I put it off as long as I could, but last week I finally broke down and bought some “fall” plants. You know. Mums, ornamental cabbages, pumpkin pie bushes. That sort of thing.
The mums I got at my local grocery store. They were just sitting right outside the front door. Free obviously. Which I thought was really nice of the grocery store. Almost makes me feel bad for stealing all those plastic bags. The ornamental cabbage I got from a local variety store that routinely carries 3 packs of gum, 1 scratch and win ticket and 7,432 plants.
I don’t know about you, but I consider myself to be a bit of a professional insane person. I don’t mean to brag or anything, I’m just tellin’ it like it is. Because of this, I take a lot of time and care when picking anything out. Apples, steaks, tee shirts, anti-itch cream …. plants.
So after an appropriate amount of time for an insane person (I had to reapply my sunblock twice) I came home with 3 ornamental cabbage plants. 3 carefully selected, perfectly matched, ornamental cabbages in varying sizes to put in a preselected planter in my backyard.
Once I got home, I lugged out the large cement planter I had in mind for the ornamental cabbage and started dragging it around the yard until I found a place I thought it looked good. This presented a problem because suddenly now I had to rearrange my entire backyard.
It was kind of like when you buy a home accessory on a whim and spend the next 3 days rearranging everything in your house trying to find a place to put it until you finally have a minor nervous breakdown, pop a bunch of Zanax, and have a slurry conversation with your mailman you wish you could take back.
Kindda like that.
Finally, I gathered my tools (chips, dip and a diet coke) and got to planting the cabbage plants.
Approximately 17 hours, 3 skipped meals and 1 feeling of utter fulfillment later my planter was complete.
Then my chickens ate it.
Fast forward right through all the swearing and eye gouging to several days later when I decided to buy some more ornamental cabbage. This time, however, I decided to use them indoors as cut flowers, where chickens can’t eat them.
Frankly I like this creation a whole lot more than I liked the ornamental cabbage outdoors. It has way more impact, is far more unexpected and for $20 is much more impressive than a vase of roses or yet another orchid in the middle of my dining room table.
Steps to using Ornamental Cabbage as Cut Flowers
Pick out some cabbages. Go big or go home. Get as many as you can afford. And that one cabbage you think is wayyyy too big? It isn’t big, it’s dramatic. Buy it.
Pull the plants out of their pots and shake the dirt off the roots.
I shake it into a pail and keep the dirt. You never know when you’ll need a bucket of dirt. Clean the stems and cut them to the depth of the vessel you’re putting them in. Cut the woody stems up the middle or smash them to help them be able to drink more water.
I went with clay pots to put my stems in.
I used clay pots as vessels because I knew I had enough of them and because they’re low. I wanted the arrangement to be low on the table.
Because the clay pots have holes in the bottom you need to grab something to hold water that will fit in the pots.
Stick your stems in the pots and arrange them however you like. ‘Cause you’re an independent, autonomous thinking person. You can line up these suckers however you want. In a circle, in a straight line, in a squiggly line. Whatever you want.
If you don’t have pots around, don’t worry about it. Any large shallow bowl will work. The bigger the bowl, the more cabbage it will hold and the more impressive it will look.
As the days go by the outer leaves will turn yellow. Just pick them off. Don’t forget to change the water every few days. By around day 7 your ornamental cabbage will start to stink like regular, ole’ cabbage. At that point, chuck em.
For some reason the pictures don’t do this arrangement justice. In real life it’s HUGE, a little imposing and very striking. Like Jay Z. It’s the Jay Z of flower arrangements, this is. Supercute, impressive and a real looker.
Conversely – it is nothing like my mailman. Nothing.