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October in the garden

So…it’s October (already!) and you have the urge to create one more arrangement from the flowers you grew in your yard this year. But you look around and it doesn’t appear to be possible.  Everything seems to have flowered and faded!

Hold on! Don’t give up so soon. Instead, find inspiration in one of the main design ideas used in the gardens of Dutch landscape architect Piet Ouldolf. According to Ouldouf, there is still much beauty in flowers and fillers that have gone past their prime.  It’s true for us as humans as well, right?

Fading hydrangeas whether mophead, paniculata or oakleaf, are all stunning choices for an autumn arrangement. And ornamental grasses and their plumes play nicely with them.  Rosehips and berries on vines and branches work as fillers.Don’t forget to think about adding fruits like grapes, if your neighbor has a grape arbor. Let them trail out of a low vessel onto a table.  Moss, sprigs of rosemary or oregano and just about any plant material that you find in and around your yard is fair game for a unique fall arrangement.

Try taking a break from floral foam, which can only be used once and is a form of plastic made from formaldehyde and carbon black.  Instead, crumple up some of the left over chicken wire you used to keep the rabbits away from your vegetable garden and place it in the container you are using. Two pieces of ¼” floral tape will hold it in place. Another option is to place a handful of twigs set upright in a vase. Red twig dogwood is a good choice. Both of these will help support your flowers and give your arrangement some structure in a more eco-friendly way.

Finally, instead of buying a vase, look around your shed or basement (or go to pinterest) to find a container that compliments your arrangement.  Fall options include old baskets, carved out pumpkins and metal canisters.

Enjoy this special New England season.


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