Style Expert

Potting a Decorative Plant

Garden Prep:

There are so many interesting ways of planting and potting flowers and herbs. These days, we have so many choices of containers that we can coordinate with any style we like.

I have a stylist’s trick that we use to make beautiful mixed plantings for photo shoots.  We use a phrase called thriller, spiller, and filler to create a gorgeous composition. The “thriller” is usually a tall plant like a fern, or hosta that we put in the middle of the pot to create height. The “filler” can be any pretty flower or plant with a vibrant color or interesting shape that get planted around the tall plant in the center. Pansies or petunias are a high impact option. Put the filler around fern or hosta .  Last but not least, you’ll want a “spiller.” A spiller goes around the filler and literally spills over the lip of the vessel.  An ivy or creeping fig, or sweet potato plant has leafy tendrils that will create this effect.

As a stylist, I love the idea of an organized potting and gardening station.  You can organize your tools in buckets, watertight containers, or planters that you haven’t used yet.  It can also double as a serving station for outdoor parties! I am also a big fan of potting sheds. I have styled many in my day! Check out this one I styled for Better Homes and Gardens

I love to serve dishes made with vegetables from my own garden.  Here is a delicious zucchini flower blossom recipe that is a family favorite (don’t pick all your blossoms or you won’t have any zucchini come summer time). I learned this recipe in Italy in Positano, from the nicest little lady that made her own killer home made lemoncello, it’s a miracle I remember it after sampling her lemoncello all afternoon while at her cooking lesson on Saturday afternoon.

Mama Agata’s Zucchini Flowers stuffed with Smoked Provolone (serves 4)

Stuff 12 Flowers with smoked provolone cheese cut into 1 inch cubes

Prepare batter for dipping stuffed flowers into (like pancake batter) 4-5 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt Water- drop by drop ( until the consistency of pancake batter) 3 eggs 1-2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan. Dip stuffed flowers and fry until golden brown, drain in paper towels, and serve immediately.

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