Here on Food52, perhaps more than anywhere, the practice of waxing on about the beauty of food is a welcome detour from other parts of life. We swoon at the farmers markets, share those feeling all over social media, and spend hours untold making sure the bounty looks as luscious as possible under our studio's lights.
It follows suit that we'd find a way to start working produce into our flower arrangements. Fruit, in particular, presents welcome colors and shapes alongside blooms, but we're not afraid of using herbs, too! Here are four ways to make "edible" arrangements (just don't eat them unless your fruit or herb supplier told you they were food-safe!).
Especially if you live in a place—ahem, the West Coast—where fruit trees flourish in back yards and side yards and even indoors, clipping a few branches to use in arrangements is a no-brainer: The fruit is almost like ornaments, giving dimension to otherwise leafy arrangements.
Choosing small fruits, like the kumquats pictured above, ensures they won't be too heavy to coax into a flower arrangement—but branches of soft Meyer lemons, finger limes, or clementines should also stand up (you might employ the use of a flower frog, if they don't). Pair with differing leaf shapes: honeysuckle for wildness, anemones for some shape, small berries for scale.
Especially during the summertime, clippings of berries (raspberries, blackberries, mulberries or otherwise) on brambly vines are possible to score at your local flower market. They'll require support in an arrangement, so choose a flower to pair with them that has lots of structure: Roses will do, as would hydrangeas.
Wind the vines between the blooms and their tangle of stems, taking care not to trim away any curly-cue parts of the vine, which are too cute to lose. Nobody's going to be mad if some of the berries droop onto the table.
Reaching for potted herbs—or long clippings from your potted herbs—is another way to add texture, an interesting shape, and a welcome spicy scent to an arrangement of flowers. Lots of them will be green, of course, so you'll want to look for flowers with color (here, lilac, but even dainty white chamomile flowers with their yellow noses would do) to work into the mix.
During summer, our Art Director Alexis gathers long stalks of figs on branches to cluster in a tall arrangement that sits on the floor—and you can do the same, table-sized. Since they're pretty stiff and straight, you'll want to add lacy sprays of flowers to soften the space between them, whether that's mauve and white Queen Anne's Lace or bushy branches of ferns.
Once you start looking around for fruit branches, you'll see that flowering varieties are just as common if not more so: apple, cherry, and quince blossoms are all impactful enough to stand on their own in an arrangement. We'll count them as fruit, if you will!
What's your favorite summer flower to arrange with? Tell me in the comments.
Pure Leaf Tea House Collection is a trio of organic iced teas that each sport a fruit or herb companion, like organic Black Tea with a hint of Sicilian Lemon and Honeysuckle. See all three flavors here.