Thomas J. Story
Pile lush heirloom tomatoes in a footed bowl for a jolt of hot late-summer color on your outdoor table. This arrangement couldn't be easier to do, and if you select tomatoes on the firm side, it will last for several days.
1. Start with the greenery. Here we wound a vine called love-in-a-puff (Cardiospermum halicacabum) around the sides of the container to create a halo that frames the fruit. (Other greens like passion vine and nasturtium also work well.) Poke the ends in small water tubes to keep the greens fresh.
2. Gather tomatoes in a variety of sizes and colors from your local produce stand, a farmers' market, or your garden, and tuck them among the greenery. The weight of the tomatoes will secure the water tubes and anchor the vine.
3. Finish with a few more twirls of the greens. If desired, add small flowers ― we used nasturtium blooms, but other good choices are daisies, garden roses, and calendula.
Love-in-a-puff seeds are available from Nichols Garden Nursery in Albany, Oregon www.nicholsgardennursery.com or 541/928-9280).