Making the Most of summer: Hosta Coasters, Salal Chargers

Published April 27, 2015

Pretty Placemats from fresh salal leaves

The summer seems to slip by so fast and it’s nice to enjoy some outdoor entertaining while we can. If you are planning a late summer barbeque then here are a few fun summer party ideas you may like to incorporate into your next table setting.


Hosta Coasters

It seems many gardens are currently boasting these beautiful perennials and they can be such versatile plants for our dining tables. One of the prettiest uses is to cut a few leaves at the base of their stem and wash them of any debris. Use the leaf as a coaster on your wood table.


Salal Chargers

The salal leaf is very hearty and dries beautifully for later uses. Purchase some inexpensive, round placemats at the Dollar Store and cut 3 to 5 branches of salal from your garden. If you do not have salal on your property then it can be purchased from a local nursery or floral shop. Clean the leaves of any dirt or debris and let dry. With a glue gun, carefully glue one leaf at a time in a concentric circle from the outside working toward the inside of the placemat. Fill the whole placemat with the salal leaves until the circle is completely covered. When finished, the charger will look like a large, green flower. Place your plate on top of the charger before the dinner party.


Natural Rosemary Barbeque Skewers

Nothing looks prettier than a shish kabob made from a twig of rosemary. These little herb twigs look fabulous with chicken or lamb kabobs. Choose sturdy, thick stems of rosemary and clean one end. Be aware that whatever you cook on these stems will take on the flavor of rosemary. Which, in my opinion is a bonus.



Don’t forget about those beautiful hydrangea flower heads that are sitting in your garden. These stems can be brought inside and placed in a vase for your centerpiece. Be sure to shake them of any bugs and soak the heads in cool water for 10-15min to revive the heads. The hydrangeas can be dried after your dinner party and used for a permanent arrangement for the fall. The best way to dry them is to choose heads that are at full maturity and lay them on a flat, dry surface in a cool room. The younger heads may not dry as well and tend to shrivel up so it’s best to pick the older, more mature flower heads for this purpose.