Hello, Loft & Cottage readers. I am thrilled that Casey asked me here today—her blog is one of my very favorites!
Plus, I couldn't be more pleased to show you a few floral design
tips and ideas for arranging beautiful fall foliage!
Here are five different arrangements I made using clippings from just a few trees and plants.
This tall arrangement has not a single flower in it, and might have looked a bit boring if I had used only one type of foliage. As in interior design, focus on using light/dark contrast, texture, color, shape, and varying size when arranging flowers and foliage. I added a grape vine leaf or two inside the vase for added color and pattern.
These mums were the few left alive from an arrangement I made last week. I grouped them together in a dome shape in my hand and used floral tape to secure the stems—but any kind of tape would work. After putting the domed mums in a mint julep cup, I tucked in leaves around the arrangement. (You could use a glass votive for this purpose as well.) Perfect for the bedside table, bathroom, or other small space.
Even though the leaves from this branch haven't begun to change, the just-ripening figs have an autumn harvest feel. I had to trim away a lot of fig leaves in order for the fruit to show, so don't be afraid to prune your branches a bit when you get them into a vase. Using branches with berries, fruit, or seeds adds interest.
I make this "arrangement" every year. Simply put unripened pairs on a tray or in a bowl and tuck in autumn leaves. Unshelled nuts add a nice touch too. When the pears ripen, eat them, and then buy more the next time you are at the store for a display that will last the entire season.
Arrange autumn leaves in a vase, the way you would flowers, making sure to let some hang over the edge of the vase. To add interest, tuck a group of different colored fruit, berries, or flowers off-center near the lip of the vase. Kind of like tucking a fresh bloom behind your ear. Here I used foliage from a liquid amber tree. The spiky fruit is also from that tree, and unripened figs are still attached to their branches, which help keep them in place.
Below are some tips for bringing branches indoors, arranging them, and keeping them alive.
Unless the temperatures have dipped pretty low at night, I'd spray the branches with a hose to remove insects and spiders. If the leaves have changed color, tug at a few of them first to determine whether they can withstand a good spray.
Smash the end of woody material with a hammer so that the branch can more easily take up water.
If you want your display to last longer, use a clean vase and one drop of bleach to keep bacteria growth in the water at bay. This is true for arrangements made with flowers too. Don't worry, it won't harm the plants at all.
Using your non-dominant hand as a kind of vase, arrange branches in a way that pleases you and then use floral wire, or even scotch tape, to secure your branches together. Then plop them in the vase. Heavy branches can be unwieldy otherwise! (Don't expect your manicure to last while you are doing this!)
This is the fig branch I used in the third arrangement above. Even though the opening to the vase is narrow, I couldn't get the branch to face the direction I wanted it to go. So, I used scotch tape to tape it to the vase. No one will notice.
You can read more tips and tricks for arranging flowers on my blog here.
Thank you for having me, Casey. I hope you have a wonderful time in Italy. I look forward to reading posts by other guest bloggers—and to seeing what your designing eye took note of while you were there!