Posts tagged Rosemary
Elegant Roses Create an Elegant Holiday Table

For those of you with limited dining table space who need a floral arrangement which is not too overwhelming in stature and height, try this floral arrangement which compacts rose heads. I've seen this type of floral arrangement in flower shops in Europe, and sometimes in dazzling floral demonstrations. It can be done for any occasion, and in any color. It is a design concept, which can inspire you to create an arrangement of your own.

I have an antique dining table which is very long and narrow. I love our table, but it is always a little challenging to get candles, place settings, and sometimes flowers squeezed in. I did this arrangement for our Christmas dinner, and it worked out well.

This floral arrangement starts with a table oasis which you can readily find at floral supply stores. The oasis is soaked in water as usual, and then placed in a plastic form box which keeps your tablecloth and table dry. I choose white roses, but you can choose any color rose which compliments your particular theme.

Start with fresh roses, and cut them at an angle to about 3-4" in length. Line them up, shoulder to shoulder in your oasis. Remember that your roses will continue to open up, and expand in your floral arrangement. Creating this arrangement 2 days ahead allows the roses to open more, and fill in the arrangement with a mass look.

For greenery, I clipped foliage from my garden. I found green boxwood, feathery cypress, chartreuse euonymus tips, and blooming blue rosemary. You might have berries, pods, and other blooming shrubs to use from your garden. Green foliage is placed horizontally in the floral arrangement to hang over sides, cover your oasis, and complete the look.

This arrangement will last longer than usual because the water has less distance to travel to the rose head. Check every few days if your oasis is still moist.

Please share if you create a special floral arrangement for your holiday table. Please share if you are familiar with this type of floral arrangement.

Herb Garden a la Wine Barrels

Herb Garden a la Wine Barrels This spring I created a small herb garden in a quiet, sunny, protected corner next to my barn using vintage wine barrels. I borrowed this concept, modifying it slightly, from Rosalind Creasy's, Edible Landscaping book. This is a terrific book for incorporating more edibles in your landscaping. Rosalind has a whole chapter on "Designing With Herbs."

An "herb garden a la wine barrels," was multi-dimensional for me. My husband, John, and I make wine, and have access to used wine barrels. We have a functional barn, with a trio of wine barrels already planted with blueberry bushes and strawberries on the right side, why not do something on the left with wine barrels, such as herbs. This particular spot is also close to my kitchen, a must for any herb garden.

I used a trio of half barrels from standard wine barrels, cut in half. You can find these types of barrels for sale at home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Dixieline, nurseries, and garden centers. For my second top row, I used a smaller 15 gallon wine barrel, cut in half and sanded along the edges. All wine barrels need to have spaced holes drilled for adequate drainage. I also placed my bottom wine barrels on top of carefully placed river rocks to save the barrels from rotting in the soil, and allowing further drainage.

Since the barrels are big, it is best to use a sterile filler or upside down one gallon size plastic plant containers. It will save you on filling the entire barrel with soil, mulch, etc. I simply placed my second row, and smaller wine barrels securely on the sides of the base half-barrels, using their weight to stabilize them.

Fill your barrels with clean potting soil, almost to the rim of each barrel. You can add an irrigation system if you like. I chose not to. Select your favorite herbs, and plant. I planted chives, winter savory, curly parsley, Italian parsley, tarragon, sorrel, Italian oregano, sage, cinnamon basil, and Italian basil. Choose herbs that you use frequently in your cooking, and a mixture of annual and perennial herbs. Choose some herbs that have a trailing habit, so as they grow and establish themselves, they will spill over the barrels. As time goes on, you can always switch out herbs for new ones when needed.

Add a layer of mulch on top of your soil, and around your herbs.  Newly planted herbs like to be kept moist initially, and water moderately once established.

Please share if you grow herbs to cook with. Please share how your herb garden is set up and designed.