Blooming centerpieces

Bring the beauty of your garden indoors with tabletop arrangements

Until recently, I was an apartment dweller without a patch of dirt to call my own. Now I’ve got a house complete with the dirt (but no flowers yet). At first, I thought my grand plans to build a beautiful garden would have to wait until next year. But, after a hunt for inspiration, I found a great book to get me on the road to greener pastures. Tabletop Gardens by Rosemary McCleary (Storey Books, $45) is filled with tons of creative projects, plant info and simple step-by step guides to help you bring the outdoors in.

Indoor gardening is on the rise. While everyone seems to have an orchid in their home these days, the trend started in the late 19th Century, when Victorian society ladies would fill meticulously-designed miniature greenhouses with fashionable plants, plucked from far off climes by intrepid explorers. By the 1970’s, everyone had to have lush tropical houseplants and giant glass bottles filled with moss and ferns. Now we’re taking a more streamlined approach—perfect for those busy lives we lead—with easy-care plantings that add style to our decor, while nurturing our inner gardening guru.

To foster my own green thumb, I flipped through the book to find a houseplant to suit my tastes. Would it be a wild-looking bog garden or a tower of variegated ivy? I finally decided on a culinary creation—rosemary as a sculptural herb topiary for a windowsill in the kitchen. It’s required some patience, but it’s doing well. Once I really get the hang of it, I’m planning on something a bit larger and more adventurous. Perhaps a Meyer lemon bush!

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