Foliage That Looks Great in a Vase

Floral bouquets and vase arrangements would not be complete without the greenery that frequently, albeit subtly, accompanies them. Even the most glamorous flowers — irises and gladioli, for instance — will benefit from a background (or foreground) of leafy stems. Yet arrangements may also work the other way around, as they might be composed mainly of foliage with the occasional flower, or consist entirely of leaves.
One of the outstanding features of vegetative stems and their foliage, as opposed to flowers, is their longevity. Most flowers last around a week, whereas leafy stems, as long as their water is regularly changed, may persist for a month or longer in the vase. Be advised that mature stems and their foliage, as opposed to those found in fresh flushes of growth, should be selected. Newer and flimsier growth may quickly collapse after being detached from the plant.
Lauristinus (law-ris-TEE-nus) is a sun-loving shrub whose leaves seem to appear more and more often in floral bouquets. Lauristinus (Viburnum Tinus) is a popular selection for Valley gardens. It blooms in white from February through April. Although its flowers will do fine in a vase this time of year, its simple, slightly undulating leaves may be utilized in centerpieces all year long. An added bonus is the wine-red color of its stems.
Honey bush
If chalky blue is a color that enchants you, plant the honey bush (Melianthus Major). The leaves of honey bush are pinnate and deeply serrated. Honey bush is somewhat frost- sensitive but worth the risk if you are looking for a bold accent for a prominent garden spot or entry. Its fleshy, nodding, burgundy-red, unopened flower wands are more interesting than the flowers themselves. But you should make sure to keep the wands on the plant because, unlike the foliage, they wither quickly when cut. Other chalky-blue bouquet-candidate foliage would include blue lyme grass (Leymus arenarius) and a number of eucalyptus species, including the silver dollar (Eucalyptus cinerea and Eucalyptus polyanthemos) types. For colder areas, grow Eucalyptus gunnii.
Coral bells
Heuchera, or coral bells, is a low-growing perennial bedding plant that becomes increasingly popular each year. Every time you turn around, new Heuchera varieties appear in nurseries, many of them with bronze to purple foliage, sometimes ruffled, that stands up well in floral arrangements. Most people do not know how to grow or situate it, killing it before it has celebrated its second anniversary in the garden. A common mistake is to give it too much shade or water. Heuchera detests regular watering and does best in dappled sunlight with perfectly drained soil and an occasional soaking.
New Zealand flax
Another drought-tolerant plant with durable cut foliage is New Zealand flax (Phormium species). Flax has as many colors as Joseph’s coat. In addition to the widely seen bronze, there is a plethora of variegated, rainbow-colored types, as well as simpler yellow and green striped varieties. In the Valley, a morning, east-facing exposure is best when growing this plant.

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