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A Year of Flowers: September

Martha Stewart Living

Shifting a garden container into the house befits a post-Labor Day existence. High-quality fiberglass garden vessels, like this urn, make the haul from the porch easier: They simulate the handsome patina of stone, metal, or terra-cotta but are not as heavy. Such a solid vessel is just the right counterpoint to a riot of amaranths, snowberries, crab apples, and blue viburnum berries -- all loosely woven into a taste of windswept fall days to come. 

Because outdoor planters have drainage holes, a watertight liner, such as a metal bucket, must be inserted when the vessels are used indoors. As you work, use bypass garden shears to cut branches on the diagonal and slit them vertically, for maximum water absorption. For the best texture and shape, stagger the lengths of the stems as well. 

1. Cut and bend chicken wire (see March, step 2) to form a frog, and insert into container. Fill liner two-thirds of the way with tepid water. 

2. Insert amaranth stems into chicken wire, creating a roughly cone-shaped bunch of stems, taller than it is wide. 

3. Insert crab-apple branches, breaking up the cone shape slightly for a more natural look. 

4. Fill in the arrangement with pink snowberries on one side and blue viburnum berries on the other.

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