Thursday, November 8, 2012

Autumn Glory

look and you will be rewarded

If you look carefully at your landscape, you'll see that  Fall is a fabulous time to create a beautiful arrangement.  In addition to the unique colors of the foliage and flowers, you will also find beautiful berries.  Everything you see here came from my garden: yellow Chrysanthemum, little yellow broccoli flowers, broccoli seed pods, Callicarpa (purple berries), Bittersweet (yellow and orange berries), Calendula (orange daisy-like flowers), anemone seed pods (round green seed pods), and Rumex Sanguineus (green leaves with red veins).

 combining your treasures 

The cheerful bright color of the yellow Chrysanthemum caught my eye.  I decided that they will be the focal point of my arrangement.  Having decided that the big yellow flowers would be my focal point and anchor for my arrangement, I went in search of supporting flora with the same color scheme and hues: light yellow and orange.  Because orange is such an Autumn color, it's important to have lots of that color in the arrangement.  Once the color scheme is selected, the next important step is to add a few strokes of another color that is eye-catching and is in stark contrast with the main color scheme.  Here, I chose purple.  The wonderful and unusual color of the Callicarpa is perfect for several reasons: it has stunning deep purple berries that will definitely jump out, and its branches are graceful, whimsical and free form.  These berries provide a sharp contrast to the Chrysanthemum not only in color, but also in structure.  Unlike the randomness of the Callicarpa strands, the Chrysanthemum has petals that carefully and systematically unfold as the flowers open.  Which brings me to the next design suggestion: a complex arrangement should have not only multiple colors (at least 3), but it should also have flora of varying shapes, textures, and sizes.  Whimsical branches, such as those of the Callicarpa and Bittersweet, add airiness to the arrangement, while the structured petals of the Chrysanthemum provide stability to the arrangement.  The little yellow broccoli flowers and broccoli seed pods help soften the contrast between the Callicarpa/Bittersweet and the Chrysanthemum.  Balance is key in creating a harmonious arrangement.

a closer look

now go outside and have fun!

Venture out into your garden and you will be rewarded with something beautiful.  Alternatively, you can collect whatever flora you may have in your garden and then visit a local florist for whatever else you need.  If you live in the Washington Metropolitan area, be sure to visit Company Flowers (2107 N Pollard St., Arlington, VA 22207; 703-525-3062).  Marnie Nicholson keeps an amazing selection of flowers, berries, seed pods, leaves, and branches.  Jane and Betty, two of the designers, can help you with your selection.  Tell Marnie, Jane, and Betty I sent you.  

enjoy the beauty that Autumn has to offer,


1.  To maximize the life of your arrangement, you should follow a few simple, but important care tips: 
  • Fill a clean container with fresh warm water and add flower preservative.  Do not use more than the recommended dosage.
  • Cut the flowers in a diagonal direction, approximately 1-inch from the base of the stems, with a sharp knife or scissors.  This will expose as wide a surface of the stems as possible to enable them to absorb water.
  • Remove any foliage that will touch the water to reduce bacterial contamination of the water.
  • Revitalize your flowers by re-cutting the stems and placing them in fresh water every 2 to 3 days.  This step can be frustrating if you try to keep the same arrangement.  In a few days, I will share with you what I do when I "refresh" my arrangements. 
  • Keep your arrangement in a cool area away from the sun.
2.  I grew broccoli this Spring.  We ate some and left about three stalks to flower and seed.  Broccoli flowers and seed pods are fabulously charming in the Autumn landscape and they can tolerate the Autumn chill quite well.


  1. Beautiful, Christa! You have a great eye for color and arrangement.

  2. Great tips and lovely plants!

    I am growing broccoli right now, but having lots of challenges with cutworms and all sorts of pests. Plus, it seems they are not growing too vigorously... I think I needed to amend the soil a bit more...

    I love growing things but also, I love bringing nature into my house too. I love how you've incorporated wild life into your photos too.

    Evnious of your farm and all the lovely wilderness.

    1. Hi Tomoko,

      Don't give up on the broccoli. Fresh broccoli is delicious and its flowers and seed pods are adorable. In a few days, I will post 2 arrangements that feature broccoli flowers and seed pods. I think you will like them. They are very simple and sweet.

      I am like you, I always bring nature into my house. I love to watch wildlife, especially those with wings. They are very peaceful as they go about their activities. In our Harmony Garden (I will post some pictures of this garden soon), we have all sorts of flying visitors. They don't seem to mind me when I visit their garden. It's a real treat to be among them and watch them.

      Thank you for sharing with me your interest. We love our farm. It's beautiful and peaceful. I have taken lots of picture (and will continue to take lots more) and will share them on this blog. I hope you will enjoy them.

      I hope to hear from you again. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Christa

  3. Hi Christa,

    Beautiful photos and floral arrangement. Great job!


    1. Hi Mei,
      Thanks. I am glad you liked them. I am going to post some more pictures in a few days. Christa

  4. Hi Christa,
    I love your blog! I especially like the close-up pictures showing the detail of the beautiful varieties of flowers, berries, etc. used in creating your elegant arrangement. Your pictures from the farm are breathtaking! All these gorgeous pictures truly reflect, and are the essence of, "Autumn Glory!" Way to go Christa!


    1. Hi Mary, I am so glad you love my blog. Thank you for your specific comments. They are very helpful because they give me guidance as to what my readers like to see. I have just published another post. I hope you like it. Christa

  5. Hello Christa! What a treat to read through your blog--a visual treat. You have a good eye for photography as well for creating wreaths and floral arrangements. I enjoyed reading about them as well as seeing them. You are so encouraging to your readers and you give good, concrete tips. Thank you for sharing your experiences! Happy Thanksgiving, Lise

    P.S. I used Emily's account to post

    1. Hi Lise, thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad you enjoyed the photos and found the information useful. Please visit again. Happy Thanksgiving, Christa