Using a variety of eclectic containers lends interest to decorative floral arrangements by Christina Noll

We all know that flowers and plants are a wonderful way ro brighten up the home but if you want to take it a step further, decorative containers make a variety of different statements.

“Anybody can do this,” says Marsha Koller, owner of Koller Communications. Marsha is part of the Down to Earth Garden Club but she considers the designs she creates in decorative containers a hobby. It started when a friend asked her to get involved with Art in Bloom at the University of Kentucky, a program where participants interpret a piece of art work in a floral design. “It’s very interesting to see how this turns out in live floral,” she says.

With no processional training in floral design, Koller decided the way to make her Art in Bloom project interesting would have to lie in the container. “From there it turned out to be a signature,” she says. Although she doesn’t sell her work, Koller does continue to design pieces for her own home and occasionally as gifts to friends.

Aside from the photo frame Koller used to create the piece for Art in Bloom, examples of items she has used as decorative planters include vintage cola bottles, a parrot cage, thrift store finds and even a Howitzer bullet casing from the World War II time period. “You can make an arrangement out of anything. It can be huge or very small,” she says. “Now when I’m at an estate sale or a garage sale, I look for interesting items that would make a good container.”

No matter what you choose to use as a decorative planter, the fun is in arranging and even rearranging. “You can be very creative,” says Koller, who gets her ideas from Interest or in home decorating magazines.

Koller uses foam oasis, a florist item that can be found in the craft section of many stores, to anchor the stems of each flower or plant piece. Decorative planters can be filled with live plants or silk, depending on how long you want the arrangement to last. It can be as simple as picking some flowers out of your own yard. Or if you don’t want to worry about the upkeep of switching out fresh flowers, silk flowers offer a long-lasting solution. “You can take an interesting container to a designer if you don’t want to build the piece,” says Koller. “House Design has a huge contingent of high quality silk flowers. You have to touch them to see if thev are real.”

In the end, planting in containers doesn’t have to be sophisticated. It’s a terrific way of recycling items that you enjoy and want to keep around, by turning them into an eye catching decorative piece for the home. “It’s a great thing that anyone can do for themselves,” says Koller. “Put them on the porch, center tables, hearth or back patio— really anywhere in the house you need some height or some color.”

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