While you may be tempted to drop cash money on an expensive floral arrangement, sometimes all you need are a few "weeds" to create a great, inexpensive centerpiece. Queen Anne's Lace (also known as "wild carrot" - when you trim the stems you'll notice a faint carrot smell!) is one of my favorite "weeds" to use as a centerpiece. The flowers of the plant have tiny white flowers that bloom in lacy, flat top clusters. Queen Anne's Lace grows on the side of the road in ditches and in fields, especially in the US and Europe. Queen Anne's was always around during my summers on the finger lakes in upstate New York when I was growing up, which is partly why I am so drawn to them.
I picked the Queen Ann's lace in the vase pictured above during a walk around Keuka Lake (one of the Finger Lakes in NY) last summer when we rented a house on the lake. With nowhere convenient to buy flowers before friends came over, the little miss and I took a walk on the country road outside our house to gather a bunch of Queen Anne's Lace for a casual lake-side dinner party. I found a decorative pottery piece in the house to use as a vase and the no-fuss, inexpensive centerpiece was perfect for the laid-back setting. I've also Queen Anne's Lace in glass mason jars for a just gathered farm-to-table country centerpiece, and put single Queen Anne's Lace stems in wine bottles with the labels peeled off for a more sophisticated, urban look for a dinner party in my apartment in NYC.
So if you live or summer in the country or the burbs, take a walk outside and see what's growing wild on the side of the road before you hit the grocery store or the florist. Just be sure to keep your mitts off flowers on other people's property, or those planted for public enjoyment in community areas ("don't pick the daisies" as they say).
Do you have a favorite wild flower or weed that you use as a centerpiece? Share in the comments!