Flowers

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

May 19, 2016

Hello dear readers, I’m back with a new flower column for you to enjoy this month. I currently live in Germany, but I grew up in the Ukraine and one of my most cherished memories goes back to summer months spent with my wonderful grandma at our ‘dacha’, a small Russian summer house. This was our seasonal second home where we grew our own fruit, vegetables and flowers! I was outdoors the entire time helping my beloved granny plant new strawberries or potatoes. Luckily, my grandma loved flowers as much as I did and so together we planted peonies, daisies and my favorite, irises. In fact, I think it was her who instilled a passion for flowers in me.

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

There was no better feeling than to go home with a bucket full of strawberries or a bouquet of peonies. When my mother and I moved to Germany, my granny visited and brought a few rhizomes from our dacha. She also planted peonies. With this background you might better understand my love of flowers an why I am really looking forward to share this special arrangement with you today fresh from the garden.

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

I instantly knew that I wanted to design a centerpiece around wisteria, this pale violet wonder, so that was my starting point. I focused on white and lavender tones to create a balanced look and started collecting flowers from the garden and the nearby forest (like the wild garlic & wild chervil). If you wish to make this kind of arrangement at home, you will need:
RECIPE:
a vase
chicken wire
pliers – to cut the wire
tape – to fix the wire to the vase
clean and sharp garden shears

FLOWERS:
Iris
Wisteria
Wild Chervil
Wild Garlic
Columbine
Roses
Spiraea

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

Once I got home, I prepared the vase and put in some chicken wire and fresh water. If the vase you are using is not deep enough, you can fix the chicken wire with clear tape to vase so you have a solid ground to work with.

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

I started with the wisteria because those were the biggest pieces in the arrangement and because they are fairly heavy so they needed to be fixed in place first. As you can see, I put the branches in all the corners of the arrangement. Not only does that provide balance, but it also gives a structure to the centerpiece. Because the wisteria has very woody stems, I clipped up the center from the bottom of each so the stem could absorb enough water. Also, make sure to cut each flower stem before placing into water since this helps to preserve the beauty of the flowers longer. Step by step I added the Spiraea. Once I had a full clustered base I added the Iris. This time I wanted the focal flowers to be in the middle, so the main actors can be seen at first glance.

To add an interesting touch, I placed columbines, wild garlic and wild chervil in lots of layers which added a beautiful depth to the arrangement and a loose, casual feeling. The last flowers I added were a few roses, just because they were blooming too and I couldn’t resist their cute faces. In the end you can see how the various shades of white and the purple-toned flowers highlight the beauty of the white Iris. They become a loose and airy frame to this pale and elegant beauty and make the eye wander from flower to flower.

DIY: Garden Wisteria + Iris Summer Bouquet

Anastasia Benko for decor8

I hope you enjoyed walking virtually with me through our yard and the nearby forest and making this arrangement with me. I will be enjoying every second of this arrangement and will see you in June with a new flower column. – Anastasia

(Photography, Text, Styling: Anastasia Benko. Editor: Holly Becker)






13 Comments

  • Reply Taste of France May 19, 2016 at 10:33 am

    What a sweet backstory!

  • Reply tania muser May 19, 2016 at 11:49 am

    A very nice post with beautiful photos. I’m Tania an Italian floral& event designer and really love your way of arranging flowers

  • Reply Arianna May 19, 2016 at 11:54 am

    These pictures are so beautiful and elegant!

    Aria

  • Reply liz May 19, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Where and how do you put in the chicken wire???

  • Reply Maikie Makakie May 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Very lovely. This post is amazing!
    I love flowers <3

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art May 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    @Liz, @HollyBecker–I had a question too! Does the chicken wire rust? I’d hate to ruin the insides of a pretty antique vase like the one in the photo with rust scars! Beautiful bouquet and photos–bet the wisteria makes the house smell simply divine. :-)

  • Reply Angela Dean May 21, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Wow. The flower/label pics are especially magical.

  • Reply Anastasia May 23, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Yes, it does rust… The chicken wire I used does leave marks on the inside of the vase… I totally understand that you wouldn’t want to ruin the inside of the vase… But then again, I think it’s only on the inside and you don’t see it when there are flowers in the vase. But you could also use floral foam to add stability to the arrangement. Lilacs need a lot of water and I tend to avoid floral foam with flowers that need a lot of water or wilt really fast and this is why I used chicken wire here. Best wishes, Anastasia

  • Reply Anastasia May 23, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    @Liz: yes, this is exactly the way I did it, Holly described it perfectly! <3

  • Reply Anastasia May 23, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you all so much for your beautiful comments – so happy you enjoy these flowers as much, as I do <3 A. XO

  • Reply Anna May 30, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Stunning arrangement. I wish florists were selling wisteria in UK.

  • Reply Tinna July 28, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Lovely flowers, they are perfect for purple wedding.

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