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Decorate Your Home with Perennial Flowers

Look for blooming perennials and use them to brighten indoor spaces. After the flowers fade, move the plants into your garden and enjoy them for years to come.
By Doug Jimerson

Get the Layered Look

Staging is an important element to any design -- indoors or out. For example, this once-bare corner was transformed into a miniature Eden by placing a trio of pink-flowering alstroemeria in front of a pair of slightly taller dieffenbachia. An even taller palm completes the scene. When the alstroemeria finishes blooming they can be moved to a sunny spot in the garden.

Choose Complementary Colors

Look for perennial varieties of complementary colors to make a stunning indoor display. On this gorgeous hallway table, a pair of tiny Silver Mound artemisia in terra-cotta pots mirror the rich silver veining in the leaves of the large heuchera. As a bonus, the heuchera’s dainty pink flowers are eye-pleasing partners to pretty pink phlox at the end of the table.

Keep it Simple

Sometimes the simplest design ideas are the most memorable. Here, two purple May Night salvias were popped into a basket and then a layer of shredded moss was used to disguise their pots. In just minutes this table went from boring to beautiful. When the salvia flowers fade, just clip them off and move the plants to a sunny spot in your garden. In late summer they should provide another flush of flowers.

Depend on Foliage Plants

Because perennials come in and out of bloom, it’s always smart to build your indoor displays around a core of colorful foliage plants. That way, you’ll have a dependable source of background color as you rotate in various blooming perennials. For example, this empty fireplace lights up with gorgeous flowers provided by a large peace lily and a hot-pink anthurium. The pink and white perennial phlox are a terrific addition but when they fade, the houseplants will keep the spark alive.

Consider Fragrance and Color

Add an extra dimension to your perennial displays by including a heady mix of fragrant varieties. For example, this breakfast table is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the nose with the sweet fragrances of lilies, dianthus, and phlox blending seamlessly together. Additional color is provided by blue salvia and Silver Mound artemisia. If you are unsure about what varieties are fragrant, check them out at your garden center as you shop.

Cut Your Own Flowers

Tall perennials can be awkward to bring indoors, but you can use them to dramatically decorate your home. Instead of lugging around big, heavy pots simply cut the flowers and use them in fresh arrangements. Lilies, are a good example. Some lilies can grow 4 to 7 feet tall so finding a place for them indoors can be problematic. Instead, cut the flowers and plunge the stems into cool water. On this kitchen table, clusters of lily flowers were clipped short enough to fit into goblets at each place setting, creating a sense of informal elegance.  

Repeat Yourself

Indoors or out, repetition is one of the most effective rules of design. By repeating a certain pattern, color or object you create an appealing visual rhythm. That’s why this row of cut lilies is so pleasing to the eye. Lined up down the center of the table each of the eight goblets contains duplicate bouquets of pink Asiatic lilies. The alternating water goblets with starched white napkins doubles the effect.

Celebrate the Bounty of Nature

Planning a spring or summer party? Be sure to include a generous helping of perennial flowers to highlight the colors of your garden’s fruits and vegetables. On this burgeoning buffet, a backdrop of dianthus and phlox, help amplify the natural beauty of homegrown salad greens, carrots, leeks, Swiss chard, and beets. Plus, dianthus and phlox are edible so if the mood strikes garnish your meal with petals.

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