Zucchini Recipes: What To Do With All That Zucchini

 

Zucchini Recipes

It has been a good growing season in our neck of the woods. Talk of rising food costs due to drought conditions is far fetched as we watch neighbors carting vegetables around by the wheelbarrow to share. One funny vegetable that everyone loves to grow, zucchini squash, is especially good at producing tons of the stuff. It is truly the rabbit of the flora world.

Zucchini squash’s reputation for prolific production has spawned oodles of recipes. There are recipes for stir- fry, casseroles, stuffed zucchini bread recipes galore and more, for cooking with zucchini. Don’t hide next time the doorbell rings and you look out to see a neighbor with a basket or armful of zucchini. Just get cooking with zucchini recipes!

Zucchini Bread Recipes

Zucchini bread recipes are almost as abundant as the veggie itself. I like using a basic recipe that calls for cinnamon and nutmeg for the spices and chopped walnuts added to the batter. I use half white and half brown sugar for a bit of an Autumn flair. A little lemon juice adds a very subtle tangy flavor. The zucchini flavor is there, but not overwhelmingly. Plenty of walnuts add a flavorful, nutty crunch.

I like adding a powdered sugar glaze sometimes to make it more dessert-like, but it is tasty as well without the glaze.

Ingredients for Zucchini Bread
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 cup walnuts
Powdered Sugar Glaze

For each loaf of Zucchini Bread

1 cup powdered sugar

3 TBS milk

Mix well and add more milk to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over the zucchini bread. Great for pound cake too!

Grate washed, unpeeled zucchini 

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Mix the dry ingredients 

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Beat eggs. Add oil, water and lemon juice

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Pour batter into greased and floured loaf pan.

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Zucchini Side Dish Recipes

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I love to make a quick and easy veggie stir-fry with zucchini, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Just heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add thinly sliced zucchini and onions (Vidalia Sweets are nice). Salt and pepper the zucchini and onions. Don’t add the salt if health issues are a concern. Salt is not for everyone! But peppering them generously will make up for that! Toss in a big handful of sun-dried tomatoes and chopped fresh basil. Serve this tasty veggie stir-fry with a dusting of Parmesan cheese for a bit of an Italiano-gourmet dish that is quite delightful for a late Summer lunch.

 

Classroom Arrangement: Setting Up A Creative Kindergarten Classroom

The Kindergarten Classroom

Kindergarten is such a delicate and crucial time in the life of a student. Yes, there is pre-k and day care, but kindergarten is that milestone that marks the life of a student that will hopefully emerge 13 years later with a high school diploma. In some states, kindergarten attendance is mandatory.

Kindergarten is German for “children’s garden.” An educator by the name of Friedrich Fröbel coined the term in 1837 to describe a transitional class for young children to pass into formal education. Children between the ages of five and six have reached the point in their lives when they are no longer babies.

It is a fascinating age, and many kindergarten teachers will tell you that they wouldn’t dream of considering another age group to work with. Teaching kindergarten can be quite challenging. The basics can start with a fresh and creative classroom.

Take a picture tour of one creative kindergarten classroom. Have fun setting up your own creative kindergarten classroom. First,check out this classic poem Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. It is a real morale booster and will make you proud to be a kindergarten teacher.

Make a Kindergarten Classroom Treehouse

If you, a significant other or a friend is knowledgeable in basic carpentry, consider  creating  a classroom tree house. Kids just love this. They can climb the ladder and rest with a toy or picture book and learn how to get a grip on life.

040 Build the classroom tree house safe and sturdy.

This teacher gives her classroom a jungle look with artificial vines and leaf paintings on the cinder block walls.

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Kiddie lawn chairs and a writing center underneath the tree house provides another safe and self-directed area.

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Of course, tables are much more suitable for kindergarten than individual desks. This makes grouping and center work much more flexible. This teacher takes it further by being able to score several kidney tables for her class. Perfect for small group instruction with multiple teachers/adults in the class.

Kindergarten kids need to be immersed in the alphabet and the phonemic sounds of letters. At the same time, they must be exposed to sight words that don’t “follow the rules.” As a young kindergarten teacher, I used to call them “jail bird words.” I drew a jailhouse on the board and wrote the words inside.

