The versatility of herbs has almost no bounds. Their varied flavours, distinctive fragrances and countless health benefits are used world wide. However, their diverse textures, shapes and colours also make herbs ideal for delightful and truly unique decorations.
Although they can look wonderful, traditional cut flowers used for weddings and other occasions are becoming less and less viable for conscientious people. Often, cut flowers are imported from Europe where plants are grown using heated greenhouses; but, roughly 90 per cent of the cut flowers sold in the UK are imported, mostly flown in from Colombia or Kenya; the carbon footprint of a bunch of sunflowers can be considerable.
What’s more, the cost of flowers for parties or special occasions can really bite into your budget. On average the price of cut flowers for a wedding will land somewhere between £500 and £1000.
So what is the alternative?
Why not make use of the natural beauty and fragrance of freshly grown herbs? As centrepieces for summer parties, weddings, birthdays or any other celebrations, your herbs can help create the look and atmosphere that you want.
Why use herbs as decoration?
If you opt to use potted herbs as centre pieces for tables they are 100% re-usable. Once the party if over you can pop the plants back in your greenhouse or on your window-sill and enjoy them for the weeks and months to come
Potted herbs won’t wilt. Ever noticed how cut tulips or roses can look rather sorry for themselves by the end of a long day’s celebrations? If well watered in the mornings, potted herbs can go all night, just like your party!
Match the tastes and fragrances to the food and drink you serve. Having cocktails? Why not decorate your table and bar area with mint? Perfect for mohitos. Serving pork? Rosemary centre pieces will not only look great but can be picked from to spice up your meal. Many herbs also compliment red or white wines perfectly.
They make great conversation starters. Herbs are unifying plants; people love them. They are also interesting to talk about. Potted herbs in the centre of the table can provide the visual stimulus for some great conversations about food, health, perfumes, gardening and much more.
Enjoy the opportunity to show-off. Separate your celebration from the rest by using potted herbs as decorations now. It is only going to become more common-place, so set the trend. It feels great receiving compliments about your decorations when you know you’ve grown them yourself!
They make great gifts. Why not gift your potted herbs to your guests at the end of the evening? When they smell and taste them in the weeks to come they will remember just how fantastic your party was!
If you plan on growing your herbs yourself you’ll need to plan well in advance. Often the best centrepieces have a variety of plants and herbs grow at different rates. Some popular but rather slow growing herbs to be aware of belong to the mint family, and these plants are better started as rooted cuttings for speedy growth. Rosemary and English thyme for example take several weeks to germinate and sprout and their growth rate is also quite slow. One of the slowest herbs to grow, both in terms of germination and plant growth rate, is bay laurel or sweet bay. Cuttings can take up to nine months to root and can often rot; even for more experienced gardeners these can be tricky.
Finally, consider the colours, heights and shapes of your chosen herbs. You should aim for variety in your decoration but you should also think about a colour theme. What will guests be wearing? What colour lighting have you chosen? What colours are already present where your wedding or party is located? For height, you can opt for sage, fennel or basil plants. Coriander flowers, chive and chamomile seeds amongst others will provide brightness and colour to your arrangements. Meanwhile, peppermint and thyme usually grow to four inches or less and are perfect to offset taller herbs.