Decorating with Summer Flowers and Foliage

Liven up your home, both inside and outdoors, with these beautiful bouquets and easy, breezy decorating ideas.

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Patterned Accents


Bring out a few patterned pillows and napkins to brighten up leafy green foliage.

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You've Urned It


Urns come in a variety of sizes, shapes and finishes. Look for vintage versions with rich patinas at flea markets and thrift shops.

More Ideas

  • A spray of flowering dogwood adds a dramatic accent to a low-slung sideboard or console. Put a balled-up piece of 1-inch mesh chicken wire into the container to hold branches in place. Then insert tulips around the edges of the vessel to disguise the wire.
  • "Urns are so versatile—they're eye-catching empty as sculpture but look stunning filled with a dense cluster of blooms like hyacinths or a mound of florist's moss," says New York stylist Christopher White.


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Happy Hydrating


Create a charming drink station on a separate table tucked away in a corner.

Cool Idea

  • Stage the scene for an outdoor gathering on a patio or deck. "Cluster potted herbs for a pretty, subtly fragrant centerpiece," says White.
  • Two lengths of homespun linen as a tablecloth complement the rustic setup. For an inexpensive no-sew option, buy burlap from your local garden-supply store. Cut two pieces and place widthwise across the table.
  • Set out an old-fashioned dispenser for iced tea or lemonade so guests can help themselves.


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Flower Power

  • "Pick flowers and foliage of different sizes, textures and colors," White suggests. Narrow-necked bottles and vases support long-stemmed blooms. Rest large full blossoms on the rim of a wide-mouthed vessel.
  • "Arrangements that look fresh-cut from the garden are the loveliest," says White. His advice: Cut stems at different lengths. An elastic band wrapped loosely around stems allows the flowers to fall naturally in the vase. Use a colorless one for clear glass vessels.
  • "Mix and match glassware and dinnerware," White adds. For example, try rose-tinted goblets with blue tumblers for a contrasting pop with white dinnerware.
  • To keep the table from feeling formal, forget the place mats and use a runner instead of a conventional cloth. Cut a strip of inexpensive loose-weave linen 12 to 18 inches wide, depending on the size of your table. "For a rustic appearance, pull several threads on each side to fray the edges," recommends White.

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Get the Look


Honeycomb Blue Highball Glasses,, $27/set of 4

Originally published in the June 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.