Using Herbs in Your Flower Arrangements
When you grow herbs, it's easy to find ways to use them around the house. Besides cooking, crafting and the occasional home remedy, herbs make great décor items.
One of my favorite ways to use and display herbs is in decorative vases with whatever flowers are growing in the garden. To make this easier, I grow lots of herbs and plant flower varieties that, with luck, will provide blooms three seasons of the year.
I'm not a dedicated flower person, but I do rely on roses, lilies, peonies, and azaleas, as well as brief favorites, like tulips and daffodils to serve up some color. The rest I try to do with herbs and decorative grasses.
Making an Herb and Flower Arrangement
I typically choose a strong stemmed herb, like rosemary or sage, and use it as a base. I place stems around the lip of my container on a diagonal. Using this method the stems on the bottom of the container will start to take on a teepee shape. This is good because they'll act as a support for the flowers and soft stemmed herbs, like thyme, oregano and mint, that I'll add later. Before I add each stem, I cut the bottom at a 45 degree angle to maximize water uptake.
I place the flowers in the container next, turning the vase as I go so the flowers are distributed evenly. I try for odd numbered flower quantities. When I use lots of herbs, I keep the flower part of the display pretty sedate, so I don't use lots of different colors. Tone on tone usually works pretty well for me, but I'm not a daredevil. (The photo is a more flamboyant example that might get your creative juices flowing.)
After I create something that looks good, I fill in the open spots with smaller or fine leafed herbs.
I try to make texture the most dramatic element of the display, but roses are hard to top in an arrangement. If I have lots of herbs to show off, I'll keep the flowers to a minimum.
Maintaining Herb Arrangements
I make sure to remove any herb leaves that are below the water line in the container. I also use tepid, not cold, water and replace the water daily. If I have distilled water, I'll use that instead. It's neutral and guaranteed bacteria free. Oh, I always sanitize my containers with bleach, white vinegar or salt water.
To feed the blooms, I add an aspirin, but I'm not above asking for additional flower packets when I do buy cut flowers. I hoard this cut flower food for my own arrangements.
Herb Arrangement Options I Enjoy
I use what I have, but some of my favorites are:
Sage, marigold and oregano
Roses, rosemary, thyme and lavender
Lavender, iris, mint and tansy
Lavender, woodruff and rosemary
I'm sure you get the idea. Experimenting is the best part. I usually get five days from a bouquet. The combined fragrances are very nice on a kitchen table, or better, next to an open, shady window. It makes me happy every time the wind blows.