Asian dreams

Asian veggies all in a rowWhile maybe not the most obvious source of ideas for floral designs, Asian supermarkets have wondrous vegetables not only to eat but to use for designing!  How about the arching Chinese okra above?

Indian KarelaIndian Karela (Momordica charantia) is a variety of bitter melon with deep ribbed and serrated veining down its skin.  It is often prepared stuffed with vegetables.  As it ripens, it turns a lovely yellow.

Yard-long beansThese Chinese long beans, also called yard-long beans, were the inspiration for this post.  Here they are in two shades of green.  A nice Chinese lady gave us bags for them as well as a suggestion to cook them with steak.  She thought it was a riot I was buying them to use in a flower arrangement.

Banana bud in a bowlThese huge banana buds were sold two to a pack.  Open each bracht and inside are the incipient banana-ettes all lined up.  The buds are leek-like in flavor.  After soaking in lemon water, they are cut and served in soups, stews and stir-fries.

Asian flat beansAren’t these beautiful with their purple edges?  They are simply called “Flat Beans” – not terribly helpful, but pretty.

Asian vase and veggiesOf course my idea wasn’t to eat any of it.  What about using them in flower arrangements?  Using the long beans suggested an Asian container whose pattern echoes the beans.

Asian DreamsBanana bud, yard-long beans, brussel sprouts, Indian karela are set off by glowing yellow sunflowers.

Purples in a boxA basket of long bright purple Japanese eggplants, with blooming chives, flat beans and a cluster of purple zinnias.

Asian cucumbersNot all vegetables are inspirational – the mind boggles at the old cucumbers.  So would you rather have sponge cukes or old?


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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4 Responses to Asian dreams

  1. Kim Devlin-Brytz says:


    Amazing arrangements! Love them!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I love the beans/sunflower arrangement – really beautiful.

    The old cucumber is scary.

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