20 Jul2008

A Leafy Arrangement…

by Marketman


Just inside our front door, there is an entry table that often has a plant, blooming orchid or floral arrangement to welcome us and our guests home… Some folks may think it a waste of money or effort, but I don’t feel the same way. There is something so civilized, calming and aesthetically pleasing about having something living or recently living (as in blooms) in the home. However, I will admit that fresh flower budgets are the first to be cut when times are tough, but that still doesn’t mean the pleasure is totally eliminated.


In this case, all I did was fill two simple tall vases with water, then plunged a few “xanadu” leaves in with a couple of twists and voila, this simple arrangement for less than PHP20. If you have some similar dark leafy green leaves in your garden it would cost you next to nothing. I find that the water magnifies the natural curves and color and features of the leaves, and many of the folks that wander past them feel compelled to comment favorably… The leaves harbor natural bacteria so the water does tend to get cloudy after 3-4 days, at which point it’s best to throw them out.


Some blooms also do well when you totally submerge them in water, hydrangeas being a favorite one, and calla lilies as well. Vegetables and fruit also work well, though for shorter periods of time, and best as a centerpiece for a special meal. Experiment with various leaves and “ingredients” and come up with your own favorites…



  1. Gay says:

    My sister likes to use weeds as centerpiece and often a guest would stare at it and exclaim it’s just a weed!

    Jul 20, 2008 | 10:06 pm


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  3. ECC says:

    MM, may I ask what is that brown-colored trunk with etchings on it that is shown to the right of the two tall vases featured in the first picture? It is very intriguing!

    Jul 20, 2008 | 11:05 pm

  4. wil-b cariaga says:

    it’s really nice MM, I love simple arrangements. . .I did a buffet centerpeice before using clear cylindrical vases and selum leaves, then one of my mates suddenly blurted out “ano ba yan mukhang papaya leaf lng na nasa vase”. . . I hate it when paople who don’t taste comment like that, I do know the arrangement i made was very tasteful and modern, simple yet elegant. . .

    Jul 20, 2008 | 11:12 pm

  5. Glecy says:

    I love simple arrangement especially coming from my garden.Try lining your vase with leaves then put a single stem of plant or flower that has a different texture.It gives a different character.
    For bacteria problem,try washing all your leaves to get rid of the soil and dust.

    Jul 20, 2008 | 11:48 pm

  6. noemi says:

    I have a plant like that. Thanks for the idea.

    Jul 21, 2008 | 1:28 am

  7. thelma says:

    fresh flowers and simple floral arrangements give an elegant and soothing effect in the house. it’s even more so when the flowers come from your garden….

    Jul 21, 2008 | 2:36 am

  8. maggie says:

    hey! great idea! it’s so zen! i sometimes line the vases of my flower arrangement with large leaves with nice patterns, it adds a classy touch. hmmm.. where can i get those pretty dark river rocks, they would be a great addition at the bottom of the vase. :)

    Jul 21, 2008 | 3:17 am

  9. lee says:

    leaf him alone!

    Jul 21, 2008 | 9:55 am

  10. Marketman says:

    ECC, actually, it is a prized antique Irian Jayan ceremonial penis gourd (koteka), etched/carved and only used on special occasions. Rather difficult to find authentically old ones these days, this one is some 80-100+ years old and is the natives’ equivalent of dressing up in “black tie,” as it were. I spent quite a bit of time in Indonesia where I acquired this piece from one of the more established antiques dealers. Though I must admit I never mustered up enough courage to wear it to the annual company partners meeting at work or the black tie ball that followed… Photos here, here and here. :) Warning: R rated.

    Jul 21, 2008 | 10:43 am

  11. Lee says:

    hahahaha. i remember that post…

    Jul 21, 2008 | 11:46 am

  12. millet says:

    errrr…is that supposed to be anatomically correct or supposed to provide an optical illusion? hmmmm…let’s get back to the discussion on leaves, which, by the way, must have served as the first sheaths…ay..there we go again!….

    Jul 21, 2008 | 12:28 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    millet, it’s called wishful thinking… hahaha.

    Jul 21, 2008 | 12:43 pm

  14. iya says:

    nice! i’ll do this from now on.

    this will look great with lace leaves. :)

    Jul 21, 2008 | 1:28 pm

  15. sylvia says:

    Marketman, you are truly creative and have a great sense of style. I like this simple and elegant arrangement!

    Jul 21, 2008 | 1:32 pm

  16. Homebuddy says:

    Great idea! thanks for sharing.

    Jul 21, 2008 | 2:34 pm

  17. Lee says:

    millet: so the male guests has to choose between the leaf and the gourd? Ancient Javan or Ancient Garden of Eden?

    Jul 21, 2008 | 2:52 pm

  18. michelle says:

    what a great simple arrangement. It reminds me of the water (pitchers) at Spices (with the mint leaves inside)…In Scandinavia, it’s common to see water pitchers with berries and leaves. Very pretty.

    Jul 21, 2008 | 6:27 pm

  19. dhanggit says:

    Oh these are beautiful MM!!

    btw, im enjoying reading all the comments hehehe

    Jul 21, 2008 | 8:08 pm

  20. sister says:

    Add 1 tbsp. clorox for every 2 c. of water to cut down on bacterial growth and delay cloudiness in the water.

    Jul 22, 2008 | 10:58 am

  21. Rose says:

    Fresh flowers, plants, and in this case, even just leaves – are definitely the best decorations for the home. Not only they’re pleasing to the eyes, they’re pleasing to the souls, too.

    Great job, MM!


    Oct 25, 2008 | 9:51 pm


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