Well, give me a break, Techies. Use my concept and create software. The idea seemed to work!

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This pretty word wall is divided into sections with ribbon.

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And with a jungle theme border.

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Where is there a better place to learn how to schedule a day than kindergarten? This one is big, bold and laminated for durability.

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This kindergarten teacher displays those famous 26 letters with initial sound drawings that her kids helped create. No doubt the kid’s involvement in this classroom alphabet display will increase learning for these kids!

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Ditto for color and color word recognition. So much more creative than the ones you buy!

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Laminate them and they will last all year.

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A birthday display is a great way to help develop literacy

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Books in baskets sorted by genre can be used on table tops and at the reading center also.

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Numeracy is important too! This rug with numbers to 20 goes great in the calendar math section.

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Provide a super calendar math section to teach all kinds of concepts…place value, graphing, skip counting, money and more.

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The numbered circles form a centipede that marches along the walls.

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Children’s actual photos are used here to schedule centers.

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Each table in the class is color coded and has their own set of supplies in a handy caddie.

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Labeled storage promotes both organization and literacy.

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Make good use of storage space to keep the classroom clutter free.

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Last but not least, have a concrete and visual way to track and motivate good behavior.


Dog Days Of Summer: Hot Weather Safety Tips For Dogs

Giant Popsicle for Dogs is a Pupsicle

Dog Days Of Summer

After a late morning walk recently, my dogs followed me inside. “Can’t say I blame them,” I thought. According to the temperature so far, it is going to be a scorcher. Hearing rather loud lapping, I walked down the hall to discover one of them drinking from the toilet. “I need to make sure to keep the water dishes full of fresh, cool water both inside and outdoors, ” I thought. The dog days of Summer are coming.

The expression Dog Days of Summer refers to the sultry hottest days of July and August in the Northern Hemisphere or January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. They typically occur after July 24th (or January 24th in the Southern Hemisphere). It is at this time that Sirius is closest to the sun. Sirius, also called Dog Star, is the brightest star in the constellation, Canis Major.In Ancient times, the proximity of Sirius to the sun was thought to cause the raging heat that caused so many deaths. It is believed that the Ancient Romans actually sacrificed a dog during the period to appease Sirius.

Hot Weather and Dogs100_0806

 

In modern times, we know to take precautions in the extreme heat. Our dogs can’t think as we do, so we must take precautions for them. Just because the thermometer reads 78 degrees doesn’t necessarily mean it is an ideal time to take Fido on a long walk or run. The heat index affects the weather in summer similar to how the wind chill factor works in winter. Humidity can cause the day to be much hotter than what the thermometer reads. The temperature can easily feel like 105 at 90 degrees.

What is an OK time for us to exercise may not be for our dogs. People have sweat glands that produce sweat. Among other ways of cooling the body, the evaporation of sweat cools the skin and reduces body temperature. Dogs have very few sweat glands ; most are found on the pads of their feet. They rely on panting and a little dilation of blood vessels in the skin and the feet as cooling mechanisms. It is harder for dogs to cool down than people. Hypothermia or heat stroke can occur more quickly. 100_0802

Causes Of Overheating In Dogs

When dogs get hot outside they often “ask” to go inside even if you are outside. However, if they are running or walking with you, or otherwise engaged in very active play they don’t know when to stop and don’t want to. They behave like party revelers. Fido will need to depend on you to know when enough is enough.

Heat stroke cases are the most common emergencies in veterinary clinics in the summer. It can happen quickly. Serious heat stroke can cause irreversible damage or death. Avoid taking long walks or running with your dog when it may be too hot for him but not you. Leaving dogs in hot cars is often the cause of hypothermia or heat strokes. Even with windows half down the inside of a parked car can reach 150 degrees in just a few minutes. Never leave dogs in the car on a warm day!

How To Recognize Heat Stroke In Dogs

 

A dog’s temperature can be taken rectally.His normal temperature is 100.5 to 102.5. He will be Okay at 103 degrees. At 105 degrees he is at risk for heat exhaustion. A temperature of 107 degrees is the danger zone. A heat stroke caused by a temperature this high will cause irreversible damage or death. Look for the following signs of hypothermia or heat stroke.

