Floral Arrangements Plucked from your Summer Garden

Text by Karin Lidbeck Brent

The summer garden offers an abundance of green foliage, perfect for styling pretty tabletop centerpieces.

A walk in the woods always provides me with plenty of design inspiration. I created this centerpiece from a partially rotted log I found while hiking. I removed most of the rot then let it out in the hot sun to dry out for a few days. The result was a wonderful vessel for creating an arrangement. I planted the log with miniature ferns, caladiums, mosses, pods and dried mushrooms. My goal was to create an arrangement that evoked the forest floor.

floral arrangement in log

Photograph by Kritsada, Created for Better Homes and Gardens Country Gardens

Not all centerpieces need to be that complicated; I created this table runner by stacking broken pieces of slate from my old patio. The natural runner with its variations in heights, textures as well as nooks and crannies creates a perfect setting for small pots of favorite summer plants and herbs.

Floral arrangement on slate

Photograph by Michael Partenio, created for Better Homes and Gardens

With eight varieties of hosta in my garden, I’m often clipping leaves for floral bouquets. I love the variety of green hues and the different patterns on their leaves. Hosta’s shoot up dozens of leaves so it is easy to snip a few leaves without disturbing the look of the plant. Select a variety of leaf sizes with the smaller leaves at the base and inside of the plant. Then, place a small frog in a bowl of water to hold the sturdy leaves in a symmetrical arrangement. They will stand and last for several days. Hosta flowers can be incorporated when the plant is in bloom.

What’s a frog? Flower frogs are heavy metal, glass or lead bases with spikey pins used to firmly hold flower stems in place.

Photo by Andre Baronowski, created for Country Gardens magazine

A little garden moss and some terracotta pots combine for a beautiful candlelight centerpiece for casting a glow while dining alfresco. Pack empty pots with dirt and place a candle on the top. Then gently arrange moss around the base of the candle. Wet the moss thoroughly and push in a few sturdy flower stems to add a bit of color and interest.

I forage for moss in my backyard or nearby open-space. After much trial and error, I’ve found the best way remove moss is to use a small spoon or a cake server to gently pry the moss from the ground.

Moss pot with candle

Photo by Jim Westphalen, created for Country Gardens magazine

Last month heading to a shoot in Osterville for New England Home I cut long stems of sculptural lambs ear from my garden and arranged in a simple boat-shaped vessel. A few wisps of catmint ticked here and there add a hint of color. Don’t you just love the way the silvery leaves look in this stunning in contrast to the wood vessel?

Lambs ear table arrangement

Photograph by Karin Lidbeck Brent



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