Finding the Beauty of Fall in Unexpected Places
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Create beautiful Fall arrangements by using your sense of adventure!
Fall is here and it’s a wonderful time to bring some of nature’s beauty indoors! Pumpkins and wreaths are a staple of the fall season, but I wanted to shake things up a bit! 😉 Why not use something everyone has right in their own neighborhoods that doesn’t cost a thing? One of my favorite things to do is to incorporate elements of nature in my arrangements. What if our entire fall arrangement was sourced from natural items you could cut yourself? What a novel idea! I’m not talking about floral shop nature, I’m talking about "hunt around your backyard or in your local park" kind of nature!
The purpose of this blog post is to try and get you to think outside the box a bit! We all love grand sunflowers and mums for fall arrangements, their striking color and hues are as traditionally Fall as a pumpkin spice latte. What if I could encourage you to train your eye to a different kind of beauty? All those gorgeous leaves, those are easy to imagine setting in a tall vase, but how about the beauty of sticks or even weeds? Yes, I said weeds! I told you I was going to stretch you a little! Even spent flowers hanging onto the vine can be beautiful. Since Fall is a season of transition, I wanted to focus a bit on the metaphor of falling leaves and changing colors. You may not see the beauty of a weed in the summer, but how about when it has transformed into something more beautiful in the Fall? Choosing to see the beauty in something challenging is an art all to itself! 😉
I’m blessed to live on a 10-acre farm, so I have a lot of natural elements at my disposal. I have a multitude of trees, flowers, and a lot of weeds. I’m going to challenge you to an exercise you may have not done for years (that’s the fun part). Go outside and do a scavenger hunt for all the non-traditional elements you may want to use in your fall arrangement. Anything goes, so let those traditional norms go out the window!
Consider the vase you will be using; I love collecting various vases from antique and second hand stores. All these vases pictured in this post were sourced at second hand stores. If you’re using a tall vase, you may want to look for height elements like sticks, something that will continue to draw your eye upwards. If your vase is short and squatty, you will want a full filler such as leaves or brush. I’m working with both so you will have examples of each type. Remember, there are no rules so let your creativity loose!
While scavenging for your items, consider the various textures of the elements you find. The greater texture the better, I love a lot of different elements in my arrangements. Since Fall is synonymous with colors, try and find elements that contrast for a more striking display. I found several weeds that had left a beautiful palomino colored stalk, and some seed pods from my Crepe Myrtle bushes. I also used Eucalyptus stalks and leaves for both my arrangements. I love the bright colored berries from my Chinese Pistache trees, and I even sourced some wild oats and Pampas grass from my front pasture. Olive trees have a lovely pale green leaf, and the spent stalks of my Dusty Miller and Lavender bush add the grey contrast I was looking for. For height, there is nothing like a wonderful pile of sticks to go through! My neighbors will often see me starring for hours at our huge pile of cut branches. I adore wood and love coming up with things to re-purpose it into…I tend to see beauty in things most folks will throw away or burn!
I hope you are enjoying the thought of scavenging for out of the ordinary items to incorporate into your arrangement. Here in California, we have been losing power due to the PG&E shutdowns. I used a day we didn’t have power to just unplug and enjoy walking my property, collecting things as I went. It was very relaxing and quite enjoyable actually! Fall is by far my favorite season; I enjoy the hazy days and filtered light. It’s my favorite time of year for photography, another one of my passions!
Now that you have collected some items to arrange, lay them all out on a big table and let the fun begin. The majority of items I used in my arrangements are spent blooms and branches, although I did need some water for the Eucalyptus and Barberry branches. I went ahead and filled my vase (or in my case, my $7 copper pitcher!) and began arranging the height first. I used some dead Poplar branches for my height.
Have fun putting them into the configuration that seems best for you. I like my branches wild so I left them untrimmed. Next add your next layer of height, for me it was branches and seed pods from my Crepe Myrtle bushes. I also added my purple Barberry for some color and arch, creating a little more of a graceful line. I then added my Dusty Miller and then collared the mouth of the pitcher with Eucalyptus leaves. For my focal point, I used the gorgeous berries (they look like they’re glowing!) from my Chinese Pistache tree. I loved the contrast of the shiny pot with the subtlety of the green Eucalyptus leaves. It is a wild and natural arrangement I really enjoyed putting together!
For the smaller vase, it was a shorter, cylindrical pottery vase so I tried to build outward. I began arranging the palomino colored weed sticks into place first.
I added some Olive tree clippings and wild oats next. Since this vase needed more width, I built the arrangement out with more Eucalyptus in various heights and used Chinese Pistache stems, leaves and berries for color. I loved it next to my red chair as the colors were as vibrant as the chair itself!
I hope this has inspired you to look beyond the grocery store this Fall to fill your vases with the colors of the season. For me, the hunt and collection were as fun as the arranging! This would be a great project to do with some friends over coffee, or just some “creative” time to yourself, as it was for me…. connecting with the beauty of nature!