My friend Marilyn, and her family joined us for a meal over Pesach (Passover). Since we were in a small apartment in Jerusalem with our extended family, we did not have enough room to host everyone in the dining room. Instead, we set up tables and ate in the courtyard. Marilyn sent flowers before Yom Tov (holiday) in the perfect arrangement. It was a gorgeous grouping of narrow clear bottles lined up side by side in a metal caddy spilling over with white garden roses. The arrangement was narrow and long, just perfect for our narrow outdoor tables.
It created a stunning visual impact without taking away from the table space needed for setting and serving. The white roses lasted for several days, but the centerpiece containers were so easy to fill that I refilled them for the last few days of our stay in Jerusalem with an array of other flowers. Both arrangements were simply stunning.
Over Pesach, I commented so many times about the beauty and the practicality of this centerpiece. I was determined to recreate it with upcycled materials for use back in the States. And….here it is!
The best glass jars to use for this arrangement are low and narrow jars like baby food or olive jars. You can use an array of different sizes and shapes, but I chose to use the same size and shape jars in each arrangement. That allowed me to place flowers in the jar and then rearrange the jars to achieve the most beautiful arrangement.
For the caddy or container to hold the clear jars, you can use large berry containers, square plastic greens containers, wire or plastic drawer organizers, or compartment servers. Be creative! Look in your recycling bin and/or around your home for containers that may have other uses but would be perfect for grouping your floral masterpieces.
The key to these arrangements is to keep the stems short enough that each flower will stand up straight in the glass jars or spill over slightly to fill the glass jar. This allows for using those short-stem garden-variety roses growing right outside your door or last week’s flowers that still have beautiful blossom heads but are not holding up well in a tall vase. Of course, you can also purchase your favorite flowers, cut the stems short and arrange them this way.
The final arrangement tends to be low, but full, so it is the perfect arrangement to facilitate conversation without blocking the view across the dining table.
6-12 recycled glass jars, labels removed and cleaned
a container or caddy to hold the jars
your favorite flowers
pruning shears or strong scissors Fiskars pruning shears
Gather enough jars to fill your container. For a long vertical arrangement, use items like drawer organizers or compartment servers and line the jars up side by side inside your container. For a square arrangement, use a square container and line the jars up in a grid fashion to maximize the number of jars in your arrangement.
Fill all the jars will water. Trim flowers short to fit in jars standing up or spilling over slightly.
Remove all leaves from bottom of short stem, so that only stems remain in the water. Submerged leaves will rot and shorten the life of your arrangement, so it is important to remove them before arranging.
Starting with the flowers that have the widest blossoms, arrange flowers in jars.
Fill in with smaller flowers, making sure to vary height and colors.
Special thank you to Chani Perlman for providing the baby food jars for this blog post.