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How to Use Pumpkins with Flowers

Autumn has officially arrived, bringing changing leaf colors and pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins! Remember when they were all orange? Not so anymore.  There are so many amazing colors and even shapes to choose from, that it can be hard to make a decision.

Well…what works best for me is to know where (and how) I’d like to use my pumpkin, or sometimes multiple pumpkins.  This year I have a medium size orange pumpkin alongside a smaller white and orange striped pumpkin.  I have set them on a wooden console just outside my front door.  This decorative touch reminds me that fall has indeed arrived bringing a progression of beautiful, changing leaf colors.

At the first feel of fall in the air, my “inner florist” is always eager to see beautiful leaves, pumpkins, and berries gathered together in a container that will showcase their collective beauty.  One of my favorites is a pedestal container.  It is made of “antiqued” metal as its base.  Its metal ribs have strips of dark wicker woven through them.

I guess one could say that I like to put pumpkins on a pedestal, so let’s find out how that might look.  The empty pedestal is 10” tall and its flared top is 9” across.  My largest orange pumpkin is about 6.5” so I will need to put crumpled paper or a jar inside the wicker pedestal to keep the pumpkin from falling into the pedestal.  Fortunately, the pumpkin rests comfortably supported by the jar…whew!

Now I am ready to add a small orange and a small white pumpkin to the right of the larger one.  It’s starting to take shape and it’s time to add fall foliage. Unfortunately the only natural fall foliage that I have been able to harvest is yellow and green…no deeper colors yet.  So to make the best of the situation, I will add the stem with yellow and green leaves.  A water tube will allow me to do this…and I finally found a long stem with all yellow leaves.  The long stem helps to balance the visual weight of the “pumpkin on a pedestal”.  Absent any deeper leaf colors, I have decided to use silk leaves to complete the fall look that it really deserves.

I have a favorite wicker basket (one of many) that looks particularly charming when filled with fall mums and fall foliage!  It will need two water-tight liners which are ordinary plastic food storage containers.  They will each need a portion of a block of floral foam that is fully saturated with water.  Because the basket has a handle, it is easier to set them into the basket where they will sit side by side.

I have fully hydrated cut mum stems, and using sharp clippers have now arranged them in the basket…carefully cutting each stem under water as I insert each stem into the floral foam.  Next, I have added fall silk foliage, faux berries, and a couple of mini pumpkins.  The berries add dimension outside the basket edges.


By now, I am really longing for real fall foliage and bittersweet but have accepted that the overall effect has its own unique charm.  Notice that the rye stem clusters add needed height to help balance the weight of the overall finished arrangement.

The negative space between each rye stem cluster lightens the overall feeling of the design in much the same way as does the long stem of sparse yellow leaves in the pedestal arrangement.  I hope you will try this at home!

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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