A DASH of Floral: Red, Purple, and White Flowers in a Salvaged Tomato Can

A cute and playful floral arrangement utilizes red Gerber daisies, purple-magenta carnations, fluffy white hydrangeas with wild looking blue thistles.  Nestled in a salvaged tomato can with a fun graphic label, this floral arrangement radiates whimsical romance.  This would be a perfect Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day gift idea.

Red Gerber Daisy with white hydrangeas and thistles
A close up of the Gerber daisy. It’s so happy looking and is such a fun flower to use in spring arrangements.

Salvaging for Decorating

As a busy urbanite, I use a lot of canned and prepacked goods when I cook.  It’s just a necessity of life for me right now, though I hope eventually that will change.  With that, I am an avid recycler and try to do what I can to find new uses for things if possible, such as using empty cardboard egg cartons for starting seeds.  One item that I usually recycle but find absolutely endearing are these adorable tomato cans.  Their labels are fun bright colors with pop-art like graphics.  They are so simple, but so pretty, it always seems like such a shame to recycle the cans and not find a new use for some of them.  Finally, when making some soup a few weeks ago, I made sure to carefully save one of the cans with a purple and red label.

purple and white graphic tomato can
I love the labels on these tomato cans!

Red flowers, pink flowers, and purple flowers are everywhere!

As Valentine’s Day approached, I began to think about what my husband and I should do to celebrate this year.  Though we do not really like the concept of Valentine’s Day, I do enjoy the sudden flush of pinks and reds that appears mid-month to inject some color back into the bleak and dark days of February.  Some decoration in our home seemed appropriate considering that we both lacked enthusiasm for much more.  As I browsed flowers at the market, I imagined doing a big romantic floral centerpiece spilling over with roses, lilies, orchids, and whatever other big showy and flashy pink and red blossoms that I could find.  The more I considered this in my home however, the more I realized this was not appropriate for my February, especially as I am still recovering from my health stuff and my activity level is not back to where it used to be.  Plus, I had this tomato can I’d saved still sitting on my shelf that had recently been whispering to me that it would look fabulous bubbling over with flowers.

white hydrangeas purple carnations and red Gerber daisies on newsprint
Plenty of flowers to choose from for both of my tomato can arrangements, without having to dig through any snow to get them!

So, not exactly knowing what I would do, I picked out a bunch of fun looking flowers and headed home to see what I could come up with.  Anything I did not use would go in another tomato can my husband had saved for me and would dress up another spot in my home. Knowing that it’s hard to know the exact number or type of flowers needed, or what to combine to get an arrangement to have the desired effect I want, I usually buy extra flowers just in case.  The only time I don’t do this is if I know that I have flowers or greens in my garden to compensate for whatever I might be missing from my purchased flowers.  However, at this time of year, I only have some hellebores and violets blooming and they are buried under a foot of snow that has just fallen over the Pacific Northwest.  I am not about to go dig through a foot of snow for flowers.  Sorry.

White hydrangeas in a purple and red tomato can
The first layer of flowers are the hydrangeas which line the edge of the can.

Use Flowers to Accent Your Space

The finished product is this awesome arrangement with Gerber daisies, these crazy purple carnations, and big fluffy white hydrangeas.  One of the bouquets I had purchased also included some fun spikey purple thistles that were a fun and wild texture addition to the otherwise ruffly bouquet.  I absolutely love this arrangement.  It’s so happy looking to me and the bright colors just pops in my house with the other red accents that I have throughout, an effect or array called a color constellation.

Thistles and white hydrangeas in a purple and red tomato can
Next, cut and trim the thistles and place them in between the hydrangeas.

What is a Color Constellation?

Color constellations are exactly what they sound like – constellations of objects of a specific color in space – and are a wonderful design trick that you can use in your home.  The juxtaposition of these colorful objects or elements in their environment creates a visual pattern or constellation in the space that helps your eye move around the room as you experience it. In your home, color constellations are created by sprinkling accessories of a chosen color throughout your space, usually one opposite to or complementary to the main color palette of your home, which helps to make your space pop!  An example color combo might be using touches of coral or orange tones as an accent color against more cool neutral blues.    Using floral arrangements to bring more color in or accentuate other colors in your home is a great way to brighten things up and create new points visual interest in your home depending on what color you choose to highlight.  Just another reason for you to take up floral arranging or at least start purchasing florals from your local farmers market or specialty market!

Purple carnations, thistles and white hydrangeas in a purple and red tomato can
Nestle the carnations in the middle of the arrangement.

Red, Purple, and White Flowers in a Salvaged Tomato Can


  • (1) 28oz clean can, preferably with cute label remaining (or you could paint it!)
  • Floral shears or sharp clean kitchen shears
  • 3 stems white hydrangeas
  • 5-6 stems purple carnations (I used 5, but they were very large carnations)
  • 5 Gerber daisies
  • 2-3 stems of thistles (they have multiple heads and you may need less depending how bushy)
  • Fresh cool water and floral food as always
Red Gerber daisies, purple carnations, thistles and white hydrangeas in a purple and red tomato can
Floating a couple of the daisies above the rest of the arrangement makes the bouquet even more whimsical.


  1. Trim the hydrangeas and arrange them so the blooms with their leaves rest on the edge of the can.
  2. Next trim the thistles and place them in between the hydrangea blossoms so that the shorter heads are just poking out between the hydrangeas.  The thistles I purchased had a ton of heads on each main stem, so I ended up cutting a few heads off the main stems before I placed them.  Then I took the heads I had cut off and used them to help fill in more as needed.
  3. Cut and place the carnations in the center of the arrangement so they sit on top of the thistles and hydrangeas.  It’s ok if some stack on top of each other like mine do, we’re going for fluffy and fun here!
  4. Trim 2 of the daisies and place them in amongst the carnations to fill any remaining holes in the main volume of the arrangement.  Last, trim the last 3 daisies so that they branch out of the arrangement and hover over the other blossoms asymmetrically.
  5. Make sure you have enough water in the can with the florals and enjoy!
Red Gerber daisies, purple carnations, thistles and white hydrangeas in a purple and red tomato can on an oak table
Lovely and long lasting, these flowers are still looking fabulous days after being arranged.

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