Joanna Gaines may have made a name for herself as one of the most influential designers in the country – but her talents don't end with decorating. The Magnolia founder and Fixer Upper star isn't shy of showcasing her green-thumbed skills – primarily from her cottage garden on her beautiful Waco estate.
Most recently, Joanna shared the results of a homegrown floral arrangement, comprising orlaya, dahlias, and Queen Anne's lace – an eclectic mix of flowers whose varying shapes and textures work in harmony.
Of course, for the ultimate Gaines-inspired arrangement of our own, we should look to use identical flowers to the designer (because if anyone has a way of setting floral trends, it is her). However, her overall message isn't necessarily about the flowers we should use – but how we approach the flower arranging.
'You don't really have to think about it too much,' Joanna says via Instagram. 'Just let nature do its thing, stick these beauties in a vase, and there you have it – a beautiful weekend arrangement.'
'These are the flowers that I cut today, and I want to show you how they all play. The dahlias are structured and prominent – the orlaya makes it a little more whimsical, and that's not so structured,' Joanna says.
She speaks from her garden cottage – a beautifully renovated space that overlooks the plot where she famously grows her flowers.
'I love the painting of the orlaya with the dahlias. You've got the wax flowers that also bring in that structure but in a smaller form. The Queen Anne's lace and orlaya also bring height to the arrangement – and scaevola brings that depth of color and ties everything in.'
Whether we've home-grown our flowers or opted for a nursery-bought alternative, we, like Joanna, all face the same question: how to keep flowers fresh in a vase?
Melody Estes, a landscape design expert from Maine, explains the process is simple.
First, Melody says we should cut the flower stems at about a 45-degree angle to promote proper water and nutrient absorption. Then remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem before putting them into a vase of water – the shape of which is equally important.
The expert recommends following Joanna's lead and choosing a vase that is large enough to let the flowers breathe. We've found one similar below. 'If you put them in a vase that's too small, or one with a narrow opening, it will make it harder for them to breathe – and they'll die faster than they would otherwise.'
This translucent vase is perfect for Orlaya and Dahlias (or any other flower of your choice from your summer garden). It's simple but always stylish and offers an arrangement just like Joanna's.
After finding the right vase, Melody adds that we should add half a teaspoon of sugar to each quart of cool water (or 1/2 tablespoon per gallon).
'This will help feed the flower, which will make it last longer,' she explains. 'If you're using tap water, run it through a filter first to remove chlorine and other bad chemicals that are bad for flowers.'
It's time we all follow Joanna – and dress our home in beautiful blooms brightest season ahead.
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Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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