Category Archives: Flowers

Ideas for Autumn Centerpieces

It’s Fall and the weather in Phoenix is beginning to cool down.  Once the temperature drops to the 80’s, I get inspired to begin decorating for Halloween and the Fall season. Here’s five fun ideas I’ve discovered that you may be inspired to replicate in your home.  Any of these creations can be incorporated as a centerpiece, or as part of a holiday-inspired vignette on your mantel, side table, or kitchen island.

Photo from Martha Stewart Living

1.  This easy to create idea comes from Martha Stewart.  Scoop out a medium to large-sized orange or white pumpkin.  In this photo, she used a white one to create a vase to function as a centerpiece on her festive table.  It is filled with a bundle of fresh flowers including roses, daffodils, ranunculuses, calla lilies, tulips and berries. The flowers are in Autumn’s best colors: orange, shades of peach and yellow. Surrounding the large pumpkin vase, she placed a number of smaller pumpkins in assorted sizes, along with small votive candles.  This elegant idea is perfect for both Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations.

Photo from Better Homes & Gardens

2.  A fun Chartreuse green centerpiece is made up of just picked Granny Smith apples, nestled next to a large green pillar candle, all arranged in a giant glass bowl.  This clever idea comes from Better Homes & Garden.  The same concept could be created with red apples and a red candle for Christmas decorating.

Photo from Better Homes & Gardens

3.  It doesn’t get any easier than this!   This large pumpkin is trimmed out with a twirling branch from a bittersweet vine.  Dried fruit, nuts and seeds can be scattered below.  Another great idea from Better Homes & Gardens.

Photo from Better Homes & Gardens

4.  In this photo, Better Homes & Gardens fills a rusty antique urn with dried corn stalks and sprigs of wheat to create the base.  It is simply topped off with a bright orange pumpkin.

5.  Lastly, a simple pumpkin is hallowed out and filled with assorted fall leaves to create a very simple, yet festive idea.  Can’t you see several sizes of these centered on your dining room table?

Adding a few inspired designs to your table at this time of year invites the fun, Autumn holidays into your home.

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Filed under Decorating, Flowers, Holiday, Rooms, Tablescapes

Keeping Flowers Fresh

Fresh blooms are a festive way to brighten up your home when entertaining.  The coffee table, kitchen island and your dining table will all benefit by a vase full of beautiful and colorful flowers.

When purchasing cut flowers from a farmers market, florist, grocery or neighborhood nursery, always look over the green foliage and make certain that it doesn’t look wilted.  You want the stems to be firm and not limp.  If they lack strength or structure, then the flowers are already beginning to deteriorate and you should look for a fresher bunch.

Select the type of vase you plan to use.  Anything from a crystal heirloom container to a metal bucket, or perhaps this ornate Brocade Vase from Biltmore Inspirations ($48.98), will make a lovely centerpiece.

Brocade Vase from Biltmore Inspirations

When you are ready to arrange the flowers, ensure that the vase is clean by rinsing the container with soapy, warm water before using.  Fill the vase halfway with clear, cool water.  Using a scissors, trim away any excess or damaged foliage from each single stem.  Keep the best-looking leaves that are the closest to the neck of the flower, plucking away all of the remaining leaves.  Also, you do not want any leaves resting below the water line in the vase because this will cause the water to become cloudy very quickly.

Using a pair of sharp clippers, make a 45-degree angle cut to each flower stem, clipping off at least two inches from the base to remove any damaged or dried stems.  Cutting at this angle ensures that the maximum amount of water will enter the straw like tube of the stem, resulting in more water going directly to the flower head.  If your plant has a woody stem, cut an additional inch-long cut up the center of the stem to allow more water to be absorbed.

Check the water every other day, and replace as needed.  The stems are only alive as long as they are drinking water.  If the water becomes cloudy, replace it immediately.  You should also check the stems after a few days and if they seem mushy, cut off the deteriorated section, and return the flowers to fresh water.

If some of the stems start fading away, trim those off too.  Be certain not to keep the vase of flowers near a heat source, or windows with southern exposure as this hastens their decline.  Incorporating these ideas should allow your flowers to last about one week, keeping them aromatic and beautiful for all to enjoy.

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Filed under Decorating, Flowers, Tablescapes