Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Letís look at some floral design ideas that would be suitable for kitchens and dining areas.
First, letís consider practical things like ristras. In case you arenít familiar with these, theyíre dried red hot peppers strung together, and hung on walls. Typically, the ristra would be placed in a convenient place in the room. Though it is a very functional display, at the same time it adds a down-home touch of charm to the house.
We can do something similar with garlic. Usually, garlic is harvested in the fall months. Leave the foliage on the plantís top, and weave the garlic heads together to form a circle. Another option is to tie them into a single, long strand. Woven garlic fulfills the same functional and decorative roles that we saw in ristras.
When it comes to herbs, these can be tied in bundles and hung in the kitchen. Other ways to use the herbs is to create an herbal wreath. Remember, wreaths need not be round. They can be any shape you want, including square. For this purpose you would want herbs of different colors and textures.
For the kitchen and dining room, you could create other kinds of displays using edible materials that are highly decorative. Just for fun, take a large, red bell pepper, and cut the top off. Remove the seeds in the center. Inside the pepper place sprigs of fragrant edible herbs, such as flowering oregano, nasturtium blossoms, and the dark green, frilly foliage of parsley.
If you wanted to go all out you could even create a still life on the dining table using colorful vegetables. For such a project, it is best to use different colors. Examples would be large orange bell peppers, different colored and shaped eggplants, and green artichokes. Yellow squash with knobby or rough skins would add visual interest as well. For extra color, you could add blue potatoes.
So far as other ideas are concerned, you could explore using different fruits and vegetables as containers for floral designs. Often, hollowed out watermelons are used as serving containers for fruit salads. Replace the salad with flowers, and you get the idea. You could do the same with squash, pumpkins, and other garden produce.
During the fall months, colorful gourds can be used to make very interesting displays. One idea that works very well is to take two of these and stack one on the other. Use stencils to decorate the plain looking kinds of gourds.
Another way we can use garden produce is to craft candle holders from different ones. Please noteóthese could be flammable, so do use fireproof containers for them, such as glass or metal. We are all familiar with how a ho-hum pumpkin can be turned into a jack-o-lantern when it is carved and a candle is placed inside. In Celtic cultures, other kinds of garden produce were used before pumpkins came into vogue. Typically, the Celts would use something like a turnip.
These are only a few of the ways in which we can use garden produce to create decorative and useful floral designs for the kitchen.