10 Autumnal Flowers for Arranging and Enjoying At Home
Autumn is our favorite time of year for many reasons, but our most favorite reason is because of the floral arrangements that we can make now! After months and months of sunflowers and dahlias and summery arrangements, it’s now time for autumnal arrangements. I’m talking grasses, seedheads, deep bold colored flowers with burgundy, bronze, gold, rust and pumpkin shades of colors that we’ve been waiting all year long to use.
We wanted to share some of our favorites for this time of year with you, so let’s get this list started with our favorite:
Nothing says fall quite like chrysanthemums! And while I very much enjoy the roundy-moundy mums that you can buy in gallon pots, the real stunners are the giant florist mums. With a diameter that can reach up to four inches across, they are absolutely stunning. They also work quite well for ikebana arrangements, and we use them quite frequently this time of year.
2. Sweet Gum Branches (aka Liquid Amber)
Available now with foliage in varying shades of green, orange, red and purple, sweet gum branches are the perfect foliage to use with pretty much any autumnal arrangement. Whether combined with other flowers and materials or just displayed on their own in a vase, they are the perfect fall foliage. Their spiky, perfectly spherical sweet gum seed heads are just as awesome.
3. Sunflowers (without their petals)
Although we love sunflowers for their cheery colors and bright faces, we also love them for their appearance - after their petals have fallen off (or been plucked off). Their dark faces serve as a nice visual to more airy and light parts of an arrangement, and they also will last forever in the vase.
If you’re lucky enough to have a long enough growing season as we do here in New Mexico, you’ll still have a couple of zinnias that still are kicking it in October. Those bright reds, oranges, yellows and fuschias are amazing pops of color in any fall arrangement, and play well with other fall flowers like mums and dahlias.
5. Pumpkin on a Stick
Nothing quite says autumn and fall like pumpkins - including pumpkin on a stick! Actually a member of the Solanum family (along with eggplants and nightshade) these are available for a limited time but are oh-so visually stunning and last a long time in the vase as well. We don’t grow them, but instead purchase them at Trader Joe’s.
One of our favorite flowers, not only for their beauty but also because of their unsurpassed productivity in the garden. Blooming their heads off from July until frost stops them, we grow hundreds of dahlias every year to cut armloads of them to arrange around our home. The more saturated jewel tones are our favorite this time of year, such as ‘Cornel Bronze’, ‘Maarn’ and ‘Hamari Gold’ and ‘Cafe au Lait’
7. Dried grasses
October is officially time to start using dried grasses. It’s true! I give you permission to start using dried grass seedheads in your arrangements. And there are so many to choose from - whether the fuzzy seedheads of Pennisetum villlosum, the airy beaded tassels of Ruby Silk grass, or the tufted whiskers of Miscanthus (shown below), they are the most wonderful element when added to an arrangement this time of year.
Actually a relative of sorghum, broomcorn is one of our staples for autumnal arrangements. The shiny glossy seedheads are the perfect touch, adding movement and texture to its floral teammates, and the actual foliage and stem is a nice substitute for corn stalks (which we don’t find here in New Mexico readily available).
9. Black Eyed Susans/Rudbeckia
These brightly colored conical headed flowers always herald the coming of fall when seen in the garden. We grow a variety of black eyed susans - both the spray type shown here, as well as bigger varieties like ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Goldsturm’. Their gold and brown colors seem to reflect the color palette at large from nature.
So beautiful, but can be touchy as far as shattering its berries all over the place. Avoid this by buying fresh bittersweet so that it dries well. Useful in wreaths, arrangements, swags, or just casually arranged in a vase, the bright pops of orange and red and yellow really just shout ‘Autumn!’
Check out the tutorial on how to make a bittersweet vine below from My Wedding
I hope that this inspired you all to incorporate some new autumnal flowers and material in to your home arrangements! This is our favorite time of the year for arrangements since the garden is so full of color and texture and form. If you don’t have a garden to cut from, fall flowers are readily available from places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.