'Tis the season for going over to friends' homes for holiday get-togethers, which means it's also the season for hostess gifts. Over the years, I've made food, crafted gift baskets, and put together flower arrangements, so that I always show up with something a little more special than another bottle of wine (because chances are one of the other guests will already have that covered). I've always loved gifting a thoughtfully-arranged bouquet of flowers, but it often felt like they created even more work for the host, as they required searching for, then placing them in an appropriate vase. While scouting for antiques recently, a solution occurred to me. At every store and flea market I visited, there were hoards of vases and pitchers for $3 to $15 a piece. I purchased a variety of them—in terra cotta, porcelain, and enamelware—stockpiling for future gifts. Now, when I'm heading over to someone's house, I grab a vase and place a bouquet of wildflowers in them (like those available at Trader Joe's), since other flowers like tulips feel too precious in the rustic vessel. To make it clear that the vase is to keep, I attach a simple poem around the neck to convey the message. I also love that the host can put them directly on the table so that your flowers can contribute to the evening as the center piece, should they wish.
Here are some couplets to attach to your flowers - enjoy!
The freshest flowers with scents so deep,
held in a vase to forever keep.
Some flowers to brighten up your day,
a vase for you that’s here to stay.