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Autumn Traditions Centerpiece

Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, autumn leaves, vines, pods and grasses make up the traditional flowers and foliages of autumn. In this Flower School video Leanne demonstrates how to create a traditional round centerpiece using floral foam in a gorgeous earth-tone container. The finished design is beautiful and perfect for autumn entertaining. Enjoy!

Video Transcription

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. And today, I'm here to share with you a wonderful centerpiece with traditional Autumn flowers.

As I began, I found this fabulous vessel, filled it with floral foam pre-soaked with flower food, taped in place. Then I gathered blooms that are so perfect for Autumn. When you think of Autumn, you think of sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlias, three mass flowers that look great together. Then I'm adding a lot of just textural interest to finish the design.

When you're working with stems that are large and sometimes difficult, it's easier if you go ahead and do it first. So taking the sunflower, giving it a cut, and then go back and cut it again, giving it an arrow point, then placing it in. Now, sunflowers are very thirsty. So you want to get it down low, close to the base of the container. Then repeat that. Maybe grouping two together, bringing one out to the opposite side, drawing the eye from right to left.

Then coming back, adding in a dahlia. Now their stems are smaller, so it'll be easier, but their faces look one direction or another. So adjusting it so that the face looks upward, giving it full value, everything going to a central binding point. Go back and add the bud. So it looks like they're growing together. Chrysanthemum. They're actually a little bit easier than any of them because their heads are generally strong. Stems not too big. Bringing it out, helping to break the line of the container. Then pulling up through the center and out the opposite side.

When you're working with rounded mass flowers in a round design, adding dynamic line with vertical materials, linear materials, creating interest, giving it a cut and letting it come up through the center, adding height to the design, repeating that. Although it's round, it doesn't need to be flat. It can still have a little bit of line to the design. Coming in with millet, which gives nice draping, letting it come out to the side, enhancing the line again. But keeping with the rounded form. You don't want to distract from that. Keep your form, add line creates interest. So then you have static and dynamic movement within the same arrangement, and then turn it looking at it from all sides to see if it has symmetry along with interest.

With a round arrangement, there are multiple areas that capture your eye. Maybe it's the sunflowers. Maybe it's the dahlias. But you want to be careful and feeling the center. Make sure that there's a density to create a focal emphasis so your eye has a resting point. Maybe it is some rose hips tucked in, adding contrasting texture and depth, placing it down lower underneath the blooms. Repeating that. Again, tucking low. Maybe it's some foliage, some bleach preserve, oak leaves. They're so fabulous. Letting them nestle in, adding that crinkly of dried leaves to the arrangement. Then as you're working turn and add it all the way around.

When I think of the Autumn garden, the landscape, I think overgrown, intertwined, almost matured to the point of going into the death stage, but not yet. It's just that beautiful point. So gathering vines like bittersweet and winding this through. Now, all by itself, just coming around, too much in a centerpiece style design. But cutting it down and then inserting it, finding a good hole, then taking the opposite end, bringing it on around and inserting it again so that it goes into the foam twice, finding the perfect spot for it because I want it to angle out. There we go. Popping it in there. Again, nice and secure. Then bringing in another vine. This one's a little shorter. So won't really wind, but can come out and over. Creating layers and depth of texture throughout the arrangement and then even individual vines without the berries. Letting them come through, figuring out where it makes sense to let it wind, maybe tuck it under the first one, repeating. This one I think I'm going to put in on both ends again. Sometimes it's easier to do the little end first, finding a perfect spot for it. Then bringing it up around and putting the larger end in.

Then as a last touch, just a few more blooms, take a look. Maybe you want another dahlia to fill that hole or maybe something else, bringing in some rudbeckia, letting it be a little taller over the top because they're more delicate. Find a little spot to squeeze it in here. Bringing in another bloom. This one's a little more mature, a little larger, carrying that mutation, that softer color around to the opposite side so that it's not one sided. You want to make sure that you're symmetrical front to back, right to left. The variety of different materials that just makes it so fabulous and interesting.

The recipe for this design includes so many of my favorites. There are three sunflowers, four of the dahlias, four of the chrysanthemums, four sorghum. Then I use an entire bunch of millet. Four rudbeckia, one stem of rose hips that I cut apart, it was a huge stem. Then the preserved oak leaves, and of course, three stems of bittersweet to finish it off.

The abundance of the Autumn season is such a joy for the florist. So many different things to choose from to create beauty. You'll find more creative inspiration at our 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. Now, it's your turn. What are you going to create with Autumn beauty? Be sure to take a picture, post it on social media, and hash tag Floral Design Institute. That way, I'll see, and we'll all see what you do as you do something you love.

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