Fall Flower Arrangements That Make a Statement
Fall flower arrangements show off some of the season's richest hues. Whether you gather armfuls of vivid leaves and berries from the garden before the first snowfall hits or you pick up some of your favorite blooms from a local nursery, the season's cuttings won't disappoint. Red, yellow, orange, purple, and brown-colored plants grace lawns and homes during the fall months, and the season's flower arrangements gladly accept the colors. Here, we're sharing flower arrangements that range from subtle to visually arresting.
Fall flowers are known for their shades of reds and purples. And autumnal flower favorites like chrysanthemums don't disappoint. Pictured here, the flower sits among a fountain of red winterberry, burning bush, and purple beautyberry to create a rich and unexpected bunch. For a more dramatic approach—one we think would look particularly apt at a Halloween soirée—recreate our dark and beautiful arrangement. Purple hazel leaves, sprays of broom corn, reddish ornamental grass, blackish dahlias, and purple artichokes make for a perfect purple centerpiece.
While we love lush shades of red come autumn, some of our favorite fall floral pairings focus on subtler colors. Yellows, greens, and pale pinks make great pillars for fall arrangements. Beech leaves brighten up an arrangement of dahlias and spider mums for a brighter fall floral bunch. Another yellow option that will lighten up your space comes in the form of golden 'Revert' and chartreuse 'Yoko Ono' mums supported by fig branches while zinnias, spearmint, and celosia act as accents. Ahead, explore cool-weather floral pairings that are sure to add a statement to any room in your home.
Dahlias and Spider Mums
Yellow beech leaves bring an otherwise summery group of pale pink and white dahlias and gold spider mums into the next season. Set a couple of mums in a shallow bowl as a side note.
Amaranth and Protea Arrangement
During the last months of the gardening year, the color palette is more limited than in spring and summer, so texture becomes key. In this tall display, impressive on a buffet or a drinks table, Kevin Sharkey EVP, executive director of design at Martha Stewart Living, paired feathery heads of rust-red amaranth with pale-green protea, a more muscular tropical flower. Both stand out amongst lanky millet grasses, and lady's mantle fills in any gaps like a wispy green cloud.
Oak and Sweetgum Branches
Not every plant screams for attention in autumn. This mellow bronze, russet, and green grouping of oak and sweetgum branches cut from the yard is augmented with a few spider mums and sprays of sorghum from a floral shop.
Dahlias and Mums
Cut the stems of a typical bouquet of late dahlias and mums from a farmers' market or corner florist and mix the flowers with foraged crabapples and orange winterberry. Divide them among three small water glasses. The short arrangements are the ideal height for lining the center of a dinner table.
Hydrangeas and Queen Anne's Lace
"I love that this arrangement has the feel of a wild, late-season meadow and is made with items that cost very little or can be found in the yard," says Sharkey. For a low profile that encourages dinner conversation, he set a block of floral foam into a shallow pewter dish and created a dome of sedum flowers, filling in the spaces with purple Queen Anne's lace, mauve hydrangeas, round star scabiosa, fuzzy foxtail grass, and spiked sea holly.
Pointy green-and-russet sweet gum leaves star in this earthy arrangement, with support from the vegetable garden. Add contrasting shapes and textures with prickly deep-purple artichokes and smooth green (unripe) persimmons. This would work well on a coffee table where people are hovering over a cheese board. "A loose arrangement like this looks great from above," says Sharkey.
Black and White Arrangement
In late fall, nature's shapes become stark and geometric. Highlight plants that may be overlooked outdoors by placing a few stems of one or two types in their own eclectic vases.
From left: Black-leaf millet grass, snowberry, dusty miller with spider mums, bayberry, and ivy berries.
Feather and Acorn Bell Jar Arrangement
Birds' castoff plumage can add interest (and a shot of fall color) to an arrangement—or make one all on their own. The striking graphic patterns on this collection got us thinking about new ways to use a bell jar. "Feathers are beautiful when presented in a modern way, and they're so underutilized in decor," says Sharkey. Stand them up in a little vase and add a few acorns. Another easy fall combo to display under a dome: a bird's nest and some dried oak leaves.
Pomegranate, Tulip, and Rose Arrangement
A Thanksgiving table demands a feast for the eyes with all the trimmings. But bear in mind that well-mannered centerpieces should never block guests' views of one another. A low container is just what's needed, leaving room for lavish helpings of pomegranates, red viburnum berries, tulips, roses, and ranunculus served up with a bronzy-green magnolia-leaf wreath.
Yellow Topiary Arrangement
Take this trio of topiary treats—a lesson in the power of repetition plus a few simple tricks. Dress up three cones of floral foam with sunflowers and button chrysanthemums above "cuffs" of fuzzy kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos). Their harvest golds will glow like lanterns above the black urns.
Garden Container Arrangement
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.
Let long stems arch out of a trumpet vase for an ethereal arrangement. Flower stems naturally follow the shape of this vase: They reach up and out, and the result is delicate and light. Choose flowers with graceful stems, such as this crocosmia, for the most pleasing look. Shorter cuttings of maidenhair fern float beneath the blooms. Echo the idea with smaller vessels—parfait glasses work perfectly—holding just a few stems.
In this arrangement, one color is the star, the other is the costar. Gerbera daisies are top-heavy, so here Sharkey used floral tape to make a grid across the top of the vase to keep them in place. Each opening holds a few stems.
Chrysanthemums come in different shapes and sizes and in virtually every color, which allows you to create a unique and vast variety of arrangements.
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 panty hose, 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.
Chrysanthemums and Fig Branch Arrangement
In the first weeks of fall, brisk air and frequent showers invigorate late-blooming chrysanthemums. Here, lush golden 'Revert' and chartreuse 'Yoko Ono' mums are supported by fig branches; zinnias, spearmint, and celosia are accents. A vintage pudding mold gives the elegant display fresh appeal.
Mum and Rose Hip 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.
Floral Collar Arrangement
This cast-iron urn with a weatherworn painted finish has just the right scale, palette, and presence for a riot of velvet-red kangaroo paws. A collar of chrysanthemums in the same autumnal tone provides a tidy transition between the container and the native Australian blooms, which can be ordered year-round from a florist.
Dark and Dramatic Arrangement
"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.
Striped Dahlias, Chinese Lanterns, and Dill Arrangement
A large Staffordshire tureen, fitted with a giant floral frog, is the perfect vessel for a stunning arrangement of three unusual fall blooms: striped dahlias in orange and white, papery Chinese lanterns stripped of all leaves, and dill gone to yellow flower heads.
American Bittersweet Arrangement
These vines put on a show that few plants can compare to as the deep yellow skin of its berries bursts to reveal a bright orange color. The arrangement we crafted shows a large greenish Hubbard squash paired with the orange plant.