Making a loose, country style wedding bouquet is a matter of having the right ingredients on hand – and the more the better! In addition to gathering the flowers you want, think about adding grasses and seed pods, as well as interesting foliage.

Here is what is in the bouquet below:

Garden flowers from a northeast garden in early July: Dahlias, yarrow, sea holly, peony buds, lady’s mantle, smooth hydrangeas (they are green early in the summer), allium, lavender, gomphrena, and bugbane.

Purchased flowers: Roses, billy-balls, snapdragons, and lisianthus.

Other plants: Maple tree seeds, poppy pods, Cryptomeria foliage, Hakonechloa grass, and a wild grass from a field.

Once you have your materials assembled, start from the center of the bouquet and add flowers, one stem at a time, putting them in place with your dominant hand and holding them firm in your other hand. Keep the heavier flowers (larger shape) toward the bottom and center, and place the smaller ones over and around those. Let some of the smaller flowers, grasses and seed pods stick above the larger blooms. You can work them into a round shape or an oblong, as you see here. Once you are done, secure them with a plastic tie-wrap, cord or covered wire. After they are secure, cut the bottoms of the stems off evenly and place the bouquet into a mason jar with water to keep it fresh until the wedding. You can wrap the stems with fabric, cord, ribbon or twine to cover the tie-wrap etc and to make a more finished look.

Make the bride’s bouquet the day before the wedding and keep it in a cool place overnight.

NOTE: Make two or more versions of the bouquet. As with most creative projects, each bouquet will take on a life of its own, and each will have a different look. The bride can pick which she likes best, and the others can be put in vases to decorate the bar, table or other site for the reception.

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