Sustainable bouquet

How to Make a Sustainable Centrepiece

Build a fresh bouquet for your table that you won’t throw away.

Whether it’s featured on your dining table or delivered to a friend, a fresh kale and herb bouquet provides a refreshing twist to the usual centrepieces and will certainly be a topic conversation at your holiday table. Because it’s made from mostly edible greens, this stunning arrangement serves a second purpose as an assortment of ingredients in your future meals. This means zero waste!

The herbs can be kept in water and displayed on your table or countertop for three or four days. If you pop it in the refrigerator at night, it will last longer. It’s a practical and unique idea that’s easy to make. Here’s what you need to know to create your own sustainable bouquet table arrangement and what you will need:

Fresh greens:

  • Tuscan kale (also known as black kale and has dark blue-green stems)
  • Curly leafed kale
  • Fresh green herbs like parsley, tarragon, mint, dill and rosemary
  • Herbs with silver-green foliage like sage 
  • Herbs in flower like basil
  • Small broccoli stems 
  • A few stems of flowers from your garden or houseplants (here, we used Helleborus)
  • Beautiful garden foliage to contrast with dark green like silver, burgundy or chartreuse (here, we used the silver foliage of the dusty miller plant) 


  • Sharp scissors or pruners 
  • Raffia or natural string 

Step 1: Prep the stems. Your first step is to lay out the stems and clean any excess greenery off the bottom of each one. Make sure you reserve any castoffs to use in your salads, stir-fry, pesto and other favourite dishes.

Step 2: Begin building your bouquet with the tallest greens. In this case, it’s the black kale so start with that and then nestle the frilly kale beside it and turn the bouquet to complete this step all the way around. 

Step 3: Layer in different textures and colours of herb foliage and veggie stems. Continue tucking in other herbs wherever you think they’ll look good.  There’s no right or wrong way to do it so just have fun and be creative.  

Step 4: Continue to lay single stems into the bouquet until it is full. As your bouquet grows, it will get easier to hold the stems in your hand. 

Step 5: Clip additional flowers from your garden and/or houseplants and add them in. 

Step 6: Once the bouquet is full, adjust your stems. Holding the bouquet loosely allows you to wiggle any stems into place and alter the arrangement.

Step 7: Wrap the bouquet with raffia or string and clip the stems to be the same length. 

Step 8: Use as needed and enjoy the kale and the flavourful fresh herbs in your cooking. 

Watch Jen make this arrangement on CTV’s Your Morning show.

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Every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment, our climate and the world around us, so now more than ever, it’s time to adopt a few new habits. For more fun & easy ways to live sustainably, check out these planet-friendly activities.
The Harrowsmith Countdown to Earth Day is brought to you in partnership with Oroweat Organic bread. Learn more about Oroweat Organic and how they are helping the earth by clicking here.

Jennifer Reynolds
Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, our Editor-in-Chief, is a long-time authority in gardening, do-it-yourself projects, urban sustainability, parenting, placemaking and community matters. Her features and columns have been published in Canadian Living, Canadian Family, Gardening Life, House & Home, Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star & more. Plus, her designs and expertise have been featured on dozens of HGTV, W Network and CTV shows.

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Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2022
Harrowsmith Magazine | Spring 2023 | Now Available

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