  • sluggish, lethargic
  • wobbly gait
  • disoriented state of mind
  • red gums and tongue

100_0803 What To Do For Heat Stroke In Dogs

If heat stroke is suspected, call a veterinary office for advice. Treatment will depend on severity. If his temperature didn’t go above 104 for long, he may just need to rest in a cool place with water to drink.Then watch him carefully. If he needs to be taken into the clinic, spray him down with water but not cold water. Wrap him in wet towels for the trip. Get there quickly. Later symptoms will be seizures and coma. The doctor will take over from there. Depending on the damage, he may need oxygen or fluid therapy.

How to Make a Popsicle for Dogs

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This is an especially good idea if you need to leave your dog outside for awhile on a really hot day. Make a huge dog Popsicle.

    • Gather some hard treats that won’t disintegrate easily in water.
  • Get an old plastic ice cream bucket or cut the top from a clean plastic milk jug.
  • Put a few of the treats in the container and fill with water and a can of beef or chicken broth.
  • Freeze for several hours until the water is completely frozen.
  • Remove from the freezer and hold under running water to unmold.
  • Put the dog Popsicle outside for Fido to enjoy.

Your dog will love licking the melting ice to reach the treats! And check out these cool dog treat items and toys. 

 

 

July 4th Recipes: Patriotic Gourmet Popsicles

  Patriotic Popsicles

For a few generations now, frozen Popsicles have been a favorite summertime treat. 

Today’s talented and healthy-minded chefs have magically transformed those frozen artificially flavored and colored Popsicles into delectable frozen ices with a gourmet flair and with a host of healthy ingredients. 

Gourmet Popsicle Flavors

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Flavors like strawberry-balsamic, Coconut almond, blackberry yogurt, and blueberry lemon are concocted from pureed fruits and ingredients like honey, yogurt, coconut milk, balsamic vinegar, and spices. 

The Flavors of the Flag

Mix the flavors of the flag together in these healthy red, white and blue patriotic Popsicles. Lick through a spicy strawberry-balsamic vinegar to reach a cool coconut-almond with toasted coconut flakes.

Finish the flavor sensation with a blueberry, yogurt and honey concoction.

 Ingredients for Strawberry Balsamic Ice Pops

  1. 1 cup fresh strawberries
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 TBS Balsamic vinegar

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Soak berries in the sugar until juice appears

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Add other ingredients and puree in the blender.  

 

 Pour into Popsicle molds 1/3 full.
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Ingredients for Coconut Almond Pops

  1. 15 ounces coconut milk
  2. 3 TBS honey
  3. 2 TBS shredded coconut

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Combine coconut milk with other ingredients.

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Blend well on the blend setting of your blender.

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Pour the coconut mixture over the frozen strawberry mixture.

 Ingredients for Blueberry Yogurt Pops

  1. 1 cup very ripe blueberries
  2. 2 TBS honey
  3. 1 TBS lemon juice
  4. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  5. 1/3 cup water

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Combine berries and yogurt.

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Add honey and lemon and water. Blend well.

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Pour over coconut mixture. Insert pop tops or sticks when partially frozen.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror For Nautical Decorating

Decorate With A “Beachy” Theme

The Seashore inspires Novels, Paintings and much more like…Home Decor!
 Nautical Decor is Popular from Shore to Shore and Everywhere Above and Between.

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Shell a Mirror

 

Shelling a Mirror is a Popular Project, an Easy Work of Art that Uses Nature’s Sea Shells. . .
Sea Shells are the Discarded Homes of Ocean Life in a Host of Patterns and in Colors of the Beach Sunrises and Sunsets. 

 

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You Do Not Have to Live at the Beach to use Nautical Decor.  “Beachy” Colors like Shades of Salmon, Ecru and Teal can Bring a Sea Breezy Look to a Room Anywhere. 

Where to Get Your Shells

If You Live near the Beach or Take Vacations to one, Beachcombing is fun and there are lots of Pretty Shells to be found. Beaches usually have Shells Shops where You can get lots more Exotic Sea Shells. Even still, they are Readily Available to order Online.

