Be sure to check out the SALES and CLEARANCE items on kitchen, home, and garden finds from my favorite home furnishing, food, and gift retailers 🙂
I am by no means an expert but like consider myself to be an enthusiastic flower “hobbyist”.
Nothing brings a house to life like fresh flowers, and while buying professional bouquets pretty much guarantees a gorgeous temporary display, I find it way more satisfying to put together a beautiful fall arrangement with florals from my yard and my local market. There are no hard and fast rules, just experimenting. I am by no means an expert but like consider myself to be an enthusiastic flower and gardening “hobbyist”. Today I'll share the few tips I do know and have found to be successful, as I think many of Not Entirely Average's readers are like minded and would love a beautiful fall arrangement as much as me.
Consider the shape and color of your container when selecting the flowers you plan to use.
No surprise, I am a huge fan of old copper. Tell you something you didn't already know, right? Back in the spring, I was out junkin' and looking for old jewelry at yard sales when I ran across this super cool copper coal scuttle. It is a unique object to begin with, and I envisioned that filling it with something in bloom would make a bold statement in the front entrance hall. I negotiated with the lady holding the sale. She sold me the coal scuttle for $4 down from $20, probably only because it was raining, and I was her only picker! Here we are in October and I am just now filling it for the first time.
The takeaway is to choose something you have around the house and that is unique. Consider its shape and color when selecting the flowers you plan to use. Is it waterproof? You might decide to arrange your blooms in an old wooden crate, and that's okay. Crates aren't waterproof as we know, so just make sure you have an insert to hold oasis and plenty of water - it'll be the sharpest looking wooden crate anybody's ever seen, I promise. Play around and get creative!
There’s no formula here in terms of what I am selecting, just choose what you’re drawn to and what’s in season.
A beautiful fall arrangement need not be any more than the blooms and a few unopened buds that remain on the rose bush before the first frost, gathered sweetly in a glass jar or a small vase. I rather enjoy nosegays and smaller arrangements tucked in and around the house. The little arrangements allow me to add a brightly colored fall leaf or two. They brighten the room and remind me that despite colder temperatures, life cycles of plants and trees and flowers are ever changing.
Today though, I made a trip to my local Trader Joe's. This copper coal scuttle is rather large. I anticipate that I will need quite a few flowers to fill it in nicely. For about $24, Trader Joe's will always supply me with what is in season, and with varieties of blooms I do not see at other markets. I plan to use magnolia branches I will cut fresh from a tree in my yard to fill in around the base to hide my water insert, and to lessen the number of flowers I must buy to fill in all of the gaps. There’s no formula here in terms of what I am selecting, just choose what you’re drawn to and what’s in season. More importantly, don’t be timid when it comes to mixing and matching textures, colors and bloom sizes. The more variety, the prettier the fall arrangement.
What You'll Need
A beautiful fall arrangement does not require too much more other than the vessel you intend to use and the florals, but I made my life easier the day I invested in a good pair of sharp shears. I also keep floral tape, long floral picks, and oasis at my potting station for big arrangements like this one. I definitely want the end result to visually appear a little wild and untamed, but by using a container with a large opening, the floral tape allows me to section it off and give each quad initial balance and overall stability for the flowers I will add.
Use a sharp pair of shears to cut your stems at a 45-degree angle submerged in a bucket of lukewarm water or under running water. A 45-degree angle allows the flowers to soak up more water than if they are simply trimmed straight across. Always keep the height of your container and the height of your finished arrangement in mind when trimming your blooms. I tend to keep them longer and cut as needed. Remember, you cannot add stem back once you've cut, but you can always go shorter. Pull any leaves off the bottom half of each flower stem.
Collect unique containers, boxes and vases, always. I stop at Goodwill a couple times a month and will always snag a few fun finds at flea markets and yard sales. It’s fun to have a variation of sizes and types. Today is all about this cool coal scuttle. Because I don't want to damage the inside, I am using a separate insert (old bucket) to house the oasis and hold the water. This scuttle is an unusual shape, so I had my father cut the insert roughly to fit the scuttle. Even after the arrangement is long gone, I can continue to use this insert by fitting it with fresh oasis. Thanks Dad!
Begin with greenery. As I mentioned earlier, I am using fresh magnolia branches from a tree in the yard. Gather 3 to 4 stems and fill in as a bunch versus one stem here, one stem there. Groupings look more bountiful overall, and the finished arrangement will look better.
Next add your smaller blooms, also in bunches, and then your larger blooms singularly to fill in where there are gaps. In this arrangement, the sunflowers and the apples are my large blooms. If your arrangement will be seen on all sides, spin it and make sure it looks beautiful from every angle. If you still have gaps, or if one side of the arrangement looks bigger than another, use additional greenery to balance things out. Ensure you keep your inner container filled with water, as those flowers will want to drink.
And Voilà! I kind of like it. I'd run across these pumpkin-looking stems at Trader Joe's - no idea what they are called, but they are enjoyable as part of this overall beautiful fall arrangement. I also found this fantastic thistle-looking orange flower that has a super sturdy stem. Made driving them into the oasis very easy. The apples just add a little something in my opinion, and they scream fall as much as the sunflowers do.
Overall, I am pleased with it. And it won't be too tall for where I intend to place it. Your turn! Now that you know a few flower arranging basics, it’s time to channel your inner creative to sculpt a beautiful floral arrangement to display in your home. I'd love to see photos and get feedback if you're inclined.