Bringing in some blooming beauty

Jean Thomson


One of the joys of flower gardening is creating summer bouquets to enjoy inside. When days are hot, fresh flowers can enhance your table, welcome you home every time you open the door, or even strike a cool green note in your décor.

If you grow many flowers at all, chances are good that you can find something wonderful for bouquets. You may even want to borrow from a vegetable or herb garden!

Look first toward the perennials that are blooming. Coneflowers and black-eyed Susans can serve as workhorses, with their daisy-type blooms and strong stems. Cut some veronica or salvia to bring in spiky blues. Draw from your plantings of ornamental grasses as well.

If you have many coral bells blooming now, add a few for their delicate quality. If not, you might turn to ferns or snip something feathery from the herb garden.

Speaking of ferns ... don?t overlook your shade garden! The leaves as well as the blooms of hostas can contribute to lovely, cooling bouquets ? or compose one all on their own.

If you plant some summer bulbs, you will find another reservoir of possibilities. Caladium leaves make beautiful additions. Gladiola do as well. Once, visiting a Frank Lloyd Wright house, I saw the clean lines of the house complemented by a single gladiola stem in a cylindrical vase. What a striking presentation that was!

Finally, turn to any annuals that are doing well in your gardens. Zinnias, snapdragons, coleus, marigolds, and more can contribute terrific pops of color. Cleomes, with their fabulous frothy heads of rose, lilac, or white are wonderful in large bouquets.

Be creative in finding containers that are well-suited to the particular flower combinations that you assemble. Actual vases work, of course, but so do Mason jars, pitchers, and many other watertight holders. For a change, pop one of those containers into a small basket for still another look.