Quick and Easy Centerpiece for Any Occasion

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Many moons ago I owned a flower shop in the heart of a small, yet affluent Maine community. Given the demographics, there were a ton of dinner parties and other events that took place in this town on a regular basis. When it came time to order flowers for these get-togethers, one of the things that consistently surprised me about the shop’s clientele, was their preference for simple elegance.┬áMore often than not they preferred (and ordered) a simple bouquet of cut flowers arranged in a clear vase. I’d often ask for the particulars of the different functions – colors, themes, times of day, etc. – so that I could add a few special touches to the final product. One of the most appreciated things I did was match the color of the vase water to the event. Crazy simple, right? A quick and easy centerpiece was all the rage back then – and still is today.

If you’re hosting a dinner party or other event at your home, don’t sweat ordering fancy flower arrangements which can cost a fortune. Cut some fresh flowers from your own yard or buy a nice bouquet from a the local supermarket and pop them into a clear vase that you have on hand filled with colored water. Multiple arrangements of different sizes and shapes makes for an interesting and inviting atmosphere. Here are a few I quickly threw together this weekend (along with the one above):

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All you have to do is use the food coloring that you have in your pantry (liquid). Add a touch to your vase water and voila! Simple elegance.

Some tips and things to keep in mind:

  • Some flowers will soak up the food coloring, so choose wisely. White flowers are not your best option if you are considering adding a touch of color to the water. Carnations are the worst offenders. They will begin to soak up the dye within hours.
  • A lot of coloring increases the chance of turning the flowers a different hue.
  • Start with 3 to 4 drops per vase and increase according to the impact you want to make.
  • If you don’t have any vases on hand, consider other clear containers that would add a special touch to your event. Glass milk bottles, vintage soda bottles, wine glasses…all great choices.
  • Instead of food coloring, add colored stones (the kind used in aquariums), pearls, gems or submersed fruits and/or veggies to your vase. For example, you could place small gourds into a large vase and arrange a bouquet of fall flowers for the perfect Autumn centerpiece.

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