Bring your blooms inside.
by Charlie Thigpen
You’ve heard the saying that you reap what you sow. Well, I say that you should clip what you plant. After setting out all those plants in the spring, it is now time to cut some foliage and flowers and bring them into the house to enjoy. Small vases can easily be filled with a bloom or two and a little showy foliage to brighten a room, your spirits, or your dining room table. These diminutive arrangements also make a great gift for a friend or loved one. See what’s in your garden that can be clipped and used for a small arrangement.
My grandmother always kept a little vase on her windowsill over the kitchen sink. She would often cut a few flowers or even a single one and tuck it into the vase. Gardenias frequently made their way into her windowsill arrangement so she could enjoy the sweet fragrance even when she couldn’t be out in her beloved garden.
Small vases can help eliminate the intimidation factor of flower arranging. A small vessel with a narrow neck really limits what you can place in the vase. Keep it simple, and don’t try to do too much. If you have very small vases, you can use multiple ones grouped together with each vessel holding a flower to create a big impact. Never forget the power of a (single) flower.
Making the Cut
Always use sharp clippers when cutting flowers or foliage. Try to clip early in the morning while it’s cool and place the flowers directly in water. When arranging flowers in a vase, be sure to cut stems at an angle so the stems have more surface area to take in the water. Cut flowers on the backside of your plants or harvest flowers that are falling over so you don’t compromise the look of your garden. Flowers such as Coreopsis, cone flowers, daisies, Gomphrena, snapdragons, zinnia, and yarrow are just a few bloomers that hold up well when cut.
Don’t Forget Foliage
Plants such as coleus, ferns, Heuchera, hosta, and Persian shield work well in arrangements, and they come in a wide array of colors and textures. The coleus and Persian shield will actually root quickly when placed in water. Replant the rooted cutting in the garden after you’ve used them indoors to expand your garden or fill in any holes.
Use flowers and foliage or combine the two this summer and bring your garden into your home. With a few clips and a small vase, you can brighten your home and reward yourself for planting a garden.