Make a Labor Day Garden Arrangement
Celebrate the holiday with flowers and foliage in patriotic red, white and blue.
Can't find blue flowers for your patriotic arrangement? Use red and white ones in a setting with blue accents, like throw pillows or serving pieces.
Fire up the grill and round up your friends. Labor Day, which is the first Monday in September, calls for an end-of-the-summer celebration.
If you’re invited to a party, an arrangement of red, white and blue blooms makes a quick and easy gift for your host. You can also use flowers in patriotic colors as a centerpiece for your own table. Opt for live plants or cut flowers, and toss or replace them when they fade.
Patriotic Container Gardens 01:17
Show off your love of country with these red, white and blue container gardens for sun and shade.
Choose a Container
Start with whatever you have on hand, from an empty tin can with its label removed to a straw basket. If you're growing live plants, be sure your container has drainage holes. Then fill it with good quality potting soil and plants that have the same basic requirements for sun and water.
Mason jars are a fun choice for fresh flower bouquets. If you have a trio of jars you don’t plan to use again (or at least, not until the next patriotic holiday rolls around), spray paint one of them red, one white and one blue. Line them up on a tabletop, and tuck in some colorful blooms.
Another idea: shop a yard sale or your shed for an small red or blue watering can or pail, or decorate a terra cotta pot with acrylic paints. Paint the collar of the pot blue and add white stars. Alternate rings of white and red paint the rest of the way down the pot.
Don’t Let Your Flowers Flop
Plants, of course, won't need support, but to hold cut flowers upright, insert some floral foam or a frog into the bottom of your container. Large leaves from hostas and other garden plants can also prop up tall, willowy stems. Or try a handful of just-snipped herbs, such as purple basil, and tuck them around floppy flowers. Slender or twisted twigs also provide stability and add interest.
Your choices for red, white and blue flowers or plants will depend on what’s blooming in your garden in September, or what's available from your florist.
Blue is the hardest color to find; few flowers are truly blue, without any lavender or purple tones. If you can’t find what you want, round out your arrangement with some very dark purple blossoms.
Blue flowers and plants include:
- Butterfly bush
White flowers are easier to find, and you can also use those that are primarily white, like ‘Italian White,’ a sunflower with white to near-white blooms and dark centers, or snow-white daises with yellow eyes. Other white options are:
- Rose or mini-rose
- Asiatic lily
- Rose or mini-rose
- Asiatic lily
To add zing to your Labor Day arrangement, look for bright red varieties of these flowers or plants:
- Gerbera daisy
Tips for Assembling Your Arrangement:
— Add floral preservative to the water if you're using fresh flowers. Change the water as needed to keep it fresh and clean, so your arrangement lasts longer.
— If you like, substitute red foliage for red flowers. Coleus like ‘Wizard Red Velvet’ and ‘Redhead’ will grow in containers, or you can snip their leaves for cut arrangements.
— Play with a mix of textures, shapes and sizes, like big petunias with small calibrachoas or flowery spikes from a butterfly bush with trailing lantana.
— If you can’t find blue blossoms, use red and white plants or flowers in a cobalt blue container.
— Add a couple of small flags, miniature pinwheels in patriotic colors or other floral picks for fun. Some craft stores sell metallic picks that unfold to look like sprays of holiday fireworks.
Don't forget: Labor Day flowers and plants don’t have to be red, white and blue. Try yellow marigolds or white daisies in a clear vase and accent them with a small American flag. If your container is rustic, tie a length of patriotic-looking ribbon around it for a finished look.