Herbs in a Vase

August 3, 2013 vase 017


By early August our herbs have established, enjoyed the heat of July, and taken off with energetic growth.  Many are blooming.  Their leaves are large, soft and velvety.   Basil perfumes the garden and entices me to cut large handfuls to make fresh pesto.


August 2, 2015 garden 004 ~

We invited friends for dinner on Friday, and much of our Basil went into the pizzas.  I made pesto and added a large dollop to the crust as I was mixing it.  More pesto took the place of tomato sauce on a pizza made with artichoke hearts, black olives, sweet red peppers and thick slices of mozzarella cheese.

The rich spicy smell of Basil always transports me to summer.


August 2, 2015 garden 005


The flowers for the dinner table were of course the Basil’s flowers, mixed with a few of the early Black Eyed Susans.  They have held up remarkably well over the weekend.


August 3, 2013 vase 012~

And that inspired me to make today’s vase entirely of edible herbs.  There is more Basil of course; but also blooming Pineapple Mint, Purple Sage, the golden flowers of Fennel, and the huge, soft leaves of a mint scented Geranium.


August 3, 2013 vase 014~

Can you imagine how my kitchen smells after constructing this arrangement, snipping here and crushing a leaf there?


August 3, 2013 vase 009


Joining Cathy in her “In A Vase on Monday” meme has our home filling with vases at the moment.  The Hydrangeas dried in place, and now sit off to the side.  I will save these flower heads for holiday decorations.  The Coleus from several weeks ago waits on the sideboard for me to plant it out in pots .

And now there are these three more vases of Basil.    Is it possible to have too many beautiful flowers?


August 3, 2013 vase 011


I love how long these vases last.  Foliage often stays crisp and happy days longer than flowers will.  There is very little dropped over the life of the arrangement.  And there is always the option of cooking with these herbs, allowing them to root, or setting them aside to dry.


August 3, 2013 vase 016~

I am coming to understand Cathy’s simple lesson about cutting flowers from the garden, and bringing them indoors to enjoy at close range.  I am often reluctant to cut beautiful flowers from the garden, believing they will last longer and bring more pleasure on the living plant.

But outside even the most elegant flower can get lost in the larger landscape.  Or perhaps those plants around it are no longer in their prime and detract from the beauty of the flower.  Cut, arranged, staged and curated that same flower takes on an added panache.

Combined with other carefully chosen flowers and leaves, suddenly the composition is far greater than the sum of its parts.


August 3, 2013 vase 007~

Have you cut flowers or foliage from your garden lately?  It can be as simple as plunking a single stem in a pretty vase and setting it where you can enjoy it.  There are no rules here, and you may do it to please yourself.

Let us celebrate summer while we can and savor each sweet and beautiful bit of it. 


August 3, 2013 vase 013~

Woodland Gnome 2015


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

19 responses to “Herbs in a Vase

  1. What a lovely way to make the most of your herbs and how handy to have them ready to use in the kitchen – beauty combined with practicality! I do agree with you about flowers that are lost in the garden – often it is only when I cut a flower and really enjoy it close up that I truly appreciate its individual charm.

  2. I love herb bouquets in the kitchen. They encourage experimentation, leading to some exciting flavor combos. I forgot, this year, to make a bouquet of basil early. It roots almost immediately to increase the basil crop (never can have too much pesto). Your bouquet is lovely, besides.

  3. Great idea to have a vase of just herbs – must smell wonderful! I’ve picked catnip and lemon balm to dry, but need to get to the pennyroyal, orange and choc. mint before they bloom, which is any moment now. Can’t believe it is August already. Would love to apply the brakes to summer! Hope you’re enjoying yours!

  4. Looks great but I bet the fragrance is its real draw. With all the weeding I’ve been doing lately it’s the fragrant plants and herbs which I’m really grateful for!

  5. The different shades of foliage in your first vase are lovely – and such restful colours too. And it’s lovely to see your extra little vases too – and to know how much you are enjoying producing them. Your paragraph about blooms being lost in a larger landscape really resonated – wise words. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautiful! What a great idea, making an arrangement of fragrant herbs. And useful to to have them on hand for cooking.

  7. Your arrangement delights all the senses…..I love using herbs from the garden, and using them in arrangements, but yours is a veritable salade. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I have thought about picking herb flowers for a vase to keep in the kitchen and you have done it…I love this, and all those basil flowers.

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