the big bouquet – celebrating may

by Sharon Santoni

The garden is a pretty exciting place at this time of year, and a great moment to make a big bouquet.   Everywhere seems to be exploding in new growth, fresh colours, fantastic light and the promise of a fine season to come.

In this month of May, the dominant plant is of course the wisteria climbing up the front of the house, but also the colombines, the snowball verbena and the budding orange blossom or philadelphus.


This much exuberance outside makes me want to bring the spring indoors, and what better way to do that than with a very big bouquet.    I pulled out my new, actually very old but new to me, big vase and started cutting long branches all over the garden.

Wisteria in a vase is a wonderful thing.   It will only last a couple of days, but seeing it up close and personal is a very different thing to admiring the whole plant climbing a wall.

I used flowering rosemary branches to give the first structure and give some strength to the bouquet, then started pushing in the longer blooms.

Et voila!    A very big bouquet that will dominate my entrance hall for the next couple of days and is already filling the house with sweet perfume.  How about you?  Do you also create oversized bouquets now and again and if so with which flowers?


Jojo May 10, 2018 - 8:19 pm

Simply, elegantly, beautiful!

Lily LeBeau May 11, 2018 - 4:51 am

Just beautiful!!!!’

Carolyn W May 10, 2018 - 8:24 pm

So beautiful!

Susan May 10, 2018 - 8:29 pm

I too create huge bouquets! I love to use flowering tree branches like witch hazel or crabapple in the spring with tulips, and in the summer the big blooms of panicle hydrangeas look so beautiful with all the garden flowers in bloom at that time–summer snapdragons, zinnias, sages, and grasses galore. Sometimes I use sunflowers and big trusses of tiny green tomatoes. I love flowers!

Lynda Zahor May 10, 2018 - 8:44 pm

Tres Belle! Perfect for La Fete de Mama!

Lorraine Ingram May 10, 2018 - 8:53 pm

very beautiful

Taste of France May 10, 2018 - 9:09 pm

I love that verbena. I’m waiting for the hydrangea to pop open. It’s on the north side of our house, so it takes a while, but come summer it’s happy to be there.
It’s just now the ice saints, but warm enough that I already planted our little potager. This year I put strawberries in pots, in hopes that we, and not the ants, will get to eat the fruit.

Botanic Bleu May 10, 2018 - 9:13 pm

In my mind’s eye I can see the big May bouquet sitting in the entry of a French country house and can feel the magic of time and place.

When my mother was alive her gardens provided huge bouquets of blue hydrangeas. As Mother’s Day approaches, I miss her, her gardens, and her generous hospitality more acutely than usual.

Happy Mother’s Day,


Cindy Smith May 10, 2018 - 9:28 pm

So lovely! I have gotten in the habit of having fresh flowers in the house all through the year. Sometimes it is only a sprig or two but just seeing the freshness warms my heart and brings me great joy.

Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things May 10, 2018 - 9:59 pm

How beautiful! We just built a new home and are starting our landscaping and I am making sure we include hydrangeas.

Our French Oasis May 10, 2018 - 10:07 pm

We are still enjoying armfuls of lilac here and our first roses are making their presence firmly felt around the garden. Also armfuls of iris, wisteria of course, lavender flowering profusely, poppies which look fabulous in the garden but are quite useless in a vase. The peonies are also in full bloom. I was away for four days and came back to so much change. Isn’t it wonderful how quickly everything develops at this time of year. It was the first thing I did when I came back, take a walk around the garden and see what had changed!

Splendid market May 10, 2018 - 10:09 pm

Beautiful! I love the notion of bringing wisteria inside!

Barbara May 10, 2018 - 10:12 pm

I love long arching canes of fragrant philadelphus (mock orange blossom) in a big white jug. Even when the petals fall, they leave little stars. If I had lilacs, I would fill the house with them. Oak leaf hydrangeas are stunning at just the right time. I didn’t know wisteria could be picked. Beautiful.

Nancy Tirk May 10, 2018 - 10:25 pm

How do you keep the snowball verbena from wilting when you put it in an arrangement?
I appreciate your photos, thank you and happy mother’s day!

Sandra coker May 10, 2018 - 10:49 pm

Enjoyed your bouquets! Just for your info the snowballs are not verbena …they are viburnum often called Japanese snowball. Verbena is a very different plant..small and low growing. We have lots of both here in South Carolina. Regards!

Gaynor May 10, 2018 - 10:51 pm

Hi Sharon, this is such a beautiful arrangement. Sometimes only the dramatic will fit the bill! I love to pick long flowers and foliage in my garden and a particular summertime favourite is to combine branches from the beech tree, bright red monarda and sumptuous deep pink roses.

Sue May 10, 2018 - 11:11 pm

Stunning! I love wisteria although I don’t have any, but I have been trying to find some in Malta. Also the Verbena look amazing! Aren’t you glad the weather has turned for you guys!
love and warmth x

JaneEllen May 10, 2018 - 11:21 pm

Oh my what beauty you have in your garden, breath taking and the fragrances must be heavenly. We have lilacs this year, love to have them in house but allergies go bonkers some years. Need to get new allergy sniffer.
That bouquet is so gorgeous, you must love going out to cut flowers for your home.
I’ll content myself with looking at your flowers.
Happy Mother’s Day

joie May 10, 2018 - 11:29 pm

My snowball is in full bloom and I never thought of using it in a bouquet like that. Heading outside to cut some branches!

Marilyn May 11, 2018 - 1:10 am

Lilacs and snowballs are in my house now.

JennieLee May 11, 2018 - 2:22 am

Absolutely breathtaking!

Lee Oleary May 11, 2018 - 6:51 am

Sharon you give a real romantic feel to everything you do it makes me want to emulate you in many ways .Keep up the good work.My home and my garden thank you love Lee from Mollymook Australia.

Sabrina May 11, 2018 - 7:22 am

Just beautiful, Sharon! Right now the lilacs are in bloom where I live in port Townsend, Washington. A friend who has lilacs left a big bunch of them on my doorstep yesterday–I have them in a large vase in my bedroom– the last thing I smell when I go to sleep and the first when I wake up.

Sandra May 11, 2018 - 12:50 pm

Love this blog…your beautiful flowers caught my eye..Love it Sharon! Fresh rosemary reminds me of our floral workshop together! Your wisteria is amazing…can I come forage? I promise to only take a few:)
Hugs to you from Andover

Freddie Ann May 11, 2018 - 2:58 pm

Ohhhh, how I wish this computer screen had a “scratch and sniff.” Your bouquet is magnificent. We moved from our home/flower gardens of 30 years last year (to an apt.) and the lovely bouquets are what I miss most. I wonder if there is a way to use your bouquet as my screen saver?? Have a wonderful weekend.

Petra matthew May 13, 2018 - 10:40 am

Here in Holland a new company started a trend a couple years ago with using a big glass vase and adding just a few flowers, maybe 5 or so. All different flowers in different heights and it looks amazing! It used to be hard to buy flowers by the piece but now a lot of florists join the trend as well and sell flowers by the piece, which is wonderfull. It gives a whole new look on a vase of flowers!

Noreen May 14, 2018 - 4:00 pm

simply gorgeous!


Leave a Comment