Dark burgundy lilies are a fragrant and dramatic center to a soft muted tones of this bouquet of winter greens.
The Fragrance of Evergreens and Lilies Fills the Air
Happy holidays everyone! As I’m writing, I feel I’m still recovering from the epic 2-day marathon of holiday cooking and baking. Though the aromas of roasted lamb and chocolate cake have now dispersed, I am still enjoying the smells of pine, cedar, and the heady scent of oriental lilies. That’s right. Lilies. I happen to be at the Metropolitan Market in the Admiral neighborhood and while perusing their winter greenery discovered the most remarkably colored lilies I had ever seen. These were dark, nearly chocolate-colored lilies that in the right light had this incredible deep red color. Their fragrance was also intoxicating, and much stronger than most other lilies I usually find this time of year. So, in addition to the last of the holiday cooking groceries, I came home with an armload of flowers and spent the next morning putting together this gorgeous vase arrangement!
Using Brassica Family Vegetables in your Floral Arrangements
One thing I really love about this floral arrangement is that I was able to use some of the leftover gnarly collard green tops out of my garden beds. If you choose to use these types of vegetables in any arrangement of yours, I recommend that you frequently change the water. I was changing it almost daily (I forgot to do it one day) this past week. Any kales, cabbages, collards or other members of the brassica family make water stinky. Like leftover-broccoli-that-has-been-microwaved-too-long stinky. If you change the water frequently and keep the waterline in your vase low, you will not have this smell overwhelming what should be an otherwise heavenly scented flower bouquet.
Longer Lasting Arrangements
Another note of importance for this long-lasting winter floral, aside from the frequent water changes, is the freshness of the foliage. Though I’ve been able to keep my arrangement perky for several days now, I also bought the flowers from a high-end grocery store and cut the collards out of my garden right before putting the arrangement together. If you are purchasing a kale or another green from the brassica family for an arrangement, I recommend that you try to buy from a farmers market or a higher end grocery store with a good floral department so that you can have the freshest greens possible for your arrangement to last long as well. I’ve found kales and cabbages from other retailers are more prone to wilting early. You will also have better luck finding more unusually colored flowers, perhaps even some of these burgundy lilies!
Lily, Cedar, and Brassica Vase Arrangement
- 1 medium vase (mine is a pitcher that is approximately 5”D x 8”H)
- 1 stem Oriental Lilies (or Asiatic lilies, something with at least 3 blooms)
- 2 stems alstroemeria
- 2 smaller cedar branches with lots of fronds
- 1 large stem of Dusty Miller
- 1 floppy brassica top (kale, collards, cabbage, etc.)
- Floral shears or clean sharp kitchen shears
- Water and floral food
- Add the two branches of cedar to the left side of the vase, trimming so that they spray out to the side from the edge of the vase.
- Trim and add your dusty miller in between the two, letting it flop a bit over the cedar branch in the front.
- Trim the brassica of your choice to remove extra leaves and so that its head can rest on the right edge of your vase.
- Add the lily stem, trimming so that the blooms are centered in the middle of the arrangement and visible on the front and back side.
- Trim and add the alstroemeria to the arrangement so that it is tucked above and into the lilies and the brassica.
- Remember to change the water frequently on this one and enjoy!