavily when I have plants, yet I love flowers. All the amazing colors and smells of them–they draw me in. I adore them. If I could afford it, I would have a bouquet of fresh flowers in my house (or three or four or ten of them). I just love flowers. 

When they are growing in my yard, inevitably someone will wander around and cut the flowers and bring in an armful of them. This is wonderful and cheerful. It always puts a smile on my face and makes me happy. Mother Nature doesn’t mind too much when this is done–so long as I’m not killing a plant. 

The problem I have is that I live in Wisconsin. Winter is pretty barren of flowers. No cheerful daisies, pert tulips, or pretty roses to brighten up the dark months. There is a way around this though. 

My daughter has taken to arranging silk flowers in beautiful vases and plopping them around the house–the kitchen counter, the top of the entertainment center, the mantle for the fireplace. The several bouquets a week I would have to buy (but sure can’t afford) become permanent fixtures in our house. 

She recently got poinsettias in silk and arranged them.  I’m not a fan of the typical poinsettia–red and sort of one dimensional (at least for me). These silk flowers she got though were beautiful, and she did a cute short vase that fits the flowers nicely. This arrangement has been sitting on my entertainment center for months. It is a bright pick-me-up every time I look at it.

To make the arrangements you will need:
• A container to put the silk flowers in
• Silk flowers of your choice
• Glass stones or real stones, (optional – if you use a colored vase these are necessary)
• Wire cutters (flower specifically)

This does not have to be expensive. Think outside the box. Do you have a container (bowl, glass, vase, or other decorative container) you find appealing? Grab it. 

You can get florists’ green foam to stick the flowers in for arranging, but it may not fit in your container. If it is a clear container, the stones add a level of color and have the function of holding the flowers in place. If it isn’t a clear container, you can throw a paper towel or tissue in there to hold it in place. 

Go to the craft store and look over the silk flower collection. Do you want your arrangement to follow a theme in a room? Be a pop of color? There is almost always a lovely selection, so pick up what you love. If you are on a budget, watch the price as some silk flowers can get costly. It is more cost effective to buy individual types of flowers than a grouping of a variety of flowers. If there is a sale, stock up. They’ll keep, and you can make arrangements whenever you need then.

Get your container, fill with stones (or other fillers), and then look at your flowers. You can leave the bouquets as they come, or you can cut them apart to arrange however you want. My only suggestion is arrange a few and step back. 

There are no rules. Do what you like. My daughter and I love tulips. She has a whole vase of them in our kitchen. They are very casually arranged and look wonderful. Every time I see them I smile. 

Silk flowers are great. They never die–thus keeping Mother Nature off my back. They can be arranged and re-arranged. They are easy to wash. They have almost no maintenance. They can be put away for a season (like the poinsettias). They don’t wilt, so if you forget to water them or the dog knocks over the vase it won’t matter. And the cat won’t eat them (hopefully).

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