It is undeniable, fall is here. Crisp air, gorgeous colors on the trees and in the clear sunset skies. Sunflowers, Yellow Solidago, Orange Lillies, Carthamus, and Seeded Eucalyptus capture the perfect fall palette of colors and texture. Here are a few tips on how to create your own...
beautiful expression of fall beauty! I love to take flowers for hostess gifts (your Thanksgiving Dinner host!), birthday presents, and more; I truly enjoy the experience working with them and how personal a gift it is. I made this bouquet for a friend's baby sprinkle, along with some little gifts for her sweet baby girl on the way.
For this arrangement I used a pre-packaged bouquet from a local market. Lillies shed pollen (that stains and is quite messy) so I began by clipping the stamen from the center, holding the lilly on its side so they would fall directly into the sink without spilling more dark pollen onto the petals.
I left them long, simply clipping away the very point where the anther meets the filaments, so not truly removing the entire stamen. You can of course clip the entire stamen lower into the flower's center.
To prolong the life of your bouquet, ensure that stems are clean. Any submerged leaves lead to rapid decay. You can clip or pull leaves, I like to squeeze my fingertips and slide downward to 'shear' off the leaves in one simple motion. For this bouquet I cleared approximately 6" of each stem.
I love to recycle and save every glass bottle or jar that I can possibly reuse. I store seeds from my garden, rice, dry goods, and also re-use as flower vases. During flower prep I heated a cup of water to a boil, the set the mason jar into the hot water to soften label adhesive. Using a plastic gift card/credit card I scraped the label off and used dish soap and an abrasive sponge to further remove small areas of residue. Soaking the jar while I prepped the floral stems was a great way to multitask. Be sure to rinse thoroughly as soap will rapidly kill flowers if left in their water supply.
To make the arrangement last longer, dissolve 1 Tbsp each of sugar and white vinegar in a small measuring cup. Once your jar or vase is ready, fill 3/4 of the way with fresh cold water, adding in the sugar and vinegar solution. For larger vases double the amount of solution.
Using the floral shears, clip your floral stems an angle to the desired height of your arrangement. If in doubt, leave the stem longer, you can always trim again. I usually begin with my largest or most important flowers. Place the stems at a 45 degree angle, so that the bottom of the stem is at the opposite side of where the bloom lands. As you add blooms you will build structure and they will stay in place without need for tape/reinforcement.
Once you have placed the most important flowers (in this bouquet, the Sunflowers, Lillies and Carthamus) being to work with your filler. Be sure to look at your bouquet from eye level, not just from above, to keep balance and avoid empty sections. Eucalyptus, featured in the photo above, can be clipped into several pieces. Cut at intersections where heartier branches break away. Place these under the larger flowers and around the center to add height. In my arrangement I chose to elongate two of the sides to add width and dimension vs a simple round shape of the mason jar, using the eucalyptus.
I collect ribbons, love to have high textures and colors, so I always have the perfect one on hand. Since leaves and stems concealed the top of the mason jar I opted for a shimmery gold that would attract light and attention. Cut the bottoms of the ribbon at an angle.
Your beautiful floral gift is ready! Transport carefully using a small cardboard box, wrap tissue paper or bags to reinforce vase or jar. To make the bouquet last longer, change water daily and add another portion of sugar/vinegar mixture mentioned above. Your thoughtful, heartfelt gift of fall beauty will no doubt make a wonderful impression!