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How to Create a Beautiful Arrangement for Fall Gatherings

Whether you’re having lots of guests or just a few to watch your favorite football team, or for Thanksgiving visitors your gathering will be more festive with beautiful flowers.  Think about whether the arrangement should be in the center of a table or on a buffet.  That will determine what container you choose and how you style it.

I have chosen an oval, rather ornate elongated pedestal container.  The arrangement will be viewed from the front side only because it will be on a sideboard (also known as a buffet).  The container looks like gray stone but is made from a composite material.

Materials to be used for the arrangement include real pumpkins, real fall leaves, silk fall leaves, pheasant feathers, an ear of artificial Indian corn, stems of artificial berries, natural rye and a piece of dark brown ribbon.  Part of the “charm” of using materials that don’t have to be in water is that you can display it until you are ready to decorate for Christmas or Hanukkah.

The container that I chose is rather shallow so I used small pieces of dry Oasis to prop the pumpkins on.  The arrangement includes 1 medium variegated pumpkin, 2 small orange pumpkins, 2 small white pumpkins, 1 stem of artificial berries, 3 stems of silk fall leaves, 2 pheasant feathers, 2 bundles of natural rye, and 1 piece of dark brown ribbon.

Tools and dry materials that were needed include floral clippers, a wire cutter, brown floral tape, and a knife to cut the Oasis into pieces about 1 half inch thick.  The wire cutters and wire were used to lengthen the wire stems of the artificial silk stems.  The brown floral tape was used to cover the bare wire.

To begin the floral design, I placed several pieces of dry Oasis in the bottom of the container to prop up the materials that will be used.  Then I started the design by placing the medium variegated pumpkin in the center of the container propped up by another small piece of Oasis. Next came the ear of Indian corn placed on it’s side behind the variegated pumpkin.  Then, I added one white and one orange small pumpkin on each side of the variegated pumpkin. Then came the two bundles of natural rye with about 8 stems of rye in each bundle.  Natural rye is sort of a cousin of wheat.  The bundles of rye were held together with a section of wire, then covered with brown floral tape to form a stem.  Next came 1 stem of orange artificial berries, and three stems of artificial silk leaves…and of course, the two pheasant feathers.  As an accent, I added a piece of brown ribbon.

The variegated pumpkin is the focal point of the design.  Every good floral design must have a focal point!

The empty container is 18 inches long, 8 and one half inches wide and 7 inches tall.  The finished design is 11 inches tall, 25 inches long, and 10 inches wide.  I hope you will enjoy creating a beautiful fall gathering arrangement.

I must confess…I did use 2 stems of fresh fall leaves and I put them in water tubes to keep them well hydrated.  These, of course will not last until Christmas.

by Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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