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Enjoy a Bountiful Flower-Filled Brunch

A front porch or back patio is the perfect venue for a flower-filled brunch. Here’s how you can decorate. By Karen Weir-Jimerson

Dress up a Doorway

Set the tone of the floral brunch with an petal-packed entryway. Add pots of hostas, hydrangeas, and hibiscus flanking the doorway. Any door can be dressed up with a showy spray of fresh-cut perennial blooms. Here black-eyed Susan and agapanthus add color amid accents of fern fronds.

Design tip:
Drop growers pots into terra-cotta containers, then top with Spanish moss to get an instant and unified look. If you want a splash of color, spray paint pots before adding the plants.

Add a Drink Station

Welcome guests to your brunch with a drink and appetizer station. Set the scene for lushness by layering plants such as palms, containers of blooming tropicals (hibiscus and peace lily) and perennials (hostas, ferns, and succulents). Build a lavish centerpiece bouquet with hydrangeas edged with hosta leaves with flowering branches (such as wild plum) for height and drama.

Design tip:
Use palms' lush leaves and height to create a sense of intimacy and seclusion.

Mix Rustic with Romantic

Toss a sheet of rustic burlap (which comes in many colors) over a table, then add romantic elements such as cut flowers, pots of perennials, and even fresh whole fruit as table accents. Make easy appetizers and display on white china platters and pedestals. Fresh Swiss chard leaves and sprigs of herbs make easy (and edible) garnishes.

Design tip:
Create coordinated color when you mix flowers of the same hue, but different flower forms. Here, the round hydrangeas blooms contrast nicely with the spicy pink flowers of veronica.

Capitalize on the View

A pink blooming crape myrtle at the end of the porch serves as the inspiration for the color theme. Pink hydrangeas and mandevillas pick up the color and add footlight blooms shining up from the porch floor. 

Design tip:
Wrap black plastic pots of shrubs and perennials with burlap to make an instant pot. When you are done with your brunch, you can plant flowers in the landscape or larger containers.

Create a Vignette

Add a grouping of potted beauties and the brunch menu in a ornate frame on a side table to set the tone of the brunch. Surround the table top with potted flowers: coneflowers, veronica, and hydrangea blooms.

Design tip:
Drop, tuck, and admire. These are the three steps needed for creating potted party blooms straight from the garden center. Pop a black plastic pot into a large terra-cotta pot, then tuck in Spanish moss. Instant centerpiece!

Set the Table for Style

Assemble a centerpiece with some quick snips of a pair of pruners. This mix includes several hydrangea stems with variegated leaves. Tuck in a little Spanish moss for a dangling effect.

Design tip:
Don't overlook the flowering talents of shrubs, such as hydrangea, lilac, or viburnum, for fresh cut flowers. 

Green Up a Serving Station

If you need extra serving area for your brunch, pull a piece of furniture from your home and dress it up in greenery and flowers. Here, a serving station is topped with several flats of groundcover (like a green roof) which makes a soft landing for serving. 

Design tip:
Use flats of low-growing plants such as sedum or thyme to top a table.

Add Color and Texture

A wine holder becomes a vertical garden when you tuck small bouquets and cut flowers into the cubbies. 

Design tip:
Wrap cut flowers in wet paper towels, then surround with plastic or foil. The moisture will keep blooms fresh while the plastic protects the furniture from drips. 

Serve Up Salad

Fresh seasonal ingredients are as easy to assemble as the table itself. Just layer salad starting with a bed of fresh greens, then add quarters of hard-boiled eggs, tomato wedges, sliced boiled blue potatoes, then top with the protein of your choice: seared tuna, smoked fish, diced chicken, or feta cheese. 

Design tip:
Create a unified look by using all terra-cotta pots, burlap, and white china. The neutral color palette makes the flower color pop.

Let Them Eat Cake

Serve a fantastic dessert such as a strawberry-filled cake with strawberry frosting. Showcase the cake on a serving table surrounded by greenery. The centerpiece in the photo is a mix of variegated hosta leaves, purple coneflowers, and pink hydrangea blooms. 

Design tip:
Nestle a cake pedestal into a flat of groundcovers to create the illusion that the sweet treats are simply hovering in space. Magical!

Set a Sensational Sideboard

Add potted perennials in pretty pastel colors to create a floral frame for a sideboard buffet. Use simple terra cotta as well as other colorful pots as cachepots. Layer flowers by height to get the lushest look. 

Design tip: Think about combining flower form and color when pairing perennial blooms in indoor decor. (Then you can transfer the same look to the garden.) On this sideboard, trumpet-shape lilies look stunning near loose woodland phlox flowers so you know they'll look beautiful together in a bed, border, or container.  

Employ Nature's Bounty

Use the natural beauty of fresh produce mixed with perennial flowers to create a sensual serving area. Here carrots and beets (with their lovely tops still in tact) are mixed the dianthus blooms (also edible). Use serving dishes such as silver cake stands and footed trays to add to the gorgeous excess. 

Design tip: Sprays of colorful dianthus make a beautiful floral backdrop for edibles. After the brunch, plant them in containers or give them to guests as a party favor.  

Flower Up the Table

A serve-yourself brunch is an easy way to serve lots of guests with minimal fuss. Set the table with a series of short bouquets that add color to the table but allow guests to see each other without the floral screen that larger bouquets sometimes create. Here, clipped lily flowers line up to make a festive table. 

Design tip: Clip the stems of tall flowers, such as Oriental lilies, into sized down bouquets. The unfurled buds make beautiful additions. Remove the stamens on lilies because the pollen can stain table linens or clothing.