Frugal Friday: How to Make a Foliage Arrangement from Your Yard

Last post, I mentioned I was working on my resolutions.  While I haven't nailed them down exactly, one resolution that is high on my list is to live more graciously.  The older I get, the more I realize that the good (and bad) parts of life that really matter are so often the little things---it's the small joys---freshly ground coffee in your favorite mug, serving dinner on your mother's plates, sipping mimosas with your friends that make life so wonderful.  Conversely, I find it's also the little things that annoy me, like dressing for a party at the last minute only to discover a loose button and not being able to find the sewing kit or reaching for the pepper only to realize it's empty and I forgot (for the 100th time) to pick up a new jar at the grocery.  Thus to enhance my days, I want to spend a little more time on the little things---using real napkins, setting the table for dinner, keeping the house organized as a way to make life more enjoyable.

One aspect of this idea of gracious living is keeping fresh arrangements in all the rooms.  In fact, one of the key details of the beautiful rooms in the shelter magazines are the incredible floral arrangements.  Unfortunately, they can be expensive.  Fortunately, as I mentioned in this post, there are affordable options.  One of those options is to use common foilage from your yard to make free and long lasting arrangements.  The key to a successful  foliage arrangement is the idea of "filler, thriller, and spiller."  I got this term from my cousin Barbara, who in her 70s has embraced gardening.  She heard the term at a lecture about building planters, but it has application to floral arrangements as well.

Step one:  Select container:

I used this low bowl I found at Goodwill.  While modern, it has the vintage look I love and the orange will pop against my aqua walls.  Goodwill and other thrift stores are a great place to lay in a variety of containers and vases;  I prefer opaque ones such as this to clear glass---this way I don't have to worry what the stems and water looks like.

Step two:  Select and prepare filler.:

I'll be honest; I don't know what this foliage is....it comes from a pre-exiting bush.  However, as a rule, you want to look for foliage that has waxy, sturdy leaves...think camelia, gardenia, holly, etc.  If you have small children or pets that might mess with the foliage, do a quick web search to make sure it's not toxic.

Remove any leaves that would be below the water line---this helps keep the water from spoiling and it also makes it easier for the plant to stay hydrated---it's not tring to wick moisture for leaves you won't see above the container.  And, most important, please cut the foliage to fit container---nothing looks more amateur than long stems straggling out of a low vase.

I like to smash the ends of woody stems to help with absorption.

A good trick is to mimic the shape of the container with the filler---see how it forms a low round shape?

Step 3:  Add the filler:

I used the spiky flowers of my basil plant.  See how the spikes break the low mass of the arrangement?

Step 4:  Add the spiller:

I used Purple hearts (be careful---the sap can irritate some skins) for a touch of color and to spill from the bottom of the container.

Arrangement in place.

1 comment:

beki said...

Hey you! Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 is being kind to you :)