Flower arrangements are evolving, becoming more naturalistic, asymmetrical, and unstructured, to be more in tune with our comfortable homes and unfussy lifestyles. There are some gorgeous flowers out there these days, and I want to share a few ideas as the holidays approach. The flowers below, Queen Anne’s lace, rosehips, David Austin Juliet roses, heather, clematis, and copper beech leaves are not things you’d commonly see in one bouquet – yet it works, because the flowers are gathered into loose clumps, not scattered throughout, and allowed to bow and loop and sprawl wherever they like in the manner of a Dutch still life. The colors may not be standard either, and that’s part of their charm.
A centerpiece for Thanksgiving Day doesn’t have to be a prim globe of mums – it doesn’t have to be flowers at all! This combination of kales, dusty miller, and white and green gourds (supplemented with porcelain berries from the invasive vines growing in the park), don’t need watering or fussing over. Just pile them in the middle of the table in a way that makes you happy.
It’s welcoming to put a small arrangement into a guest room, and this Royal Doulton Toby jug of marigolds and asclepias, with a few dried coneflower centers brought in from the garden, is a colorful and happy autumn look.
If you’re like my family, and spend lots of time hanging out in the kitchen, doesn’t it make sense to put the flowers where you live? I used maple leaves, rosehips, and porcelain berries in one of my favorite containers – an old copper trophy that says “Beadleston Cup, Geese, Monmouth County Fair, Red Bank 1912.” What a great reason to win a prize at the fair – for the best geese! Doesn’t it make you wonder who won it? There must be a story there…
Finally, if you think you have no floral abilities whatsoever, this arrangement should make you feel better – take two branches from the nearest tree, stick them in an interesting vase – and you have a contemporary statement about your personal floral aesthetic. So easy and yet pleasing to the eye.