This is the time of year when there are flowers in the garden to pick. But there are times when we need a bouquet, and we just don’t have quite enough flowers. This is when filler is really important.
Filler is plant material that we combine with flowers to fill the bunch out. It can be foliage or sprays of little flowers such as baby’s breath, and it is used to supplement and enhance the available blossoms.
Professional florists use filler to not only flatter the flowers but also to keep the costs down.
Herbs such as mint, oregano and dill provide excellent filler, as they are plentiful, inexpensive and fragrant as well as lasting well.
Dark purple ‘Opal’ basil is a handsome addition to any bouquet of yellow flowers like black-eyed Susans, though any type of basil will work with most flowers.
Of course, the soft grey color of lavender and sage complements any flower hue, and lambs’ ears’ flower spires—as well as the leaves—make extremely versatile filler because of the texture as well as the color.
In the fall, berries can be gleaned from crepe myrtle, viburnum and callicarpa shrubs to blend with many types of flowers.
Take a tip from florists and cut golden rod before the flowers spires open when they are a soft yellow tinged with green and no pollen has been dispersed.
Experiment with the various types of evergreen and deciduous foliage growing in your yard, so that you learn what works well as filler with a range of different flowers at different times of the year.