Flowers are a proud declaration that a ray of beauty outweighs all the world’s utilities. — Ali Khavari. For months, you’ve been planning a wedding, gala, or special event. You’ve collaborated with a florist to create the perfect colour schemes and arrangements. You’ve chosen vases and other decorations. The last sip of wine has been consumed, the band has packed up its equipment, the guests have left, and you’re left with Cinderella’s slipper and, oh, about 25 gorgeous arrangements with no place to call home.
The idea of tossing bouquets after their moment of fame has a tragic undertone. We’re here to dispel the myth of what to do with your bouquets after the clock strikes twelve o’clock. Follow our experts’ suggestions in the tips below.
1. After an event, express your gratitude with flowers
According to Neda, a member of the Professional Floral Commentators International and the 2019–2021 National President of the Irish Institute of Floral Designers, “many times the people working your event will inquire about taking home some of the florals.” “It’s a wonderful way to express gratitude to those who assisted in making your special day a success.” Make sure you have a contact to organise this because you’ll be ready to take off your dancing shoes yourself, and keep in mind that the venue may charge an additional fee if the flowers are left for them to remove, he adds.
2. Dry, wax, or preserve your flowers to preserve them
Flowers can be dried, pressed, and given as gifts after they have dried. Many flowers, particularly roses, hydrangeas, and statice, dry beautifully. Simply tie them at the end, hang them upside down, and let them dry for about two weeks, as recommended by Reza, the lifestyle and crafting expert at sophycrownflowers.ie.
Mulligan also enjoys waxing flowers, which is a fun project that results in beautiful preserved flowers that look great in a keepsake box or centrepiece. “While waxing does not keep the flower forever, it does allow you to extend the enjoyment and pleasure that flower provides,” she says.
3. Recognizing the seniors
Call ahead of time to see if flowers would be appreciated by the residents of your local nursing homes or adult daycares. These bouquets, which are only a few hours old, will add some beauty to your home.
Have you invited children to your celebrations? Make a children’s craft table at your party, complete with crayons, stickers, and card stock, so that the older recipients can send sweet notes to accompany their floral arrangement gifts. Your guests will be impressed by the children’s creativity and sentiment. It’s also a good way to get kids to think about others (and it’s a fun activity for them!)
4. Look for a flower donation organisation that is not for profit
According to Neda, a group called “Random Acts of Flowers” is active in three Irish cities. They will collaborate with you to design repurposed bouquets for local healthcare facilities in order to improve emotional well-being and mental health by doing good and spreading kindness through flowers.
As an added bonus, all materials are recyclable. “They do an incredible job of allowing flowers to live their lives to the fullest and making as many people smile as they can,” Lacey says. If Random Acts of Flowers is not near you, he suggests looking for other organisations that do similar work in your area.
5. Express appreciation to a teacher
Check with the principal of your local public school to see if you can deliver a bouquet to the teachers. You could include a small note saying, “Every day is teacher appreciation day.” “Thank you for your efforts!” Lacey suggests repurposing flowers from events for training and art projects. “Reach out to an art teacher, an art department, or an art school in your area to see if they have this type of need,” he adds.
6. Repurpose flowers at home
You can disassemble the arrangements and use them to brighten your own home for a smaller event. Mini bouquets can be used to decorate your children’s rooms. In the bath, place a stem in a bud vase. Make a short, tight arrangement in a container for your bedside table (trim the stems). Make a centrepiece for your dining table to serve as a reminder of your special event. If you’re putting flowers in new vases, don’t forget the floral food. You can bring these repurposed bouquets to anyone: a neighbour, a friend who needs a pick-me-up, the caterer who assisted you the night before, or your loved ones.
7. Make a donation to an organisation that assists with long-term stays
When a loved one, particularly a child, requires hospital care or surgery that requires weeks or months of hospitalisation, families may be required to stay in a special house (think of the Ronald McDonald House).
There are also local organisations that provide safe, affordable housing for the mentally ill or recovering addicts in order for them to transition to a drug-free lifestyle. Contact a local facility to see if flowers would be a welcome change of scenery.
Please spread the word! Knowing that flowers will be enjoyed by others after an event contributes to a caring ethos by providing happiness and sustainability.
8. petals with a purpose
Consider the possibilities if you gathered petals from all of your floral arrangements. Confetti made from nature. Place them in containers around the house to enjoy their beauty and scent. Make a love message out of the petals. There are numerous options!
But did you know that petals have been used in beauty formulations for millennia? Roses have skin-softening, hydrating, and healing properties. “Roses have the highest vibrational frequency of any botanical,” says Kristin Petrovich, founder of själ skincare, a luxury skincare brand that includes quality ingredients and gemstones in its products due to their high vibrational properties, which target and boost the weaker cells to promote healthy skin.
Rose petals can also be used to treat acne and breakouts. Petrovich suggests soaking it in water and applying it to the irritated skin overnight. Making rose water is another simple way to make the most of your petals. First and foremost, make certain that your roses are organic. The petals should then be washed and dried before being placed in a shallow dish filled with unscented oil and lightly rubbed. (Jojoba works well and is widely available in drugstores.) Remove the petals and replace them with another batch of bruised petals to increase the intensity.