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Arrangements To Fall For

Creating bouquets that celebrate the bounty of the season.

Pumpkins and other fall produce are a popular addition to autumn floral arrangements.

Pumpkins and other fall produce are a popular addition to autumn floral arrangements.

— As temperatures drop and entertaining transitions indoors, fall floral arrangements take center stage. Whether made from pumpkins and dahlias or cumquats and mums, local design pros offer suggestions for turning the bounty of the season into autumnal masterpieces.

Create a field-inspired arrangement by sculpting a pumpkin to use as a vase. “Sometimes we will hollow out a pumpkin, put a liner in it and make an arrangement with mums, pretty fall leaves and millet or bittersweet,” said Evelyn Kinville of the Behnke Florist Shop in Potomac. “In fall we use more casual containers such as terracotta pots. Wire baskets, lined with moss, make nice containers for fall arrangements too.”

Bring the outside indoors by adding natural elements. “Certain types of twigs are very popular, like birch twigs, curly willow twigs, red twig dogwood or yellow twig dogwood stems. You can mix them in with fresh flowers and you get a lot of height,” said David Martin of Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers in Maryland and Washington, D.C. “You can also mix in dried elements such as preserved fall leaves, preserved wheat barley, oat or other grains.”

Dress up a table with a symbol of an abundant harvest: a cornucopia. “Use very realistic-looking, faux fruit like apples and miniature corn,” said Kinville. “Adding smaller pumpkins works well too.”

Incorporate fruit for a wilt-free arrangement. “Pears work well or cumquats which are smaller, but have a pretty orange color,” said Kinville. “Pomegranates are nice in arrangements and come in fall colors too.”

Use sunflowers to warm up cool weather bouquets. “While the traditional yellow is great, you can often find them this time of year in bright orange or red,” said Ann O'Shields of The Nest Egg in Fairfax, Va. Kinville adds, “Some people like sunflowers at Thanksgiving as well as dahlias and roses which come in beautiful fall tones,” she said. “I especially like Leonidas roses which have a beautiful coppery color on the inside of the petals, while the outside is more of an old-gold color.”

“Sometimes we will hollow out a pumpkin, put a liner in it and make an arrangement with mums, pretty fall leaves and millet or bittersweet.” — Evelyn Kinville of the Behnke Florist Shop in Potomac, Md. 

For a spooky, but chic arrangement, add animation. “When it comes to Halloween, especially for parties, we take moving elements — everything from a Grim Reaper figurine that walks in place to a skull that laughs and screams and cackles — that get set in the middle of an arrangement, surrounded by dark, almost black roses,” said Martin. “It’s fun because it gives you an unexpected element. Instead of it just being pretty, people look at it and it comes alive.”