The blooms of summer have begun to fade, but the cheer of floral arrangements can still brighten your home through the autumn. By mixing wild Midwest foliage with fall’s traditional flowers, you can make centerpieces that bring just the right seasonal touch to your decor.
I used these techniques earlier this fall when my cousin got married on her organic farm in Michigan. The entire family pitched in to help pull off this outdoor, rustic, Midwest celebration. The day before the ceremony, we ventured together into the prairie surrounding the vegetable fields to gather wildflowers and wild greenery for floral centerpieces. By interspersing seasonally appropriate store-bought flowers such as lavender, roses and eucalyptus with hand-picked sunflowers and wild plants, we made the perfect harvest-time decorations.
Here’s how you can make your own wild-inspired arrangements this fall.
Ditch traditional vases. Clustering repurposed glass bottles of different colors and sizes creates dimension and variety on your table.
Turn to nature. For flowers, see what’s still blooming in your garden or being sold at local farmers markets. Gladioli, echinacea, dry hydrangeas, and sunflowers are good bets this time of year. For greenery, check around the yard. Sumac leaves, dried grass stalks, and sprigs of Autumn olive will all lend that fall look you’re going for. The Midwest is rich in natural beauty, so draw inspiration from the scenery and colors around you.
Keep it simple. Choose one or two types of flowers and greenery per bottle. Bohemian chic is trendy in floral design right now, and it’s easy to get the look by generously draping wild greenery. Create a balanced, cohesive display by adding sprigs of greenery in groups of three.
Prep for a long-lasting arrangement. Remove the leaves from the stems that sit in the bottle. Place a drop of hydrogen peroxide in the water to keep the blooms fresh longer. Wildflowers sometimes wilt sooner than greenhouse flowers, so be prepared to switch out some elements of your arrangement as it fades.
Keep experimenting. Change up the combinations until you love what you’ve created and it fits well with your space. You can enjoy these centerpieces for entertaining or just for every day, bringing a touch of Midwest fall beauty inside your home.
Abbie Burgess is a Minnesota-based freelancer. She writes about decorating, style, events, and natural living, and blogs at www.thepinkpaperdoll.com.