Lush Autumn Floral Urn

Ahhh, the bounty of Fall, with all the amazing color and textures -- it's truly a floral designer's dream! In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne shares tips for using crabapples and pomegranates on their branches, and enhances the arrangement with garden roses, privet berries, dried and preserved ferns, and more -- all from and -- to create a lush and luxurious urn design. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. And today I'm here to share with you a luxurious, lavish flower filled urn. 

As I was gathering flowers for this segment, I turn to our friends at Garden Roses Direct and at Florabundance. From, I started with the Carmel Antique garden rose. It’s a beautiful, soft muted tone. They come in so fresh, so tight. You want to bring them in early and let them begin to open out. Then you can help them. After you've had them a couple of days, don't do it when they first come, they're too fresh, but after they are two days old, you can reflex the petals, giving them a much fuller look, blow them open. And again, you want to wait about two days, make sure they're at room temperature. That way you can get them to open out. Be so luxurious. And you can see I've already done that one, gives you a strong focal emphasis. Then from Florabundance I just looked for treasures of the season and they had so many great things. Of course, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses, sedum, all of that, but unique items, crab apples. They come on the branch. I like to take the leaves off so that the apples show better. So I just remove the leaves. We have a bare branch with the apples on it, and oh, you'll love this, pomegranates also on the branch ready for designing. Then, they have dried and preserved materials as well. Look at this grand fern, all preserved, all dried. It'll add great color to this design.

For mechanics, I have the urn, it's not watertight. So I've added a plastic liner, pre-soak foam with flower food. Then a tip. When you're dealing with heavy branches, like the pomegranates, determine your length, cut it down using a pruner, then place it into the foam, determining where you want it to be. Then to make sure that that size and weight doesn't cause a problem using Oasis Floral Adhesive, place glue right at the insertion point. It will lock to the wet foam. So, I'll do that with the pomegranates and then I will also do it with the crab apples because that branch too, can be a little bit heavy.

 Before I move forward with the flowers, I want to add a few more base materials, maybe more of the pomegranate, bringing it more towards the back so it draws your eye through the arrangement and even just a bit of pomegranate foliage to add fullness. Then to add length to the arrangement, bringing in some hanging amaranthus gives great texture and carries the eye all the way from the top of the arrangement down to the bottom, trailing onto the table. And to fill in the center, just a bit of eucalyptus, going into a variety with that same rusty yellow hue, as opposed to a true green or blue green, so that it coordinates with all the other materials. 

The form is established. I've got lines begun. Now we can add the focal emphasis. The Carmel Antique roses bringing some down low, breaking the line of the container then pulling back through the arrangement and filling in the whole central area. 

As the focal emphasis is established, be sure to carry it all the way to the back as well. Don't stop in the front. You want to finish it front to back drawing the eye through. Then, as I know where everything is going, I can enhance that focal emphasis with a little bit more of the pomegranate tucked down low and glued in place.

Now comes the fun, adding contrast and texture. Maybe some privet berries with that intense dark hue, cutting it down, then letting it tuck in, a little bit of the dried fern, to pick up the color. Tucking it, drawing your eye upward and then grasses, just to ask softness and movement, gathering them, then tucking it in. And then repeating until you've got everything beautiful.

As a final finish, adding some Red Twig Dogwood just gives a bit of height coming, adding movement and volume and makes it even better. 

The recipe, I started with the four Carmel Antique roses from, then everything else came from Florabundance. There's three branches of pomegranate and three branches of crab apple, and then three of the dried ferns that I cut apart and three stems of the amaranthus and three stems of the privet. I guess I was working in threes for a while. Then I added 10 stems of the grass, four dogwood and a bit of the eucalyptus. And it ends up a luxurious full arrangement. 

Any time you've elevated an arrangement using an urn, for example, it makes it so much more dramatic. For autumn flowers, what could be prettier? You'll find more creative inspiration at the website, Flower School .com. You have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at (503) 223-8089. Now it's your turn. Find a fabulous urn, gather amazing autumn materials and create away. 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
  • Oasis Floral Adhesive Individual Pack 3.9 Gram Tube
    Oasis Floral Adhesive Individual Pack 3.9 Gram Tube
  • Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
    Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
  • Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)
    Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)