 

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Plan Special Groupings of Shells for the Top, Bottom and Four Corners. When You have it like You want it, Glue with a Hot Glue Gun. 

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Make the Top Center the Most Dramatic!
My Top Corners Compliment  the Drama from the Center.

 

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Bold, Beautiful Top Corners

 

Make the Bottom Center Dramatic, too. 

 

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But a Little Less Dramatic Than the Top Center. 

 

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Make the Bottom Corners Stand Out a little.

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My Bottom Corners.

Use Medium Shells to Create Matching Patterns for the Sides of the Shell Mirror.
015The Shells do not Need to Look Just alike, Just Similar in Size and Color. 
The Other Side of the Sea Shell Mirror.

 

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The Last Step is to Fill in the Largest Gaps with Small Sea Shells. 
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All Done and So Easy! Just be Sure to use Lots of Hot Glue.

Happy Shell Hunting and Shopping!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Services

I am available for various writing services.

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I will ghostwrite blogs for your site.

I write on a variety of topics including education, crafts, home and garden, travel and more

Contact@706 754 0791 or mealey.rebecca@gmail.com

 

 

Rustic Wedding Arrangements: June’s Wildflowers

Ah, June! Early summer is such a special time. Even though it’s not officially summer until around June 21st, ask anyone, anywhere. June the first is considered as summer.  The rebirth of a new season is well on its way to producing an autumn harvest. It is an excellent season to put together DIY floral arrangements for all those June weddings.

Using Summer Wildflowers in DIY Arrangements

Using summer wildflowers gives us a chance to tell a story of the growing season. Notice the wild sweet pea blossoms in this arrangement. Most blooms are fully open, but some on the same stalk are still buds.

A branch of wild grape leaves adds a touch of greenery. Tiny wild grapes speak of a season that will grow and produce. If you are planning a June wedding, or a wedding anytime this summer, think of these buds and tiny fruits as representing your budding new life.



Anyone that has only briefly visited My Creative Palette will be able to tell how much I love arranging flowers. In fact, I used my favorite pastime to begin freelance writing. My rationale was that it was easier to start writing about something that you were passionate about.

My strategy for writing worked out well, and I am still enjoying arranging flowers. I especially love using the pretty things that nature has scattered around in the fields, meadows, woodlands and wastelands.

How to Create Wild Flower Arrangements

Remember those surveys you did in math class on things like how many people prefer what flavor of ice cream? Those kinds of surveys show the wide popularity of wild flowers. In fact, wild flower seeds are a pretty hot commodity in gardening.

Many parks forbid the picking of wildflowers. I just adore the Indian paintbrush  that grow on the coast, but I wouldn’t dare pick one, as it is strictly forbidden. State agencies like to plant wildflowers along interstates, and I think those are  probably taboo as well.

Finding Wild Flowers 

Sometimes it may take a look around the neighborhood and a bit of creative thinking to come up with DIY floral arrangements using wild flowers.  It may sometimes seem difficult, especially if you live in the city.

Try taking a walk or drive  around the neighborhood. Drive out in the country and check wastelands and roadsides. A close look may find you looking at lovely wild roses, wild sweet pea, ox-eye daisies, and bunches of delicate (and hard to identify) summer wild flowers in pinks and purples.

Every area is different, and what you may find may be very different than what I find. But wildflowers are there to be found. Sometimes what is considered a common weed can be just the thing to help create a beautiful DIY arrangement fit for the finest wedding.

I love Queen Anne’s Lace, a common wildflower that is so easy to find in many locales.

Queen Anne's Lace for DIY Summer Wedding Flowers
Queen Anne’s Lace for DIY
Summer Wedding Flowers

Look at this wild roses that grow by the roadsides. They would look lovely in an arrangement for a June wedding.

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Wild Roses for DIY floral arrangment
Wild Roses for DIY floral arrangment

 

Wild sweet peas add spillage, important to balance out arrangements for a good visual effect. I have filled in the rest of my DIY wildflower arrangement with ox-eye daisies, and little delicate purple unidentified wildflowers.

