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GARDEN SURROUNDINGS: Creating Your Own Flower Arrangements

By Francesca Filanc, for Let’s Talk Plants! March 2023.

Whether working with homegrown or storebought cut flowers, making your own flower arrangements is a very rewarding endeavor.

Creating your own Flower Arrangements

A friend passed away recently, and I wanted to send a specific floral look for the gift, a basket with pastel colors and an orchid as the focal point. I had contacted the florist that I usually use but she was unavailable for health reasons. Another florist that I have used in the past was out of baskets.

I thought to myself, “Fran, you should do it.” And then I thought, YES!

I went to Trader Joe’s; they have fresh flowers year-round with really good prices. Trader Joe’s used to have beautiful baskets for sale sitting above the vegetables on a high shelf but now they only bring them in for the holidays.

“Why don’t you try Michaels or Hobby Lobby for your basket?” The nice gal working in the vegetable department suggested. So that was my plan.

I went home first to feed the dogs dinner and put the beautiful flowers in water. As I walked into my kitchen, laden with gorgeous, sweet-smelling flowers, I looked up and saw that I had the perfect basket on a shelf from years ago. I was thrilled.

I grabbed a bucket and filled it up with water and put the flowers in the bucket and then fed the dogs, when another idea came to me. I went into the pantry and, with much glee, I grabbed several little glass jars that I had saved. I fit the small jars of varying heights and widths into the basket with some water in each jar. I filled the jars with some water, but not too much, so that transporting would not difficult.

The arrangement turned out exactly as I had envisioned, and it was a healing and creative project.

The next day I delivered the flowers with a letter that I wrote and left the basket at my friend’s front door.

Our busy lives usually entail using a florist and not getting so involved in the crafting of the gift. In this case, making the stunning flower arrangement was greatly rewarding. The joy that can spring from the process of flower arranging for yourself or a dear friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one is creative and healing for you, as well as for them.

Pink Roses, oil on canvas, by Francesca Filanc,

Happy Gardening!

~ Francesca


Artist, author, photographer, fly-fisher woman, Francesca Filanc grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with her dogs.

Find her art and writings here:

She can be found on social media here:

Have gardening questions or want to learn more about Francie’s art? Contact:


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