Dried Sunflowers with Black Tomatoes in a Terracotta Jug | Floristry Design Tutorial

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This year for reasons I’m still trying to fathom out, I decided it was a great idea to plant sunflowers amongst my vegetable garden. I think I was channelling companion planting and shade protection and OK, I’ll admit it - a visual joy to look at, out my office window to see giant bronzy red sunflowers. Issue - this season has been amazing. Long warm sunny days, with lots of evening rain and the sunflowers took root and have not only reached for the sky, they multi-budded. Being a ‘waste not want not’ girl, I just can’t not let those that fall and continue falling to waste. They are out of control and extremely top heavy, which got me thinking long and hard about a design in which they could be used, thus the design I’m sharing today.

I’ve never grown the red variety of sunflowers and I’m not sure whether they will seed – but they will because that’s what a sunflower does. My latest greatest idea is to bring them indoors and with the warmth and dryness of the kitchen it’s going to be fun watching what happens. I could have plonked them into a vase, but because they are so visually interesting, a hunt around the garden shed unearthed a wonderful unglazed Italian styled jug which I think works nicely with the rustic tonal value of the sunflowers.

Things to gather:
- Rustic terracotta container – because mine has a hole in the base and isn’t water-proof, I inserted a glass vase down inside the jug. The sunflowers still have life in them and will definitely still require water.
- I also incorporated willow to give movement to the design, but any kind of bare fruiting tree branch/s would work nicely.
- Sunflowers of your choice. The number required will depend on the size of your container.
- AND because the tomatoes are also fast ripening & to save them from the birds, I felt the colour-way a lovely accompaniment to the blooms hanging and cascading down the front of the jug, to slowly ripen. After all they’ve lived together for months, seemed a shame not to keep them together a little longer. I love the look of the dull dark centres of the sunflowers and the dark shiny roundness of the tomatoes!

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