If it's just too hot or hectic to compose a bouquet, take it easy by picking just one flower and plunking it in a cup, glass or little jar. Such simple arrangements showcase the perfection of a single summer flower.
A tuberous begonia blossom in a ceramic souffle cup contrasts richly colored layers with smooth blue of the cup. I was surprised the flower stayed fresh for 4-5 days. Picture a row of begonia blossoms in various colored cups parading down the center of your dining room table.
Or mix it up with a variety of containers and flowers interspersed with candles. A long tray gathers the disparate colors and textures together, the candles light the table, and the whole look is festive yet low enough to work running down the center of your dining room table. Refresh the water in these small vases frequently, change out flowers as they wilt, and you can keep this centerpiece going for weeks:
Left to right is a lily blossom, hydrangea bloom, clematis and begonia, and a lacecap hydrangea
Or if you have a spot where you need a taller arrangement, few flowers are as elegant massed in a vase as 'Annabelle' hydrangeas - here in a raku vase made by Whidbey artist Al Tennant. Picked early in the morning and conditioned by plunging their stems directly into cool water, these white and chartreuse flowers will hold up for at least ten days....