Bit O'Green Arrangement closeup

Want to show some Gaelic pride this St. Patrick’s Day beyond wearing the green and eating corned beef? Put your potatoes and green flowers on display! Here’s how to turn some fresh foliage and vegetables from your garden (or local grocer) into a creative arrangement that won’t have you spending too much money from that pot of gold.

Bit O'Green - Step 1

Bit O'Green - Step 1

Select a cylindrical vase for your arrangement base. I’ve chosen one that’s 10 inches tall and filled it with some small white potatoes. You’ll also need a clear, watertight design bowl that’s approximately 6 inches in diameter and some floral foam.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Bit O'Green - Step 2

Bit O'Green - Step 2

Adhere the design bowl to the top of your cylindrical vase with floral clay. Once that’s set, insert several thin sticks of curly willow (Salix ‘Golden Curls’). Note: All your stems should appear to radiate from a center point in the floral foam.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Bit O'Green - Step 3

Bit O'Green - Step 3

Add three stems of bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis), keeping in mind that these stems tend to have a “mind of their own” and curl or turn in the direction you don’t necessarily want them to go. (It’s Murphy’s Law: When I’m looking for some with twists and turns, they’re perfectly straight, and when I’m looking for some that are straight, I find curved!) The stems curve because bells of Ireland are negatively geotropic, meaning they turn against gravity. But here’s a trick that should help: If you find bells that curve downward, insert them vertically – they should straighten out within 24 hours.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Bit O'Green - Step 4

Bit O'Green - Step 4

Fill in and cover the floral foam with foliage. I chose some Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria), heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) and cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior). Try to keep your foliage in proportion to the height and width of the container. Here’s another little florist’s trick: In order to keep the lower cast iron plant leaves in proportion, I curled them under and pinned them to the floral foam with a greening pin.

Photo Credit: David Pippin

Bit O'Green - Step 5

Bit O'Green - Step 5

Add three green spider mums (Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’) to give your arrangement that “big bang.” I inserted the top mum so that it faces upward. The middle mum is about halfway down and faces slightly forward, while the bottom mum faces forward from the center of the arrangement. Finally, to add a wee bit more o’ the Irish feel, I tucked in three small potatoes. To keep them in place, I inserted half of a wooden skewer into each potato and gently stuck the skewer into the floral foam.

Photo Credit: David Pippin


It’s as easy as shepherd’s pie! So put your creative green hat on, grab some potatoes and some bells of Ireland, and make something special to ring in St. Patrick’s Day!