"I love Japanese baskets, and the rich mahogany-reddish shade of this old container looks fabulous with a dusky arrangement of purple hazel leaves, sprays of broom corn, reddish ornamental grass, blackish dahlias, and purple artichokes," says Martha about this fall arrangement.
When it comes to displaying lush, dome-shaped blooms -- dahlias, garden roses, gardenias, camellias, or the peonies shown here -- less is often more. Float a few big blossoms in a generous-sized bowl or single ones in smaller vessels. Cut the stems at a slant, about an inch below the bloom, just before floating in tepid water.
A white pumpkin is transformed into a homemade vase. Select a pumpkin about eight inches in diameter; cut off the top, and scoop out pulp and seeds. Place a small container, such as a highball glass, inside the pumpkin. Trim flowers to fit (we used twelve dahlias, but two dozen carnations would also work), and arrange in the glass.
A floral arrangement becomes positively frightening when covered in creepy cobwebs. To make the webs, cut a 5-inch section from inexpensive or damaged white pantyhose, and pull apart until it becomes wispy and resembles cobwebs. Stretch the material over a cluster of dark blooms (we used crimson roses and dahlias, as well as some fiddlehead ferns). Set on a sideboard or on a dining table as a centerpiece.
Mums are versatile blooms, as charming in casual arrangements as in considered ones. Pale-yellow 'Ginger' and orange 'Gold Strike' mums are made livelier by crimson dahlias; clusters of ruby-red rose hips gleam like jewels between the flowers. As a centerpiece, the display sets a cheerful tone for a weekend brunch.
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