Thursday, October 28, 2021

Horn of Plenty

It's time for another glimpse at our favorite symbol of abundance and nourishment… the Cornucopia or also called horn of plenty. It was traditionally made of a goat's horn overflowing with fruits and grains of the harvest.

At what time the cornucopia made its way into our country's consciousness as a Thanksgiving holiday icon is difficult to say. But with its meaning of abundance, prosperity and good fortune, the horn of plenty embodies all those things and is a symbol of Americans’ thoughts of thankfulness.

Cornucopias have become customary fall centerpieces and usually feature a horn-like basket or container. There are no rules when it comes to designing cornucopias. But we're partial to organic, fall-vibes and a horn of plenty that's brimming with fresh flowers (protea preferred), fabulous foliage and fruit. Plus, arranging them to flow out of the horn and onto your table, delivers a look that's as graceful and natural as it is beautiful.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Fall Vibes: Protea Repens – Sugarbush

Protea repens, Sugarbush or Suikerbossie. It’s October and these beautiful blooms are starting to make their debut. The word Repens means "creeping" but there is nothing creeping about this protea, the majority of flowers have long stems and some even display multiple blooms. The open, funnel-shaped flowers range in colors from red to white + even two-tones with some that flare open in a very spectacular fashion. Amazingly, the process from a tight bud to an open flower takes six to eight weeks and the seed develops over the next seven months.

Repens could be considered the first protea. In 1774, it was cultivated under glass in the Royal Collection at Kew Gardens where, in 1780, it became the first protea ever to bloom in cultivation away from the Cape. Sugarbush was also considered South Africa's National Flower until 1976 when it was replaced by the Protea King.

The name Sugarbush comes from the abundance of nectar that these alluring flowers produce. In fact, in the 19th century, settlers in South Africa’s Cape Province collected the nectar to use medicinally (called bossiestroop) to cure coughs and chest complaints.

No need for a medicinal remedy? How about a mood booster? Sugarbush provides the perfect pick-me-up and will set the scene for special fall gatherings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Simply Gourd-geous Designs

There’s a bounty of pumpkins being harvested this time of year, so why not use them as inspiration for your autumn designs? Plus, there are so many types of pumpkins—why stick to the basic orange pumpkin associated with Halloween? White ones, green ones, speckled ones, tall ones and squat ones... hundreds of pumpkin varieties exist making them ideal containers.

Pair them with an array of gorgeous blooms (like proteas), fruited branches and other interesting foliage + botanicals to make a festive arrangement. A beautifully fashioned pumpkin creates a charming way to greet visitors and delivers a festive yet elegant take on fall decorating. They’re simply gourd-geous!

Here is what you need to make your own:

  • Fresh pumpkin 
  • Knife 
  • Clear plastic sheet or container 
  • Chicken wire or Floral foam (optional) 
  • Flowers, foliage, berries, cones, fruit 
  • Clippers 
  • Spray paint (optional)

Make it!

Carve your pumpkin so that you have a wide opening near the center of the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Line the inside of the pumpkin with a sheet of plastic or container. If desired, cut a piece of floral foam with the knife to fit inside the pumpkin. Choose flowers and foliage with strong straight stems (proteas are perfect)! Insert the chicken wire or pre-soaked floral foam into the pumpkin and create your arrangement. Start with foliage, then add flowers, fruit, and other embellishments to create a full and interesting centerpiece.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Autumn Bliss

When it comes to the changing of the seasons, there's nothing more stirring than when summer dwindles into fall. We transition into the cooler autumn weather with soothing colors and riveting textures. These warmer hues often play up the excitement of the season; plus, falling temps means we all have an excuse to bring ‘more’ of nature indoors. Fall is a time for all of these things, and for harvesting protea (especially Pink Ice), making it the ideal time to let the autumn vibes begin with festive floral designs.

Turning an ordinary arrangement into a ‘seasonal gathering’ is as easy as focusing on the accents you're bringing into it. Are you adding colors into your design that creates a warm and inviting aura? Concentrate, on the elements needed to achieve the look from protea, banksia and grevillea, to Leucadendron and other fabulous fall foliage. How can you add an extra texture to the centerpiece?

In this season of abundance, there’s so many wonderful options. You’ll also want to be sure to make full use of those richly colored fruit that flourish during this transition from autumn into winter. Persimmons, pomegranates, apples or any other produce can be added to the arrangement or simply displayed off to the side to deliver more of an autumnal ambiance + while bringing even more nature inside to enjoy.