Message in a bottle

Lineup. Establish color themes using bottles and/or blooms of the same colors. A monochromatic background accents the characteristics of each bottle and bloom. All images by Diane Morey Sitton.

Nowhere is the language of flowers more colorfully vibrant than in the Lone Star State. As fall arrives, salvia, goldenrod, American beautyberry, native sunflower, and ornamental grasses decorate gardens, meadows, woodlands, and roadsides in a spectacular Texas-size show. And for many flower lovers, there is no simpler or more appealing way to relish the colors, textures, and shapes of fall flowers than by displaying them in bottles.

Cream of the crop. Vintage milk bottles add country charm to bouquets. This bouquet includes Mexican salvia, goldenrod, and Salvia leucantha.

Like the flowers themselves, bottles come in countless sizes, shapes, and colors. Milk bottles, wine bottles, pop bottles, Mason jars, and jugs: there is a size and shape for every occasion and location. Colors, too – from seafoam green to cobalt to red and all hues in between – complement every mood and setting. Whether you repurpose a vintage bottle or select a glossy reproduction, remember, bottles with wide mouths and necks accommodate the most flower stems.

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Better with age. With their distinct colors, sizes, shapes, and embossing, antique bottles add extra charm to blooms and branches.

Keep it simple by showcasing a single snip of salvia in a bottle on a windowsill or feature a rosehip-laden stem in a small bottle on a desk. Fashion a welcoming bouquet of goldenrod, roadside grass, wood fern, and other wildings in a large bottle and place it on a porch. Or, start the welcome at the gate by using a hand-twisted wire hanger to suspend a vintage milk bottle filled with brown-eyed Susan.

Hang ups. Add versatility to bottle bouquets by using wire to create hangers.

Create a centerpiece by grouping flower-filled bottles on a dining room table or display a bottle bouquet on a kitchen countertop. Show off a single color palette or flaunt nature’s wide-ranging floral hues.

Weeds and wildings. A shiny new bottle gives off a vintage vibe when filled with horsemint, Texas sage, jewelweed, and other roadside finds.

Add to the color and texture with berry-laden stems. Beautyberry offers strong stems of long-lasting magenta berries; firethorn furnishes clusters of orange/red fruits. Nandina and yaupon holly provide berries, as well.

Small in size, big in impact. A tiny antique medicine bottle makes a colorful vase for a single cluster of pentas blooms.

When harvesting, use sharp clippers, wear gloves, and transport the flowers in water. For the freshest bouquets, strip the foliage from the lower part of the stems, and change the water frequently.

Just what the doctor ordered. Antique bottles showcase periwinkle, an old-fashioned favorite flower that boasts new vibrant colors.

Albeit a bit old-fashioned, there’s a lot that can be said by a single flower or a medley of flowers, foliage, and grasses showcased in a bottle. For example, there’s the quiet elegance of a single rose, the perky optimism of brown-eyed Susan, and the joyfulness of goldenrod.

The more the merrier. There’s plenty of room in this large Mason jar to hold goldenrod, Salvia leucantha, and other showy fall flowers. Early Mason jars were made with aqua-colored glass to help block light from the food inside.

Why would you need to say anything more!

Posted by Diane Morey Sitton
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