Here’s the back story on the foliage. Our latest Master Gardener trainee class “graduated” the other night after struggling through 100 hours of classroom lectures and hands-on workshops. Now they are “firsties”–first year MGs until they acquire enough service and continuing education hours to become officially certified. We old hands decorated a large barren hall and held a potluck of glorious and delectable culinary creations. When you live in Sonoma County “Wine Country,” you almost automatically become a foodie, and MGs are definitely fabulous foodies as well as outstanding gardeners.
Each of us on the decorating team gathered as much interesting and colorful foliage as we could from our yards. We included some spring-blooms from shrubs and trees and some bulbs as well. Others brought what would normally be throwaway containers–coffee cans, cereal boxes, canning jars, cookie tins, you name it. These were to be the vases. I was quite amazed and impressed as I observed the “floral designers” pulling stems and branches from buckets and bags, clipping here and there with their leather holster-held shears and creating spectacular displays for the tables.
The shades of green and gold were brilliant as were the pinks and burgundies. Leaves were tinged with orange and coral and salmon, colors that have no known names. Big draping, drooping, cascading displays of spectacular spring colors. I got carried away. I couldn’t help myself–I took photos of each of the 20 or more floral designs on the tables covered with lime green and purple tablecloths. I think we dispelled the myth that you need flowers to make beautiful arrangements.
The various textures, forms, and colors of the foliage were more than enough to beautify the tables and brighten up the cavernous hall. And why not recycle and repurpose those cardboard and metal trash items into usable and beautiful treasures? The final surprise of the program was that each new MG got to take one of the arrangements home at the end of the evening.