The beauty of millet


Here's that millet I told you about in a recent post. Besides being a popular ingredient in bird seed, this ancient grain is supposed to be a great source of protein. It's a fine hot cereal on its own, and tasty combined with oats and other porridges. In my house, the recipe can get quite crowded!

Millet is also a favorite of floral designer Helen Pettengill, and you can see why. It's got great color, as well as height and texture.

I'd love to have a workshop like Helen's, which is in an old goat barn. She's got room to store her sprigs of bittersweet and stalks of millet behind the barn - with room to spare. Which is great, considering all the oddball stuff she collects to use in her arrangements - sorghum, yarrow, grapevine (collected along the highway), oak, maple and fig leaves, all sorts of sedums, celosia, blue-green cedar and holly branches, nandina, pine cones, solidago ...

Hanging out with Helen is really instructive. You begin to think about design a whole new way. Although it's certainly possible to be creative with flowers you buy, even ones from the supermarket, using these unusual things sounds like a lot of fun. A little scary for the uninitiated, but experimentation doesn't have to be unnerving.

Feel free to quote me on that, to do as I say not as I do, and be sure you have friends around the table!