This time of year is filled with transitions in the garden. Leaves are changing color and the tail-end of summer flowers are greeted by the arrival of grapes and late-season sunflowers. To bring some of the beauty indoors, follow our ingredient list to pull together an autumn-themed bouquet.
Our inspiration for the color palette came from the rich colors of 'Autumn Beauty' sunflowers—burgundy, muted coral, and pale yellow—cut from the Sunset Test Garden. Velvety chocolate cosmos and deep purple dahlias pick up the rich dark tones, while pastel alstroemeria 'Inca Ice,' lemony 'Italian White' sunflowers, and dusty pink dahlias brighten the arrangement.
How to arrange the bouquet:
Step 1: Use foliage to add structure. We chose the soft green foliage of tithonia (Mexican sunflower) and added three stems. The foliage acts as a neutral backdrop to show off the flowers, and the stems give the flowers something to lean on while they spill out of the vase.
Step 2: Add the largest flowers. For our bouquet, we added 'Autumn Beauty' sunflowers and top-heavy dahlias.
Step 3: Fill in with smaller flowers. We tucked flowers like alstroemeria and chocolate cosmos around the large ones, pulling them out a bit to lean over the sides.
Step 4: Add an element for texture. We used the spiky orange centers of echinacea flowers and picked off their hot pink petals since they didn't quite work with the other colors.
Step 5: Throw in something edible. For a bit of whimsy, clip off a branch of figs, cluster of blackberries, or stem of cherry tomatoes to add to your bouquet. We cut bunches of Syrah grapes (keeping the stems long enough to reach the water) and draped them over the edges of the vase.
Whether you follow our ingredients or pick from what's growing in your own garden, you can easily skip a trip to the florist this time of year and create an arrangement that's sure to brighten up your desk or dinner table.