Farmer's, market centerpiece

One magnificent vegetable, such as an exquisite artichoke, is a natural focal point in these fast-and-easy arrangements (left).

Frame the main produce attraction with masses of bushy flowers, such as mustard, yarrow, or baby's-breath. Fresh flowers will need moist floral foam and occasional waterings to keep them from wilting. (If you prefer dried flowers, eliminate the water and the protective plastic liner.)

Dried artichokes or gourds make the display everlasting; they are available at crafts and floral-supply stores. You can also dry your own by placing a fresh artichoke or gourd on a baking rack and leaving it in a warm, dry area for several weeks. Turn it every few days to help air circulate around it. Some vegetables may decay before drying, so start with several in order to ensure that one will dry successfully.