The Beauty of Bear Grass

Twenty some years ago, I found myself working in an industry that allowed my creativity to run wild, I was a floral designer and it was a great experience. When I became a mom, it was more important to be at home for my family so I walked away from hourly pay.

One of my favorite designing elements was bear grass because it offered simplicity and freedom to almost every arrangement.  Have you heard of it or maybe you’ve already had the opportunity to work with it?

Displaying a bunch of bear grass by itself in a vase or mason jar is something that makes me smile. When Robert and I got married I designed my own flowers and each table had these simple bear grass centerpieces in clear vases. The stems were cut low so they didn’t take away from table conversation and it was pretty to look out and see something different and very Carole.

The Cost of Bear Grass

Finding fresh bear grass can be difficult if you purchase flowers at the supermarket. This bunch of grass came from a local flower shop where I live. Here’s the kicker, one of the gals didn’t know what it was and the other said it was a specialty item.  Right there I knew placing an order was going to cost me and it did, $25 for that bunch of grass.  I should have walked out but instead I smiled after choking a little and paid their price because I was curious how large this bunch would be.

That was another disappointment, it wasn’t even a full bunch. The third was when I called the wholesalers in Dallas to find out the cost price is $4.99 a bunch.  I thought to myself wow a 5-time mark -up. You can guess I won’t be going back to that shop because in reality this product should have never retailed for more than $15.00 for the entire bunch. I’m sharing this part of the journey because I don’t want to see this happen to others.

Adding Flair to Alstromeria

I decided to add some flair to this bouquet of alstromeria because it was a little dull by itself.  I took a few bear grass stems from the mason jar and made loops for a wisp of flair.  What do you think?  I use to do this all the time in my florist days and one of my co – workers who’s a dear friend called it the, “Carole Do!”  All my arrangements were one of a kind designed to impress and it drove the other designers crazy.

Can you tell I may miss it just a little bit?  Well I do miss designing but not working in a shop.  I often thought about owning a floral shop but realized that wasn’t the place for me anymore.

Making Bear Grass Loops

Making bear grass loops is very easy all you need is thin (16) gauge floral wire and cutters. Take 3 or 4 stems and place them into a loop and lightly tie off with 4 or 5 wire wraps. The final step is to place them in the arrangement.   I made three loop sets for this small arrangement and offset each one.

If you’re designing with floral oasis (wet foam) then carefully insert deep into the foam so it stays put.  Eye your destination first prior to placement because pulling and re poking the foam will cause it to break and become mush.

Other Bear Grass Ideas and can you grow it?

This grass can also be styled in the form of braids which is really neat depending on the type of arrangement.  Swirling it around and tying off into a knot is also fun.  The possibilities are endless but my true favorite is when you dry it because back in the day I was also a huge fan of dried flowers and even had my own side business for a while.  In a couple weeks, I’m going to share dried bear grass so keep a look out, it’s in the process of drying now.

Can you grow bear grass?  Of course, you can and it blooms a beautiful flower but I didn’t want to go into the planting details so I found a fantastic link for those of you further north like, Washington, BC, Montana and Wyoming because bear grass is native to the northern hemisphere. To grow read here.  This grass would look amazing in a backyard garden and so easy to incorporate.

Hope you enjoyed my little journey with bear grass. It’s a real beauty and something you may want to experiment with, bear grass with tulips wouldn’t that be fabulous?

 

Discover how real Bear Grass adds beauty to the home

11 comments

  1. Patti says:

    Ooooh what a beauty! Now I want to see if I can grow it. I love the way you showed us how to use it in floral arrangements. I’m not usually a big grass person but I do love some of the container plantings I see with purple fountain grass and others as it adds so much texture and height to the planter. Thanks for sharing this “new to me” lovely plant.

    1. Carole says:

      This really is a beauty and wait till you see my follow up post. Bear grass really was my trademark back in the day I just love it. I’m not a huge fan of grasses either but this one is perfection. I enclosed a link for growing so make sure you check that out.

  2. Jane says:

    Hi Carole, I love grasses! Probably b/c my mom does so I grew up with them. Your flower arrangement is gorgeous and I did not know how to make the loops! thanks for the tip!

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Jane -this is a fun one! Those loops are so easy just make sure you’re using a thin wire because it makes wrapping so much easier without breaking the stems.

  3. Jemma says:

    Carole,
    You and I share so much of the same interests. Years ago Dave and I looked into purchasing a florist shop, because of my love of flowers. So naturally this post is going to be another favorite of mine.
    I so enjoyed the tips on growing Bear Grass and how to loop it. Such an artistic flair you possess and this is a gorgeous centerpiece!
    Hugs,
    Jemma

    1. Carole says:

      A florist shop I thought about that and after I purchased this bunch of bear grass Robert said are you sure you don’t want a floral shop. I just laughed because it’s a lot of work and the holidays own you. Now something off to the side I might consider but I do believe God has me where he wants me right now. Flowers though – can we ever get enough of them and with this type of grass it’s pure elegance. Well my kind of elegance….. simple.

  4. Karen says:

    I’ve seen this before in arrangements, but never knew what it was. What a unique and fun name! I love the way you arranged it with the Alstroemerias and that white pitcher is just gorgeous – the whole arrangement is beautiful.
    I can always count on you to teach me something new and useful about plants or gardening! 😊 Thanks for sharing.

    1. Carole says:

      Glad you liked this one – I love bear grass and wait till you see what I have planned to share next. Because there is so much more to this grass that this wonderful shade of green.

  5. mickie mclaughlin says:

    Is this plant available in nurseries? Love the use of it in your arrangements….can’t wait to see the follow-up post. mickie

    1. Carole says:

      I would go to a specialty nursery if they don’t have it they may be able to order it. You might even research it online because sometimes you can purchase and have them shipped to your door.

  6. daisy says:

    I love grasses too! They make such a dramatic gesture in a garden. I hadn’t heard of bear grass though. Thanks for the education!

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