FLOWERS: French vs American

The 'typical' American bouquet is usually a mix of roses, carnations or daisies - finished with a sprinkling of greens and baby's breath. Even in my younger years, I never thought these flowers deserved the 'oohs ands ahhs' they seemed to incite. There always seem to be some tacky ribbon and patterned floral paper as the finishing touch. I admit there has been some improvement, but not without paying a PREMIUM price. Flowers are expensive and have become a luxury, and not a routine indulgence.

This is not the case in Europe. Flowers are looked at as a necessity. You buy a loaf of bread, you pick up fresh flowers. Pretty flowers and plants are affordable, easily available and the highest of quality. In fact, the best bouquets can be picked up at any gas station.  

German Lavendar
Germans love lavender, succulents and plant art (sticks with figurines at the top stuck into the dirt of the plant to add character. Similar to the 'gnome in the garden' type of idea). I enjoy the German flowers too, but my heart swoons for the French style.

The French somehow manage to make plants and arrangements look gorgeous - with the littlest of effort (just like their style!). But instead of choosing from traditional flowers, they use unique and plant inspired shrubbery. The finishing touches don't include bows or colored foil wrapping. Instead, you see burlap or raffia and sometimes even a thick velvet ribbon (in a jewel tone like emerald green or ruby red).

These photos were taken from a street vendor in Strasbourg, France. The same day of the fabulous flea market shopping and pastry pig-out.

Who knew artichokes would make such beautiful cutting flowers? I'm going to plant some next spring! Aren't these unique?

The Fall shades are out and aren't they gorgeous? See how the flowers are just placed in a simple vase, yet they look amazing? I love the little Orange Japanese lanterns. I'll have to track that shrub down when I get home. Did you notice the 3 little pumpkins on the table with flowers added to them? So creative, and they would make nice hostess gifts.

Simple - lavender thrown into a galvanized vintage bucket looks chic! Notice all of the chalkboard signs? 

Notice how the tables are covered with burlap, and the plants/pumpkins are placed in a natural setting without elaborate finishes? If you keep it simple, you too have recreate the French look at home.

Another angle

I bought these flowering cabbages and placed them on top of my vintage cake stand. Orange flowers from cabbages - who knew? Funny tidbit: they smelled like cabbage when I cut the stalks, and they became horribly stinky after a week.

So the leaves change colors and the shrubs develop rich-colored berries, go outside and clip some branches to make a French inspired bouquet in your own home. Or give as a gift. Who doesn't love receiving flowers? I know I do!


Gawgus things... said...

My friend has just moved to Strasbourg so I'll have to tell her to check out the market! I love flowers but it isn't something i buy enough of.. xx

Selina. said...

My first ever bunch of flowers from a boy were pink and white cabbage flowers he thought they were unique roses, i thought they made my room smell like cabbage! Love buying flowers though, think i shall be picking some up on the way home :)

xStroutx said...

A beautiful bunch of flowers definitely brighten up the day! We have them around pretty often.

Shasta Anne said...

Fresh flowers really do change the entire feeling within a home. I love the lavender bouquets, all of the bundles really. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!


Claire said...

i love flowers in the house. I will treat myself to flowers at the supermarket because i deserve them :)

Heather, 29 Skirts said...

What a cool post! I enjoyed your analysis of the different bouquet styles. The cabbages you chose are beautiful.

Sarah Pearson said...

Oh, flowers. What a treat they would be!

Bibi said...

Very beautiful flowers! I love Lavendar and plan to plant some in my garden next season ;)
♥ Bibi

Miss K said...

i love it! that lavender is gorgeous!