A Creative Container

Rustic containers such as old watering cans and Mason jars make great containers for wild flowers. With a sharp eye and some imagination, you could create really lovely DIY arrangements for summer weddings and other events. 

 

Wild Flowers In Arrangements: Wild Daisy Flower



As Fresh as a Daisy

Have you often heard the expression ” as fresh as a daisy?” I know I have. Now I see why. I have found that the wild daisies that grace the meadows and untreated lawns sprout quickly after a spring rain. New ones continue to pop open from late spring to well into August in many climates. 

Is the Wild Daisy a Weed, Herb or Flower?

Like other flowering plants, there are literally hundreds of different species of wild daisies. All of them are very hardy, as wildflowers go. They prefer a sunny meadow or pasture yet will endure abandoned croplands or roadsides with partial shade. 

Many consider the wild daisy or ox-eye to be a pesky weed. They go to great lengths to keep their pristine lawns free of them.  It’s all a matter of perspective. But did you know that like dandelions and false dandies all parts from root to petal are edible? And they are good for you! But if the land where you get your daisies has been treated with insecticides or herbicides do not eat them!

Using Wild Daisies in Flower Arrangements

Wild daisies can be very lovely in flower arrangements. They can even be pretty enough to be used for DIY wedding flowers. They can also be used in wedding bouquets and bridal headpieces. I know, because that it what I did!

My Dad and Me On My Wedding Day

It was the year 1975. Jenny Gump later copied me when she married Forrest with bare feet and flowers in her hair.

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My Dad and me on my wedding day.

 

How to use the Wild Daisy Flower in Arrangements

The wild daisy flower can be used to make impressive floral arrangements for weddings, showers or just plain summer entertaining. There are only two rules to remember. One, get lots of them and two, pick the right container.

Wild daises can look fantastic scattered out throughout other floral arrangements. However, if you are only going to use daisies, use them prolifically. A few wild daises alone will look sad and forlorn. The more the merrier!

The right container is a must. Just as shoes and handbags go with certain outfits, so do wild daises go with containers. A delicate hand-painted urn will not go with a bunch of wild daisies. Look for more rustic containers, even an old watering can or Mason jar.

Wild Daisies in Rustic Containers

Wild Daisies Go Great in a Galvanized Vase
Wild Daisies Go Great in a Galvanized Vase

For the above arrangement, I gathered LOTS of wild daisy flowers which was NOT a problem. First I chose a vase. This galvanized vase reminded me of those big buckets.  I cut the daisies into varying lengths and literally stuffed my galvanized vase to full capacity. I placed the longer ones in the middle and secured them with floral tape. Then I filled in the vase with daisy flowers from shortest to tallest.

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A Mason jar vase for wild daisies
A Mason jar vase for wild daisies



It is hard to beat a Mason jar for a casual and informal, yet very pretty container for wild daisies. These daisies were cut to be the same general length for uniformity.  Add a pretty bow in country plaid colors and you will have a lovely, inexpensive table decorations for spring and summer events.

Get some ideas for using wildflowers with “tame” flowers. Click here.

 

Visit me here to learn how to make edible candied daisy cake toppers from real daisies.

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About the Author

Welcome to My Creative Palette! I’ve had so much fun being a teacher and a parent. I love celebrating the seasons and the holidays and I have so much to share. But deep down I always wanted to share myself by being a published author.

 Please also visit me at hubpages.com

Enjoy, and come back soon. New colors are always being added to My Creative Palette.

 

I am available for various writing services.

 I write on a variety of topics including education, crafts, home and garden, travel and more

Contact@706 754-0791 or mealey.rebecca@gmail.com

 

Rustic Centerpieces: Low Or No Cost Spring Flower Arrangements

Thrill, Fill, Spill Flower Arranging



April showers bring May flowers. Enjoy them both indoors and outdoors.  Lilacs, azaleas, wisteria and the branches of flowering shrubs and trees bloom around the same time in mid to late spring. They continue the spring floral show after Narcissus, tulips and other early bulb flowers disappear.Together, they can make stunning low or no cost spring arrangements.Use them for a spring wedding and shower-related events to cut the cost of decorating. An arrangement of spring flowers is perfect for Mother’s Day brunch and lunch tables. The thrill, fill, spill method is usually reserved for creating container gardens, but I find that the general structure works well in flower arranging also.

