Drought or rainy season, your garden will appear suitably lush and colorful once you plant it using ever-green blooms made of old dishes. It may sound tacky but it’s terrific once you select the “petals” out of pretty, decorative plates and tinted glass. Seed an entire bed using plate perennials; cluster several under a shady tree ; or coax random china blossoms in the ground here and there in your yard.
Start looking for plates with borders, scalloped or disciplinary borders, cut-out patterns — which have actual holes from the porcelain — coloured clear glass, fluted saucers and candy dishes, and plates of shapes. You will have to layer several plates to make blossoms; the largest on the bottom, graduating to a espresso saucer or a pudding cup in the center. Clear, tinted glass dishes are the best choices because the light shining through them looks just like stained glass or crystalline butterfly wings. It is possible to grab beautiful one-of-a-kind plates inexpensively at flea markets and thrift shops.
The Artwork of the Blossom
Play with the plates you need to see what looks great layered two, three or four deep. Aim for three layers as a perfect — it is only more interesting and “flowery” looking. Build the blossom by setting the largest plate down and putting the next plate onto it. Squeeze a line of epoxy glue around the bottom of the next plate where it touches the bottom plate. Catch the second plate to the bottom plate briefly to leave a glue mark on the plate. Squeeze another layer of epoxy around that glue mark; allow the epoxy set a few minutes, according to the manufacturer’s directions; then press the two plates together. As soon as they dry, then finish each layer exactly the identical way.
Up From the Ground
Planted plate blossoms need stems. Make them in a block of wood or wood hockey puck epoxied to the rear of the plate blossom with a hole drilled in the underside edge for an inserted metal rod or wood dowel, painted green. Metal rods are sturdier and will last more than wood dowels exterior. Poke a row of ornamental flowers up the path to the doorway or via the patches of annuals leading to the gazebo or decorative fountain. Add only a few to this flowerbeds bordering your front porch so you’ll have something “blooming” all winter. Put dish blossoms like sentinels along a fence or plant a group of these, at varied heights, even in a shady spot that will only grow greenery or mildew. Stick them in one of the vegetables on your salad patch to get a floral accent.
Dangling in Mid-Air
Dish flowers are delightful hanging from a tree branch, pergola beam or the eaves of a garden folly. Choose a plate with cutouts across the rim as the foundation and build up a blossom of smaller plates on each side of it. Wrap thin wire through a hole in the dish border and around a hook or tree branch; wire will hold the weight of a double-sided plate greater than twine. Insert some strings of broken pottery pieces or spoons and forks to the lower holes in the rim, to jangle in a breeze, and you own a wind chime, too.