An all-greenery arrangement from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden

A fresh take on foliage for the New Year

A January foliage bouquet from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
A January foliage bouquet from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden

January 6, 2024. An auspicious date that finds me yearning for the hope and comfort that the garden often provides. A temperature high of 44-degrees actually felt warmer, thanks to the weak winter sunshine (almost horizontal) seeping over the fence in the southwest corner of my backyard.

“I’m heading out to the greenhouse,” I told Bruce. He was nobly exercising on the stationary bicycle, but of course, I always count gardening as “exercise” when my doctor asks me how active I am. The greenhouse has a small heater and fan, so the warm, breezy interior lifted my mood. I decided to make an arrangement with what I could clip from the cutting garden and greenhouse, and here is what I made.

The vessel is a footed compote, circa early 20th century, according to my mother. It was her grandmother’s; my great-grandmother Flaura Winslow’s. A cut glass piece, it has been handed down through the matriarchy, and now resides on a shelf in our library. I had never used it for floral arranging, but a domed metal flower frog fit nicely inside, making it possible for me to create this lush greenery piece even though the bowl is 4-inches deep.

The ingredients from the greenhouse include three types of scented and variegated fancy-leaf pelargoniums (varieties long forgotten because I overwinter them each year for replanting in my patio containers come summer).

Ingredients from the garden include the variegated red-stemmed leucothoe and a few early stems of cerinthe that had self-seeded in the gravel path. I stuck a little bit cut from the glossy green Pieris japonica toward the back, just to prop up some of the tender pelargonium cuttings.

All this fresh, new growth, in such a vivid array of lemon yellow, blue-green, deep maroon, and creamy white varigation, worked its magic on my spirit today. To think this vessel is more than a century old, and that I can celebrate my female elders with my pretty display of greenery, it’s promising.

Variegated pelargonium
Cuttings from the greenhouse, where I have an abundance of fancy-leaf pelargonium plants
Leucothoe detail
Leucothoe detail
A tiny-leaf pelargonium
A tiny-leaf pelargonium
Love the foliage drama in the midst of winter
Love the foliage drama in the midst of winter
Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)