At this time of year, it's tempting to create an everything-in-the-vase display that rivals perennial borders at their June peak. But indoors, simpler can be better. Consider combining just a couple of fine specimens: the amazing varieties of one flower, such as alliums, and the gorgeous foliage of another, such as hosta. We used a fluted white vase to focus attention on subtle color harmonies and contrasting silhouettes. On a practical note, alliums need frequent water changes, so refill the vase daily.
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When a vessel is this distinctive, its form and color practically dictate what kinds of displays to create. Martha's blue-glazed ceramic shell evokes summer at the beach, a time and place indelibly associated with billowing hydrangeas. Luxuriant cuttings from three cultivars, along with some leaves, supply the structure of this design. Airy pink gomphrena and white Cimicifuga cap the sea foam with spray.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Bring the lush greenery of the 50th state to your own backyard: Party snacks plain or exotic get an upgrade when served in cones fashioned from banana leaves (which are available at Asian and Latin food markets). Cut them into six-inch squares, roll each into a cone, and fasten at the seam with a bamboo skewer.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2010
Shake things up with a dish that's distinctive but doesn't abandon traditional flavors: fall-foliage lasagna. The secret? Pasta colored with beet and carrot puree, and shaped with cookie cutters.
Your caterer can incorporate these tricks into her recipe; we layered fresh ricotta cheese between beet and carrot pastas, which were cooked, then sauteed in -- and drizzled with -- a brown-butter and sage sauce. The combination is hard to, ahem, beet.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2009
These mini terrariums make chic table decor when grouped en masse -- and they double as favors, too! Just place sand and rocks in the bottom of a fishbowl votive holder.
Carefully set small succulents among the rocks -- securing them, if necessary, with toothpicks -- and quench their thirst with a dropper. Bubbleball 4 3/4-inch vase, Save-On-Crafts.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009
Many brides save their bouquets, but dried flowers can look a tad Miss Havisham. Instead, turn the ribbon used for the stems into a keepsake by having your vows printed on it. Email a JPG image of calligraphed or typed text to Masterstroke Canada; they'll put the words onto ribbon using a thermal-transfer technique.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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