Garden Photo of the Day

Bouquets from Amanda

Spring in a vase

Amanda Benick is sharing with us today from Cincinnati (Zone 6b). Amanda says that she has been having a bad spring, with lots of up-and-down weather, going from freezing cold to super hot, sometimes all in one day!

Amanda loves making bouquets from the garden and is sharing those with us today.

columbine flowers in a glass soda bottle vaseI cannot believe what cool, quirky bouquets columbine (Aquilegia species and hybrids, Zones 4–8) make, especially in a glass soda bottle.

bouquet with dark red leaves and pink and white flowersSand cherry (Prunus × cistena, Zones 2–8) is a PERFECT bouquet filler, with its dark red leaves. I’m learning that azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), although woody, make excellent bouquet flowers. Seen here is a peach-colored Azalea mollis hybrid. I can’t remember the name, but it has the most vibrant reddish green leaves in cold times. Another excellent bouquet woody is lilac (Syringa species and hybrids). This is the ever famous lilac ‘Miss Kim’. Having a strong shrub game really shows in a bouquet. ‘Miss Kim’ smells amazing! ‘Red Barlow’ columbine joins it the shrub cuttings, along with a white bearded iris (Iris hybrid, Zones 3–8).

bouquet with a large yellow irisThe bearded irises are some of the best-smelling plants I’ve encountered. This yellow one smells like fresh air with a burst of sweet lemon!

close up of light purple iris flowerMy Iris cuts are terrible, too short. I just love these irises so much that I never want to cut a whole stem! I want to show you these colors. The smells are amazing and totally a reason to grow them. This is my favorite color—pale lilac with peachy-orange falls.

group of garden bouquets with pink flowersThe green filler in this arrangement is German chamomile (Matricaria recutita, Zones 5–8).

close up of same group of pink garden bouquetsOn the right you can see the seedpods of money plant (Lunaria annua, Zones 5–9). Money plant is a bad reseeder, I’ve read, so I may need to keep snipping.

small bouquet of pink flowers in a glass soda bottleQuirky columbine, the blooms of money plant as well as new seedpods, and the white flowers of yellow-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Falviramea’, Zones 3–8)

close up of orange and pink tulip in a vaseThe black/purple bearded iris, which smells like sugar-crusted berries, is joined by a peach tulip (Tulipa hybrid, Zones 3– 8) and a yellow-twig dogwood.


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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 05/17/2023

    Wonderful bouquets; most inspiring! Really love what you have accomplished. I will go to the garden today and do likewise. Thank you for posting.

  2. User avater
    cynthia2020 05/17/2023

    Hi, Amanda. Thank you for sharing your beautiful flowers and describing their scents! I am fond of creating little bouquets, too.

  3. MohawkValley 05/17/2023

    Nice , nice , nice .

  4. user-7392754 05/17/2023

    Love your bouquets! Great idea to use some woody foliage too!

  5. buckleez 05/17/2023

    I love your idea of grouping glass bottles within a pretty ceramic planter. Great idea! I can grow some stellar peonies and irises but I hesitate to remove them from their happy spot in the garden. Common sense tells me to harvest them and enjoy them inside, but sometimes I just can't make the cut. You've inspired me though!

  6. btucker9675 05/17/2023


  7. User avater
    simplesue 05/17/2023

    There's something so unpretentious about using the humble soda bottles as vases for the elegant flowers and twigs- I love it!
    Also your description of the scent of the yellow iris is beautiful.

  8. sheila_schultz 05/17/2023

    I love these small vases allowing your beautiful blooms to be the stars of the spring/summer showcase for your gardens!
    When I was young our family was extremely lucky to have an amazing older couple that would give us flowers several days a week during the bloom season.
    My parents worked 12+ hour days, 6 days a week with their dry cleaning business, and when Mr Powell would bring over his bouquet to my mom, she always beamed with gratitude for the small kindness.
    I'm 73 and I have always cherished that memory.
    Enjoy gardening and the beauty it brings to your life.

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