Fab Floral Arrangements You Can Actually Make

All photos excerpted from The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2014. Photographs by Paige Green.
A potted arrangement from a florist is always a lovely hostess gift, but just think if you could offer a stunning bouquet that you made yourself! Hitting bookshelves on April 8th, The Plant Recipe Book by San Francisco-based garden designer Baylor Chapman offers foolproof step-by-step instructions for aspiring bloom-composers.

Gardening tools
The guide begins with a visual glossary of tools and soil components—gone are the days of entering Home Depot's gardening center to inquire about, "Those pointy metal plant cutter things?"  Next, Chapman shares tips for choosing and prepping your container, along with a creative list of less-common vessel ideas including woven baskets, picture frames, and even logs of wood.


In anticipation of the book's release, Chapman treated Lonny to a tutorial of one of our favorite "recipes" using Asparagus Fern (above). The author's straight-forward instructions break down this seemingly intricate and slightly intimidating arrangement into picture-perfect results your friends won't believe you actually made. (But you did, and don't let them forget it!)

Asparagus Fern Recipe: Special Occasion

Plants Needed:
One 4-inch blue angel’s trumpet (Iochroma australis)
One 6-inch asparagus fern (Asparagus plumosus)
One 6-inch elephant ear (Caladium bicolor)
One 4-inch bougainvillea (Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’)
One 4-inch Japanese sedge (Carex ‘Ice Dance’)
One 6-inch pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa)


Container and Materials

Weathered copper cooking pot, about 24 inches in diameter
Plastic liner, such as a small garbage bag
Water-tolerant stuffing, such as Bubble Wrap

1. Set the liner in the cooking pot and fill it with the waterproof stuffing.

2. Leave all the plants in their original pots. Begin with the tallest plant, the blue angel’s trumpet, placing it in the center back of the cooking pot as the backdrop and architectural element. Place the asparagus fern slightly in front of the blue angel’s trumpet and to its right, allowing the fern to drape over the side of the pot.

3. For a pop of color and fancy foliage, add the elephant ear and bougainvillea to the front center and left of the pot, angling them so that they drape over the edge.

4. Add the Japanese sedge and pineapple lily to the front right of the pot for a striking finish.

5. Water each plant separately, about twice a week, and be sure to keep the elephant ear moist. This arrangement will last about 3 months, and can easily be dismantled or rearranged as the plants die, bloom, or fade.

Be sure to share your beautiful bouquet with us on Instagram by mentioning @lonnymag and tagging #ThePlantRecipeBook!
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