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It is nearly December and the fields in Ireland remain a brilliant emerald green. The leaves have fallen off many trees but evergreens and a few perennial flowers continue to bloom in the gardens of the more experienced green thumbs. Most of the days are pretty grey and rainy this time of year, however, the past three days we had beautiful blue skies for at least part of the day. So lovely.

I enjoy bringing a bit of the outside into my home to brighten the dull grey days. One of my favorite ways to do this is by gathering branches, flowers and twigs from outside and combining them with a few flowers, either from my garden or from the discounted section in local grocery shops. Last week, I bought a simple bunch of bright yellow flowers (mostly carnations with a rose and one or two other flowers) at Aldi for only €1.99 ($2.48). I added these flowers to a handful of twigs and branches that I sniped from trees in my garden. For a vase I used an old jam jar (sometimes I’ll use a coffee, mayonnaise, or peanut butter jar if I don’t have the right size vase) that I had peeled the label off of and washed. About every 2-3 days I replace the water with fresh tap water, snip the ends off at an angle with sharp scissors, then pull out anything that looks old and rearrange them. Often times I find I can stretch a few store bought flowers into 2-3 weeks of varying floral arrangements using the above techniques. Today’s two bouquet consists of fresh tree branches, choke cherry tree branches (from my sister-in-law’s garden), Ulex branch (spikey wild everygreen shrub with yellow flowers) from across the street, a Juniper shrub, a few carnations and a yellow Gerber daisy left over from last week’s bouquet.

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So, if you are feeling a bit grey and want to add color to your world…get outside and see what branches, grass, bushes, Berries and wild flowers you can find. Be sure to grab varying colors. Add a few domestic flowers if you like, and…viola….there you have it~ a beautiful colorful bouquet that you can enjoy along with the “pick me up” of creating something new.

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Heather Cammack
I came to live in Ireland several years ago following the love of my life…an Irish man. Now I’m happily married and the mother three. We live in the country with a view of an ancient castle ruins out our back windows and each day I am grateful to be alive, to be loved, to be here.