Living fabric flower

Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Ann Smarty

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5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Cut Flowers

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I will admit that I have never been a big fan of receiving flowers. Sure I can appreciate the sentiment, and I have never acted anything less than incredibly grateful and flattered to anyone who has given them to me. But in my mind, they are such a silly gift to give. While they smell lovely and look beautiful, you are essentially killing a large number of plants that would have otherwise remained growing had you not removed them from their roots.

Thinking of all the flowers I have gotten over the years, from when I was a child and being given roses after a stage performance from my parents, to being of marrying age and getting them from my then-boyfriend turned husband, it makes me a little sad. So many bouquets could have been transferred from the greenhouse to the outside world. What a beautiful place our city would have been!

It wasn’t until I had actually gotten married that I admitted to my husband that I hated receiving flowers. He immediately started finding other ways to show his love and appreciation of me, and I will forever be grateful for that.

To those reading this who also dislike cutting flowers and want a more permanent and eco-friendly solution, here are five alternatives.

1. Get Potted Flowers or Plants

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This is the one my husband does every once in awhile when he wants to get me flowers. Instead, he gets me potted flowers or plants that I can take care of in our home, and transplant into our garden in the warm seasons. He has given me some lovely ones over the years, and they are all still alive and kicking. They beautify our house, fill our garden, and are able to make me feel happy and remember his feelings for me all year round. So much better than the short lived gift of a bouquet. There are a lot of them on any online flower delivery website, like Flowers24hours.co.uk for UK (plants section) and Proflowers.com for US.

2. Go With Paper

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We all have paper lying around. I was recently going to visit my grandmother in the hospital and I wanted to bring her a gift. Food was out, as she was struggling with nausea due to new medications. Items were restricted since by hospital policy, and she was not mobile enough to care for a potted plant. So I took some old newspapers from my home and my neighbors, soaked strips in water colored with food dye, got some wires from old hangers, and I made paper roses. They are deceptively easy. Just carefully dye the paper your chosen colors, then dry the strips. When they are free of all moisture, crinkle them up lightly until they are somewhat soft. Then use simple paste to begin putting them together in the shape of roses. Here is a lovely example from Avoision, though her method is much different than mine.

3. Send A Cookie Bouquet

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You have probably seen cookie bouquets before. Sometimes they are in the shape of flowers, but you can get them as pretty much anything at this point. A dozen or half a dozen will be sent in a container meant to look like either a vase or a rose box. They are very cute and tend to cost about the same as roses. Though you can always make your own, and all it really requires are cookies solid enough to be held up on a wire or stick. Though you could always forgo the stem and stick them onto parchment paper with a bit of frosting. Then draw the stems onto the paper.

4. Plant A Garden

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Taking the potted flowers idea a little further, you could always plant an entire garden. When we were living in an apartment, there were these little sections of dirt outside of the building. No one did anything with them, and they were an eyesore. We got permission to turn it into a mini flower patch, and that was a great activity with the kids. Whether it is something small like that, a tiny roof garden, a couple of boxes on your porch a community garden or one in a larger yard, you can have a lovely little patch to call your very own.

5. Clear Out The Fabric Drawer

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I will admit that I am terrible at sewing. But I have a friend who is incredible, and she made her sister a gorgeous rose bouquet our of silk for her wedding. The sister hadn’t wanted to go with regular flowers because even when dried they are not very long lasting. They can so easily crumble over time. So they picked out red, white and gold silk, and my friend crafted elaborate roses from each into a gorgeous bouquet for her to hold as she walked down the aisle. She is not the first to do this, and there are plenty of examples of fabric or even metal flowers being crafted for the same reason. Check out these excellent bouquets on Pinterest.

Do you have an idea for an alternative to cut flowers? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.



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