An improvised bouquet of ingredients from the garden or farmer's market makes an evocative centerpiece for a dining table or kitchen table.
Any fruit or vegetable with a very short stalk can be wired for use in this hand-tied bouquet, and those with no stalk at all can be supported on a garden stake. Keep this bouquet small; its ingredients are heavier than the usual flowers and foliage. It should last for three to four days in water with regular misting.
Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables
6 wired broccoli florets
9 spring onions tied in bunches of three
5 lilac dahlias
5 sage stems
5 sprays unripe blackberries
8 rosemary sprigs
3 limes on garden stakes
3 cabbage leaves
earthenware pot or similar
90 gauge wire
Cauliflower (for broccoli); elderberries (for blackberries); asparagus (for spring onions); any fresh herbs
1. To wire a broccoli floret, insert one end of a thick piece of 90 gauge wire through the side of the stalk, bend the end down and twist it around the rest of the wire in a double leg mount. The length of wire should align with the stalk. To prepare the limes, push a garden stake into the base of each fruit.
2. Sort the ingredients into separate piles (reserve the cabbage leaves until the end). Hold a broccoli floret in one hand at the binding point, which should be quite high up so that the bunch remains compact. Place one of each of the other ingredients around the floret, turning the bunch in the same direction as you work. Arrange the rosemary so that it rises a little higher above the rest of the ingredients. Insert the spring onions to show their white bulbs and roots.
3. Add another of each ingredient to the bouquet, turning it in the same direction each time. If the bouquet begins to feel heavy, tie it together at the binding point so that it is more manageable to hold. Add the rest of the ingredients.
4. Arrange the cabbage leaves around the outside of the bunch to frame it. Tie the bouquet at the binding point, fill an earthenware pot or a similar rustic container with water and place the bouquet in the pot.
Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011