Fall Pumpkin Centerpiece

Pumpkins and gourds make fabulous natural floral containers for festive autumn floral designs. In this video clip Leanne creates a beautiful arrangement in a hollowed-out pumpkin as she shares the techniques for assuring a long-lasting design. This centerpiece is perfect for Halloween and the entire autumn season. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. Today I'm here with the pumpkin to discuss Halloween fun with flowers. 

First up is pumpkin preparation. You want to give it a cut, remove the top. Now, in this design, I'm not going to use the top, so I'm just going to set it aside. Sometimes you do work that in. But today, not. For cutting I use to use a keyhole saw. It cuts nicely and easily. I don't worry about hurting myself. Even the toughest pumpkin, the great, big ones, it works so easily. I do not recommend using a flower knife, because, as you're cutting, it can fold, you can cut yourself. It's just a dangerous thing. A nice saw works perfectly. 

Then for cleaning out the seeds, you want to remove those because that has a lot of odor that can affect the design. I use an ice cream paddle to scoop it all out. You can roast the seeds if you want or throw them away. But cleaning it out. 

Then, to be safe, I always set the pumpkin on a plate or a tray of some sort because it is going to decay. It is going to fade. You don't want to hurt the furniture. Then, lastly, to keep it fresh for as long as possible, coat the interior with PAM cooking spray. I've just coated the entire sides, spraying it in, making sure that it's sealed. That way, you have longevity. Now it's ready to go. Now you can add a vase on the inside and just use fresh water, or if you'd rather, a liner with floral foam. Either way, tuck it in and you're ready to design. 

For this arrangement, I went ahead and used the floral foam. It gives me a support for all the stems. Then before I add my flowers, I tuck in the base materials, the seasonal treasures, bringing in some nandina, that autumn color. You may know it as Heavenly Bamboo it's very woody, so I can break it. Then just set it straight down into the foam. Coming back with some more, letting it break the line of the container. I like the leaves, so I'm leaving it tall and up. If you want it to be less leafy, tuck it low. You can really do it either way. 

Then grasses. Again, the essence of the autumn season. Tucking it in. Bring it up through the center and around. Some towards the back, over towards the front. You can see it fills in nicely, even without flowers. You can go back. The trailing leaves give it a wild, overgrown look that just enhances the overall design. 

Once the foliage is in place, it gives me a nice nest to support the flowers. For that, I chose bright, festive pincushion protea in both orange and yellow, and crespedia in the vivid yellow. Using the yellow down low, creating an accent area, it's so woody, I often break it, and then place it in. You can see how it draws the eye right down to the focal emphasis area. Repeating that. It may come out a little further. Then also drawing your eye back. You don't want it to be just in the front. Carry on backwards. Then coming in with the orange, filling in. The pincushion look like little baby pumpkins with their round faces, so it's perfect for a pumpkin design. Tucking them down together, shadowing underneath. You can see the faces are going different directions, giving a very casual vibe. Coming over to the opposite side, towards the back, and up towards the top. 

To finish, the vivid crespedia, it's so bright. To help add depth to the design, we're cutting it down and grouping them, tucking it down in. It pulls your eye inward, so that you really see down close. Repeating that, even pulling some to the back, so it doesn't look flat. A few more. Coming over to the opposite side. Then coming in with nandina berries and scabiosa pods, adding more texture. The berries of the nandina are just lovely. Maybe bringing them out to one side, then coming back with the scabiosa pods. Then repeating. Then a few more grasses from a very light and wispy look, letting them come out tall over the top. Again, like an overgrown autumn garden. 

Festive fun for the autumn season. Yes, it's perfect for Halloween, but before and after. For more creative inspiration, check out the website, Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at 503-223-8089. We really do love to hear from you. 

Now, I'd love to see what you create. Find a pumpkin, find the perfect flowers, create away. Take a picture and post it on social media. Be sure to tag Floral Design Institute, so we all can see what you have done as you create and do something you love.

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