Summer Greens

Summer Greens

I would always rather be outdoors than indoors. In the summer in Washington, that’s not always pleasant. Even the dogs don’t want to go for a walk in the dripping humidity, and who can blame them, in their fur coats?  In the absence of bearable temperatures, the next best thing is to bring some of the outdoors inside, and there’s nothing more coolly appealing than green and white floral arrangements.

These two arrangements are unusual, because – as you may notice – they don’t actually have any flowers in them.  These are all foliage plants; several are common garden plants and two came from a flower shop.  Since greens are often used as filler in floral arrangements, they are inexpensive and usually sold in quantity.  The spreading bouquet in the big blue vase cost less than twenty dollars.  These garden-variety hostas grow everywhere, even in gas station islands, but when you cut them and bring them inside they are transformed into crisply elegant masses.  This is not to suggest you should steal other people’s plants.  (I did have a friend who lived near a highway where dogwood trees flourished, and each spring would make a raid to the highway to, in her words, “judiciously prune” the blooming dogwoods for her buffet table.)   All I’m trying to express here is that if you look at what’s growing around you, you may find there’s more to enjoy and use than you realize.

As Henri Matisse said, “There will always be flowers for those who want to see them.”


Variegated Hosta and Snow-on-the-Mountain, Aegopodium podagravia ‘Variegata’


Avalanche foliage

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