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Where to start… I was asked to pull together 37 tabletop arrangements for a Navy leadership symposium. We ended up using loads of yellow roses (somewhere in the neighborhood of 250), plus Camellia greens cut from the local landscape to a) bring down the budget and b) be mindful of our carbon footprint by avoiding freight. The result was nearly 40 arrangements similar to the first pic here: bright yellow roses and local greens, simply adorned with blue and white ribbon.

This got me thinking about other arrangement ideas that make use of what I’ve got in my own front yard. And here's what I discovered: ornamental kale and yellow roses look dynamite together—how do you like that pairing? Their blooms are complementary, plus, there’s just something about the dainty rose mingling with the more easy-to-grow, rough-and-tumble veggie.

How to pull it off? Here’s how I did it:

Materials: concrete flowerpot, oasis (cut to fit), flower preservative, 4-6 yellow roses, 4-6 ornamental kale blooms (cut to fit)

Instructions: Cut oasis to fit snugly into your container. Soak in water fortified with a flower preservative. Place oasis in container. Arrange kale first, being sure to the blooms round over the sides of the container. Fill in with the roses.

Kale notes: There are three tricolor blooms out there; I used Brassica Kale White Crane. It’s a cool-season crop, sown in the fall and harvested in the Spring. They can reach up to two feet tall, excellent for arrangements. Good luck!

Joan McDonald is the director of volunteers at the City of Charleston Greenhouse. Located in Hampton Park, the greenhouse is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, who work to produce 49,000 4 inch pots of annuals seasonally for the city of Charleston’s 90 parks. In addition, Joan and fellow horticulturists are tasked with creating hundreds of colorful, and often native, arrangements for various city functions.

For more information about the City of Charleston Greenhouse, or to
find out about volunteer opportunities, call (843) 958-6434. Curious
about Joan’s home garden? Click on for a peek.