When I move into a new apartment, one of my favorite things to do to help make myself feel settled is to purchase a small bouquet of flowers.
Even if I still have boxes left to unpack, a bouquet of flowers perched on a window ledge or countertop helps to make my new place feel like home. If I’m able to extend the same gesture to a new neighbor in the form a hand-delivered bouquet, all the better.
My favorite spot for finding affordable cut flowers is our local farmer’s market. In our neighborhood, we’re lucky enough to have a farmer’s market three days a week, and it’s my go-to spot for getting flowers that are fresh and seasonal. My farmer friends also happen to be some of the best flower arrangers I know, and they usually put together bouquets that don’t need much tweaking to be presentable as gifts!
When preparing fresh flowers to give away, I like to use a vessel that I can leave behind with them. Giving flowers in a simple bottle lets me arrange the flowers in an artistic way and, more importantly, means a newly-moved neighbor won’t have to worry about trimming stems or scrambling to find a vase amidst the chaos of a partially unpacked apartment. Rather than spending money on a vase that might not match their personal style, I usually opt for recycled glass bottles. As a child, my sisters and I cut flowers from our mom’s garden to sell at a roadside stand. We would remove the paper labels from old glass juice bottles and use phlox and black-eyed susans and tiger lilies to make sweet bouquets. As an adult, I use the same technique. After removing the label from my bottle (warm water and dish soap usually does the trick), I make sure to add lukewarm water and to trim the flower stems to keep my bouquet looking fresh and healthy. And when I give a bouquet to a new neighbor, I like to include a little note with my contact information. Receiving flowers in your new home is lovely indeed, but knowing you have a friendly neighbor nearby is even better.