I love flowers. I love the color, the variety of leaves, the honey sweetness, the way they draw butterflies and bees. I love them enough to put up with invading weeds and finding my walkways encroached upon by nicotiana or cosmos heavy with blooms by the time fall arrives.

And I love most of all, being able to bring them inside.

My garden claims roses and gladiolas, daffodils and tulips and plenty of other flowers you normally consider cutting to brighten the living room, but I’ve found there are a multitude of flowers out there that most people don’t think of for flower arranging, that also do great in a bit of water and a light room. Currently I have this mix of petunias on the round table beside my sofa–I picked them on Monday and they still look great. In the past I’ve cut blanket flower, snapdragons and other blooms. My first year of gardening I planted marigolds–which look great in a vase for the better part of a week.

A little trick to keeping marigolds–most people won’t cut them for bouquets, because their smell isn’t exactly honey sweet. In fact, it stinks quite a lot, but I learned years ago that a bit of sugar in the bottom of their water for twelve hours or so before adding them to your arrangement sucks all the smell out of the blooms. Try it–it really works.

I bet there are other flowers in your yard that you never considered cutting to bring inside, check it out, you might be surprised.