Make a Low or No Cost Spring Flower Arrangement

To make a spring flower arrangement using the thrill, fill, spill method, you will need: an interesting vase 

  • floral foam
  • floral wire and tape
  • floral stakes ( I used wooden skewers)
  • assorted spring flowers (suggested list below)

For my arrangement, I used an old washstand pitcher from Russia that was slightly broken but repaired. The painted-on pastel flowers made it a great vase for my spring flower arrangement.

Flowers I used for my spring flower arrangement:

    • lilacs
  • pink and white azaleas
  • flowering cherry tree blossoms
  • wisteria
  • young grape vine

Steps for Thrill, Fill, Spill  Flower Arrangement:

First, place some floral foam in the bottom of a vase. Pick one to three flowers as the focal point or the “thrill.’ I used a stem of two lilacs. I anchored the stem to the skewer with floral wire and inserted it, pointed side down into the floral foam. 009 Next, I filled in around the lilacs with pink and white azaleas. I broke the azaleas off of the branches and wired them to the skewers. This gave me more control over the form of the arrangement. 010 Wrapping with floral tape gave  a neat finish. 015 I followed the same procedure with my flowering wild cherry tree blossoms, filling in behind the azaleas to add some height. The azaleas and flowering cherry completed the “fill” of my arrangement. 017 Drooping wisteria and fresh young grape vine made the perfect “spill” for my spring flower arrangement. 020 A spring flower arrangement also makes a welcome site on a veranda, porch or patio.

Where to Find Flowers?

Keeping the thrill, spill, fill flower arranging technique in mind, use your flowering shrubs and trees easily in arrangements by using the skewers as stems method.Check with neighbors, parks and locations around the neighborhood. Some flowers, such as wild dogwood can be found growing wild. Wild grape vines also grow in the wild, and can really add to the”spill”in a dramatic way.Wisteria,also a great spill flower grows on trees on empty lots. Most people don’t mind sharing a few flowers. I got my lilacs and pink azaleas from a neighbor. Our church had practically a grove of flowering cherry trees.Check local florist and fresh flower markets as well.Fresh local flowers are likely to be more inexpensive than roses, etc. After you have reached  your desired effect with the  spring flowers, add just enough water so that the floral foam doesn’t begin to float.

Get Creative

Just remember to keep an eye out for flowers that bloom around the same time. Bulb flowers such as daffodils and tulips will bloom around the same time as the flowering peach trees, Bradford pears and red bud. What can you find for vases and container? Think of Mason jars and other unique containers.  Creativity means using what is on hand. Get creative and make do with what is on hand to help with spring floral arrangement ideas. It promises to be a lot of fun, and both visually and financially rewarding! Just think thrill, spill, fill and look around at the flowers available!

Other Flower Suggestions:

    • pink and white dogwood
  • flowering peach
  • apple blossoms
  • Japonica branches
  • Bradford pear
  • forsythia
  • magnolia blossoms
  • early blooming stage hydrangeas.
  • daffodils
  • tulips
  • red bud

A Stroll Around the Neighborhood For Spring Flowers

Azaleas come in brilliant pinks, corals, and white spring glowers 008  Wisteria is the perfect “spill”. It grows on abandoned lots. 

 
spring glowers 002
 

White  dogwood can be found growing in many forests.   spring glowers 005 Pretty pink dogwood is a common site at homes, parks and all around the neighborhood.  spring glowers 001 Flowering peach blossoms arrive before the tree’s leaves do. 100_0022 Tulips and other bulb flowers should still be in.  spring glowers 010 Bradford Pear Blooms Early Along with red bud and daffodils. easter 113 Japonica trees also have early blooms that show before the leaves.  easter 119 Did you get some ideas for making a low or no cost spring flower arrangement? Just remember these four points: 1. A creative  vase 2. Flowers that bloom around the same time 3. The skewer and floral wire trick 4. THRILL, FILL, SPILL!