Stems of delphinium and larkspur in blue-violet tones form an arrangement that's at once subtle and opulent.
Teeming with an assortment of brightly hued blooms, this lush and festive arrangement makes an ideal centerpiece for a Mexican-style fiesta for Cinco de Mayo. These dramatic, almost explosive colors are sure to make your guests feel as if they're dining on the beaches of Cancun or at the Mazatlan carnival.
Late January and February is the time of year when the arrival of spring flowers such as purple hyacinths, daffodils, and tulips can be seen at flower shops, markets, and grocery stores. Pair these spring blooms with unusual leaves to make beautiful one-of-a-kind arrangements for your home.
Hollowed-out eggshells make naturally beautiful vases for tiny flower arrangements. Break an egg at the top of its shell, drain the contents, and carefully rinse out the inside. Next, fill the empty shell with room-temperature water and place it in an eggcup for stability. Finally, insert small cuttings of your favorite blossoms (we used lilacs, lily of the valley, and violas). Individually or grouped together in a centerpiece, these tiny arrangements make a wonderful addition to the place settings at your table.
Actually an assemblage of several smaller and more manageable arrangements, the setup offers an easy way to tame a fresh-from-the-garden mix of white roses, green hydrangeas, and purple delphiniums, lady's mantle, scented geraniums, and potato vine. A pitcher in the center gives height, while kitchen crocks (sugar bowls, eggcups) allow the inclusion of short-stemmed beauties.
Silver echinops (also known as globe thistle) and spiky, steel-blue eryngium (or sea holly) mingle with feathery white flowering astilbe. All can be found in farmers' markets and are easy to grow.
Cut stems at an angle, and anchor them in a vase using a flower frog. Finish with astilbe foliage and sparklerlike Queen Anne's lace (if planting your own, skip Daucus carota, an invasive weed; instead, try its better-behaved cousin Ammi majus) to set off those big, booming blossoms.
Lilac's subtle color variations are perfect for creating painterly, layered arrangements.
Gather blooms in two or more hues and group them by color gradation in a heavy vase. Retain some of the leaves on the shortest stems -- they'll form a bottom border of green. Display the composition in a foyer or another public space, where its heady scent and explosive beauty will dazzle guests.
"I love Japanese baskets, and the rich mahogany-reddish shade of this old container looks fabulous with a dusky arrangement of purple hazel leaves, sprays of broom corn, reddish ornamental grass, blackish dahlias, and purple artichokes," says Martha about this fall arrangement.
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