Halloween Cauldron

Halloween is the second-most popular holiday in the United States (behind only Christmas), and at Floral Design Institute, we love it! Traditional orange and black? Sure, but why not change it up a little! In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne creates a moody and sophisticated foam-free cauldron design with gorgeous dahlias, peony foliage, chocolate Queen Anne's Lace, blackberry vines and more -- all grown locally by FDI Certified graduate Linda DePersis FDI of Barefoot Farm & Flowers. Enjoy!

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Video Transcription

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It's that time. Here at Floral Design Institute, we get so excited with the Halloween season. Today, a Blooming Witches' Cauldron. Let me show you how it's done.

The focus on dahlias, everything from Barefoot Farm's Flowers. Thanks, Linda, for growing these beautiful flowers. Going into the more complex moody hues. Deep, deep burgundy, reds, and oranges, with just a little bit of a coraly pink to accent, back from the farm as well, the peony foliage, Eupatorium, chocolate Queen Anne's lace, and blackberry vines, just for that sinister touch.

I've filled the cauldron with just fresh water premixed with flower food. No mechanics other than that. Then cutting down the vine and letting it weave through from side to side, creating a weave that will support all the blooms as I go along. Now this one is not too horribly thorny. If yours is, you might want to wear gloves when you're working with it. Just weaving through. And you can even use the leftover bits, nestling it in towards the center to get a little bit more green to show. Once the vines are in place, coming back with the peony foliage. As it turns to the autumn season, the coloration is fabulous. The Eupatorium, common name Joe-Pye Weed, adding a little bit of purple to enhance the intensity of the design.

With the base established, I can go back and add in the dahlias. Now, some of them are shorter stemmed, so they're going to be low, tucked a little bit deeper because they do need to get into the water. Then others are longer stemmed so they can go a little bit taller. But as I work, I make sure that I radiate all the way around because I want it to be fully dimensional. So, you'll see them from all angles, no side forgotten.

As I finish, I keep thinking about my placement, making sure that it looks good from every direction, grouping some blooms, leaving others a little bit more isolated. Maybe bringing in some color over here. Then adding the chocolate Queen Anne's lace, cutting it down, but letting it be a little bit taller, adding movement, softness, and texture, enhancing that moody palette. And then if you're wondering what happens when the vine dries, it just shrivels just a bit and it gets a little contorted, but it's actually still quite pretty. So, I'm going to put one more stem in, that I purposely let dry so that I could show you and let that come right in. Adding a fifth stem. The others will start to crinkle as well, but you can see that adds its own beauty to the finished arrangement.

The recipe. Everything from Barefoot Farm Flowers right here outside of Portland, Oregon. I started with 25 assorted dahlias, five stems of the blackberry vine. Then I worked in bunches. One bunch of the Eupatorium, one bunch of the chocolate Queen Anne's lace, one bunch of the peony foliage, and it gives you such a beautiful and lush arrangement.

Halloween kicks off the winter holidays and does it with a bang. You'll find more creative inspiration and floral education on the website, Flower School.com. If you have time, type in the word Halloween. You'll see so many different videos. Now it's your turn. What are you going to create for this frightfully haunting and fun holiday? Be sure to take a picture, post it on social media and hashtag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see what you do as you do something you love.

  • Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
    Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
    Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
  • Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
    Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint