We once had friends over for a barbeque, and at the last minute, I decided I wanted to have some fresh flower arrangements on the table. I ran around the yard to see what we had, and we didn’t have much. There were a few sad-looking dahlias, nearly past their prime. A few wildflowers were still tenaciously blooming, although most had already gone to seed, and that was about it. I needed to use some vegetable garden creativity!
My eyes strayed over to the vegetable garden. Something feathery was swaying gracefully in the gentle breeze. I slowly approached the delicate fronds, realizing that the answer to my dilemma was right in front of me. Vegetable garden creativity to the rescue!
This was just what I needed for my casual Mason jar arrangements. The asparagus, which had been cut back in the spring, had sprouted lovely-looking greenery. Maybe I could find other arrangement-fillers elsewhere in amongst the veggies.
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Radishes to the Rescue
Nearby, the radish row beckoned. Only one person in my family likes to eat radishes, so there are always leftover plants that stay in the ground long enough to develop tall stems with pink or white blossoms. This might horrify some people, but I like the way the blooms look in the vegetable garden after the root is no longer good to eat. Some people might pull them out right away, but I like to let them go through the flowering cycle, then go to seed. If I had needed to fill larger jars or vases with my arrangement, I might have used the radish blossoms, but I ended up just leaving them to continue adding color to their row.
Just Dill With It (Sorry, silly pun!)
If you have ever planted dill, you probably never had to buy seeds again. Dill is a prolific self-seeder, at least in my garden. After rototilling in the spring, somehow the seeds still manage to sprout all over the vegetable garden. I treat most of the sprouts like weeds, pulling them up and discarding them. I do leave a few plants to grow to maturity, if they are located in places that don’t interfere with the growth of anything else. Dill would have been a good choice for a tall flower arrangement-filler, but my little Mason jars were only the one-pint variety, so I left the dill for another day.
Asparagus for the Garden Creativity Win
In the end, I chose to use just the asparagus fronds in my arrangements. They fit the casual summer barbeque mood, along with a few dahlias, bachelor buttons, and yellow poppies. Thank you, vegetable garden! The arrangements made the table look festive in a laid-back sort of way.
My Favorite Garden Mentor
Before I conclude this post, I must give accolades to the person who inspired, and continues to inspire, my gardening efforts. Her name was Dulcy Mahar. For over 22 years she wrote a newspaper column for the gardening section of The Oregonian. She passed away in 2011. Although I never met her, I felt as though I could relate to her. She confessed, “As a gardener, I learn by trial and error, and error, and error.” She was never afraid to share her mistakes. I was happy to learn that her witticisms live on in two collections of her columns. The first one, is called Back in the Garden With Dulcy. It’s a compilation of some of her favorite newspaper columns and is a very entertaining read.
The second volume, Through the Seasons with Dulcy: More Favorite Columns by the Oregonian Garden Writer Dulcy Mahar, is a further collection of her humorous and informative writing.
If you have never read one of Dulcy Mahar’s columns, you are in for a treat. I often think of her when I try something new, such as growing ornamental scarlet runner beans, as described in my post about guilt-free gardening.
Used Garden Creativity Lately?
Do you have any unconventional favorite flower arrangement-fillers? Did you have to resort to using vegetable garden creativity as I did? Are you a fellow fan of Dulcy Mahar? I’d sure appreciate reading any comments you care to share.
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