For a striking centerpiece that's super easy, surround a glass hurricane lamp with a jumble of the day's most colorful veggies (left). Go for contrasts in color, shape, and texture, and mound the pieces around the lamp, starting with the largest ones. Green beans, chile peppers and cherry tomatoes make great accents. Fill in with garden-fresh herb sprigs.
Flowers tucked into an array of colorful thrift store bottles add resourceful flair to your table. Arrange small flowers around larger ones, and place only one or two stems in each bottle for a chic and airy feel. Forgo common fillers like baby's breath, and instead use posies and pink peonies for a touch of summer glow (left).
A rectangular planter looks nice on a long picnic table, and fresh moss adds a lush, natural feel (left). Scatter gray river rocks around the planter and embellish with attractive insect-repelling candles for a carefree evening.
Old metal boxes and lunch pails make great vintage holders for your favorite indoor arrangements. White hydrangeas, viburnum, and paperwhites (left) complement any color container. Display the planter on a vintage dish for added style.
Nearly everything tastes better with a sprinkle of freshness. Garnish your table with clutches of fresh herbs in vintage mustard tins (left). Pour some water in the bottom so the cuttings won't wilt. Serve bruschetta, pasta or salad and encourage guests to liven entrees with snips from the herbs. Make several and send them home with guests as tasty party favors.
These Brussels sprout-covered topiaries (left) began as 15-inch foam cones and a pair of footed soup tureens. Use long T-shape pins to attach Brussels sprouts to the foam, placing them as close together as possible. Fill in open areas and spruce the bottom with sphagnum moss. They'll only last about a week, so make them shortly before entertaining guests.
A cinch to grow and easy to harvest, gladiolas are the most versatile cut flower. They linger long in a vase, and brighten any table. Arrange them in old wine bottles for a colorful conversation piece.
An oversized lab beaker filled with sand and rocks (left) becomes a whimsical piece of art, perfect for any space. Experiment with colors, textures and grain size to fit the style of your home. For a personalized centerpiece, collect mementos from your summer travels and display with a journal of your journeys.
For patriotic atmosphere, place several small American flags in a porcelain toothbrush holder. Vary the size of the flags and position several displays throughout the house for your holiday get-together.
Place yellow flowers--in this case, double yellow tulips--in a clear vase with festive kumquats and water. They'll brighten your day and make a statement at your next breezy afternoon gathering.
Use your room's color scheme to inspire a harmonizing centerpiece. In this room with coral-color walls and white woodwork, pink peonies, white hyacinths and red anemones pair up in tall white vases (left). Adding a similarly colored tea towel underneath and a nearby garnish of strawberries brings out the cozy cottage feel.
For a glowing evening, fill hurricane vases with sand and fat white candles. Place the candle keepers in the center of your table, and after your meal, use them to line porch steps or define the edges of a patio or walkway.
Bundle a bunch of open roses in a short, wide vase for a fragrant addition to your table. Complement some deep pink roses (left) with a splash of brightness, in this case white- and salmon-colored blooms.
Take a few cuttings from a crabapple tree and place the twigs in a milk bottle or vase. Search for varying colors of blooms, or add a few flowers fresh from the garden.