I’ve been foraging in the backyard for bouquets, looking at the garden with a murderous glint in my eye for lush leafings and anything gone to seed. Surely plants don’t need all of those leaves and pods.
A bouquet with vegetable leaves might be a little avant-garde in the flower-arranging world. Avant-garden. My own backyard offers a palette of possibilities beyond flowers. Artichoke, horseradish, grape leaves, fennel, hops, peony and hydrangea leaves; alliums and artichokes have gone to seed and made beautiful flowers on their way to hibernation; potted plants and herbs need trimming; a gorgeous Striped German tomato is a bouquet of its own; ornamental grasses abound. And so on. Along with the few flowers I have in my garden, such tidbits present interesting possibilities, the opportunity for an eclectic creation in the realm of boquetdom.
I walked around the garden with an open mind about what is a bouquet. There’s plenty of beauty on the ground at the park and the beach that can be legally foraged too, and I’m a constant gatherer of stones and autumn leaves so they find their way into the mix.
I’ve had my eye on the Brussels sprouts for weeks now. Their leaves are gigantic, silvery green and purple-veined. You’d never guess that a stalk of round sprouts are forming in the lush purple shadows underneath, but they are. They need a grand entrée somewhere with arched ceilings.
Hydrangeas and coleus.
Horseradish leaves and grapevine. Oak leaf hydrangea & peony leaves
So this is just playing around with more free stuff in life that’s right in our own backyard so to speak. No need to run florists out of business, but once in a while the bouquet can be created economically, quietly and sustainably with just a few footprints in the backyard. Consider sending a photo of your own foraged backyard bouquets – I’ll collect and post them, share the creative bounty.
And then there are actual garden salads that are bouquets on a plate, almost too beautiful to eat. An inspiration for what is possible to put on a plate that is edible and healthy and artful – if you want to bother. NY Times, Gargouillou: A New Meaning to ‘Garden Variety’.