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?