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Advice & More October 2017

The Midnight Gardener

Decorate Your Home With Fall Flowers

By Lori Rose

Even Sigmund Freud observed, "Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts." Fresh flowers can rekindle our connection with nature. Their color, fragrance and visual appeal envelop the senses and replenish the spirit. Flowers are nature's little stress busters.

Flowers trigger an immediate feeling of delight, and they produce a mood uplift that can carry over for several days. "Science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well-being," says Jeannette Haviland Jones, psychologist and authority in human emotional development. Even Sigmund Freud observed, "Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts." Fresh flowers can rekindle our connection with nature. Their color, fragrance and visual appeal envelop the senses and replenish the spirit. Flowers are nature's little stress busters.

What better way to greet visitors at your doorstep (and make a fragrant impression) than with a welcoming basket of fresh flowers. The coffee brown tones of baskets are a natural accompaniment to the warmth of fall flowers. It's as easy as covering the inside of a basket with a colorful, fall fabric and adding jars of water and your favorite blooms.

Celebrate autumn with a still life for the dining room table. Try a mixture of flowers and interesting branches in a large crock, then place rusty orange pumpkins and purple plums around the crock to complete the scene. Hollow out small pumpkins and fill them with flowers for your Thanksgiving table. Use hollowed-out gourds as interesting flower vases throughout the house. Place them on your windowsill or use them as a grand centerpiece.

Once your dinner table is set with your favorite china, crystal and candles, add a touch of beauty with small vases of seasonal flowers at each place setting, or across the middle of the table. Whatever your color scheme, there are flowers to compliment it.

Flowers also make the perfect, decorative napkin ring. Pick a single flower variety that compliments your table linens. Fold the napkin nicely and place a flower on top. Add a sprig of greenery for an added touch. Be sure to make this decorative element that last step in setting your table. Your guests will enjoy the combination of lovely flowers and delicious food, and they will be impressed with the dining detail usually found only at fine restaurants.               

Mingle your favorite blooms with natural elements and the unexpected finds of an autumn day in the woods, such as stems of rose hips, tiny scarlet berries, golden green grasses, auburn red leaves, earth brown seed pods – nature is generous, and much of it is just outside your door. Intensify the color of, and add texture to, arrangements by adding velvety soft flowers in simmering reds, sultry oranges, claret purples and lemon yellows.

The natural look of a simple wreath of greens and vines can evolve with the seasons by adding yellow and orange blooms and bright red berries from early fall until after Thanksgiving, and replacing the flowers with pine cones and sparkly ornaments in winter.

Simplify the process of arranging. Crisscross branches of fall leaves and create a structure to hold stems of tall, showy blossoms. Place gravel or small pebbles in glass vases to secure stems and enhance the natural look. Across your mantle, flaunt the colors of the season with an autumn garland of flowers and foliage. Along a bookshelf, tuck jars of trailing vines and flowers in fiery fall colors of ripe persimmon and crimson.

 

Lori Rose, the Midnight Gardener, is a Temple University Certified Master Home Gardener and member of the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. She has gardened since childhood, and has been writing about gardening for more than 15 years.

Meet Lori