How to make market bouquets – a few things I’ve learned
When it came to planning out my flower farm, one of the things I stuggled with the most was how to make bouquets. So much of what you see on Pinterest is from traditional florists using imported flowers.
So I’ve put together this little ebook on different combinations of locally grown flowers. It’s really more of an inspiration guide rather than recipes, but I couldn’t think of a better description for the title!
The pictures were taken over a period of several years, so there’s a lot of variation in both style and who took the pictures. However, you will notice some themes emerge:
- I like mostly monochromatic bouquets -typically these are flowers with only one main color theme, i.e. lime green, yellow and hot pink, not completely monochromatic but they tend to blend together
- There are some weird combinations in here – no for real – like this bouquet didn’t make the cut but it’s full of unopened bull thistle flowers 🤷♀️
but I think the absolute most important thing to think of when it comes to arranging bouquets with flowers you’ve grown is this…
necessity is the mother of invention (which apparently is why that has thistles 👆)
There is nothing quite like taking a bucket of random leftover flowers and turning them into something amazing. Really, its the main difference between growing and using locally grown flowers and importing them from places like the now destroyed Amazon rainforest.
Locally grown flower bouquets are different and unique, which is a good thing. They’re not going to look exactly the same as what you’d find at your local supermarket.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had someone say, “you should grow more stuff like Floret!”
bahahaha oh my dear lovely friends, nothing makes me want to jump off a cliff quite like that statement.
“Why yes, I should, great idea! Thank you so much. Those flowers are gorgeous, aren’t they? Did you know they could be yours for a mere cost of $587 dollars. I agree, little on the expensive side BUT you are right, they do look way better than anything I have ever grown….”
Don’t get me wrong, I love that flower farming is becoming popular, mostly due to all the gorgeous arrangements of ranunculus, peonies and dahlias you can find on Pinterest. However, it does create some unrealistic expectations for both us and our customers.
Namely that $15 market bouquets typically aren’t full of ranunculus, even though they are everyone’s favorite flower. Add to it that most instructional books on floristry are full of imported flowers. How are we supposed to learn how to arrange if all of the education is based on David Austin roses or out of season peonies?
I’ll get off my little soapbox, it just really bugs me that a lot of educational content marketed for home growers and flower farmers is completely unrealistic and full of expensive to grow varieties. UGH. Okay, I really will stop now.
All that to say, arranging flowers still terrifies me, but it also is one of the most exciting parts. Who knows what you’ll come up with that will be unique and the perfect reflection of your unique space on earth? I did a wedding this past summer that was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had designing because the bride wanted flowers that looked like Iowa wild flowers – legit wild flowers like you’d see in the ditches. And you guys, they turned out amazing and she loved them! Something magical happens when you take what you’re given, what you already have and highlight its beauty in a vase.
Market Bouquets – a few things I’ve learned:
- play around a lot, and I mean a lot a lot. Practice using different flowers in different combinations and see what you like best. Once you like it, or if it’s just alright, ask for some feedback from someone you trust to give you honest advice. It helps if they regularly buy flowers for themselves.
- stick to single color schemes, with only one or two pops of color. I find that this makes everything look more polished, even if it was a last minute hastily thrown together bouquet!
- use fewer types of flowers, I know this goes against what a lot of people say, and maybe it’s just me, but again, I think it makes it look more professional.
You can view the online version of the market bouquet recipe booklet by clicking HERE or get your own copy below!
What’s your favorite/least favorite thing about using locally grown flowers in bouquets? Let me know in the comments (I promise I will actually respond, I’m not currently going through any social phobias 😂🤦♀️, hopefully at least one of you is with me and I am not the only 150% introverted flower farmer who also loves interacting with other people and talking all things flowers in spite of their entire nature?!)
Thank you for this! It is so hard to show ‘perceived value’ with farm fresh local flowers, people just don’t understand. It’s nice to know you’ll answer us! I’ve sent many a question to many a fellow farmer, never to be answered!
Justin FunkNancy Jordan
I totally understand. Fresh and local market bouquets are their own animal – completely different than grocery store or traditional florist bouquets. That can be a challenge to communicate that value!
Thanks for the tips, Sarah! My most embarrassing moment is finding a worm eating a bloom at the market! I usually tell the customer that proves we don’t use pesticides, lol.
Justin FunkSharon Henderson
Yikes! One time I sold some Zinnias to a florist who put them city water and they wilted overnight! So embarrassing!
Please send me the guide. Thanks!
Justin FunkCindy Oliver
I’ve fixed the form on the page! You can now get the guide! Sorry!
We all love Florets gorgeous flowers and photos, but THANK YOU for pointing out that the flowers we grow for Farmers Markets, Farm stands or subscription bouquets are not that!
Exactly right! It’s a different product and you put the bouquets together differently.
Thank you! I found your post very encouraging! I have been trying to get my little farm off the ground for a couple of years now, and it has been such a struggle. I, too, would love to have a farm like Floret, but it’s just not feasible for me, especially not in the season of life I’m in right now. It would be nice if people’s expectations were more realistic! Thank you for the instruction and encouragement!
Hi, great blog! Can not get the “ market bouquet recipe guide!”?
Love to read this.
Hey Jodie! I fixed the form on the page. Sorry about that!
I am on my second year of growing. I to am terrified of making bouquets. I am trying to layout info on bouquet subscriptions, if you have any advice. I love your monochromatic idea. I am doung a wedding this summer also and growing for one this fall. I do love what flowers do for people!!!
Justin FunkRobin Habing
Hi Robin, that’s so exciting. Weddings are my favorite! You are right that it is tricky to describe a subscription. I think one of the most important things is to determine why your customers would buy it and highlight that reason. In addition to solving any objections they would have to buying it. I know that’s kind of a confusing answer so I will work on a blog post that will hopefully explain it a little better.
I love that you are one of us not one of the ”Florets” of this world. I’m happy for them, but their reality is not ours and probably will never be. I’m in my 4th year growing and still have not found my market. Thanks again for the encouragement.
Justin FunkBernadette Ouellette
To maybe clarify, I think Floret is amazing! Just not always realistic with what we can grow in our own farms! You’re exactly right!
Sarah, keepin’ it real!!!! I love this about you!! : )
I love your tips and can’t wait to read this download. Thank you for sharing your expertise – I always love your work!
Funniest thing – in 2017 I was desperate for flowers in early spring and collected lots of pretties from our roadside ditches in northeastern WA. Holy cow, did that bouquet STINK!!! I realized why I saw those flower varieties growing in ditches but never in any bouquets – ha ha!
That’s awesome! Thanks Erin!
Beautiful bouquets and photos. Thank you for showing real farm fresh flowers in a wonderful array of bouquets!
Justin FunkJodie McCord
May I please receive a guide?! Thank you thank you!
I appreciate your candor and sharing the more realistic challenges that us small flower farm growers have to deal with. No one could possibly understand about how much time, effort, and money goes into starting and maintaining this dream except those of use who actually do the work. I try to educate people as I get the opportunity, but also we have to remember to be kind. After all, there is definitely a learning curve for most, and our customers are our friends, family, co-workers (I still work to pay for the dream.)
I think I am pretty good at putting the right combinations together, but what I really struggle with the most is how to make bouquets more quickly on-the-fly. I just can’t seem to wrap a bouquet quickly and still make the wrapping look neat and pretty. Thank you again, and please send me the guide – it is not working on your site. Thanks again!