“Laissez les bons temps rouler.” Or, if your Cajun French is bit rusty: “Let the good times roll.” This phrase embodies the Mardi Gras holiday, best known for the debauchery that occurs in the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday. Yet, Mardi Gras is largely a religious and family holiday. As gardeners, that means it’s time to make Mardi Gras-themed floral arrangements to decorate our tables and homes.
Creating Mardi Gras Decorations
The Mardi Gras season comes to a climax on Fat Tuesday, the last day before the start of Lent. From King cakes to crawfish boils, the day centers on food, fun and indulging oneself before 40 days of abstinence begins on Ash Wednesday.
It’s the perfect time for creating Mardi Gras table decorations in the traditional colors of purple, green and gold. Chosen by Krewe of Rex in 1872, these colors each have a special meaning. The purple represents justice, the green means faith and the gold is power.
Whether you’re purchasing cut flowers from the florist or you’re picking them from the garden, you’ll find spring blooming flowers to be abundant during the Mardi Gras season. Here’s a list of flowers and foliage which are perfect for creating Mardi Gras decoration ideas such as centerpieces, door wreaths and boutonnieres.
Flowers and Foliage for Mardi Gras Themed Floral Arrangements
- Allium – As a relative of the onion, the purple ball-like flowers of Allium are perfect for Mardi Gras table decorations. Vase life: 1 to 2 weeks.
- Columbine – For the longest lasting cut flowers, harvest the intriguing blossoms of Columbine as they open. Vase life: 1 to 2 weeks.
- Dahlia – Available in a variety of colors and petal shapes, Dahlias add visual interest to Mardi Gras themed floral arrangements. Vase life: 1 week.
- Fern – The delicate laciness of a leather fern leaf incorporates both texture and Mardi Gras green to flower arrangements. Vase life: 1-3 weeks.
- Foxglove – Choose purple or yellow varieties of foxglove, then use the spike-like racemes to add height or lines to flower arrangements. Vase life: 2 weeks.
- Hyacinth – Available in shades of yellow and lavender, the spiky flowers of hyacinth add both visual interest and vertical lines to Mardi Gras decorations. Vase life: 1 week.
- Ivy – The triangular leaves of ivy, which gently cascade along flexible stems, make this evergreen foliage plant ideal for wreaths or for adding flow to live arrangements. Vase life: 2 weeks.
- Myrtle – The glossy leaves of the evergreen Myrtle not only supply the green color needed for Mardi Gras decorations, but also adds a lovely fragrance to the room. Vase life: 1- 2 weeks.
- Narcissus – Use the brilliant yellow color and fun shape of daffodil flowers to embody the spirit of the Mardi Gras season. Vase life: 7 to 10 days.
- Siberian Iris – As the inspiration for the fleur de lis flower, the classic lines and deep purple color of the Siberian iris creates a focal point in flower arrangements. Vase life: 5-7 days.
- Tulips – For one of the quickest Mardi Gras decoration ideas, fill a vase with brilliant shades of yellow and purple tulip flowers. Vase life: 7-10 days.
- Yarrow – The brilliant yellow, multi-flowered heads of yarrow add a splash of color and texture to Mardi Gras themed floral arrangements. Vase life: 1 week.