If you live in the city like me, chances are you get fresh flowers at a farmers’ market, florist, grocery store kiosk, maybe your backyard or balcony (if you have one) or a delivery service. In Germany, and I believe also in some other EU countries, you can take a short drive out to the countryside and you’ll spot “Selbstschneiden” Flower Fields or Pick Your Own. I love these fields!
Pick Your Own is based on a sorta honor system – the field has no one visible to buy the flowers from, rather there is a little stand with a list of how much a flower costs (like a Sunflower may be between .25 -.80 per stem) or you can buy in bunches by cutting your flowers, tying them and inserting into 3 various holes on a board at the stand – each hole is labeled with the price for that bundle.
The stand has small vegetable knives with the ends cut off, small scissors and a donation box with a lock. Also string for binding and a big basket or bin on the ground so you can clean the stems of excess leaves before you go.
It’s such a pleasure that I’ve indulged in since moving to Germany. There are so many of these fields in my region, some are as close as 15 minutes by car, that I’ve lost cost. The typical flowers are gladioli, sunflowers (large and small) and dahlias in all colors. You can also find daisies, poppies and much more depending on how creative the person planting the field is. Some have only 3 varieties of flowers or only sunflowers, others have dozens and go all out – you can tell flowers are their passion! The fields typically look like this. Here is the one that we enjoyed just a few days ago.
It’s such a beautiful and relaxing afternoon to take an hour or two and just spend them roaming the fields to pick flowers. My little boy and I had a snack of blueberries and read storybooks while my husband was off cutting sunflowers. Then, as I cut, he took our son to see the cows across the street so I was able to relax and enjoy myself. I’ve been bringing my son to these fields since he was 6 months old and today, he loves to walk through them and sniff as many flowers as he can.
From those fields above, here are my flowers at home below.
I didn’t bother to invest much thought into how I would arrange them, my goal was simple – to make the arrangement look straight from the field and un-styled. I really like taking a casual approach to flower arranging. When I wrote a book about flowers and flower styling when I was pregnant, I intentionally left the more complicated arrangements to my co-author who is great at mastering both looks, though casual is also her preferred approach.
I choose to place these flowers in a Nordic-inspired vase – the Omaggio vase with the mother of pearl stripes is by Danish brand @Kahler. I love the subtle stripes and the slightly off white color because it doesn’t fight with the flower textures or colors, but also wanted something non-transparent to hide the stems – I wanted the focus to be on the bright colors.
Do you have flower fields where you can go to cut your own? Do we have this concept in America yet? There are even companies that specialize in setting you up in Germany so you can own your own. I find this a terrific business concept. When I left the states in 2009, I don’t recall it. Corn, blueberries, strawberries, etc. are common but I don’t ever remember driving by a field without anyone watching you where you can just pick flowers and donate the amount you estimate they should cost. I think it’s a really beautiful system!
Hope you have a happy day!