Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tips for transforming grocery store flowers into a beautiful Fall centerpiece




Have you been easing into the Fall season?

There are so many wonderful Fall home tours going on right now in blogland I do hope you’re enjoying them. I know I sure am.

But around here it’s been hot sunshine and humid air throughout September --and unlike Northern California no one around here seems to have air conditioners. Too close to the beach I guess, so we’ve got windows flung open and fans swirling everywhere.

Which makes it’s hard for me to get into the orange and brown shades of Fall right now.

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Instead, I saw some gorgeous jewel-colored flowers in the grocery store the other day and I was instantly inspired to make my own version of a Fall centerpiece.

No orange in sight here. But didn’t it turn out pretty?



Today I thought I’d show you how I made these common grocery store flowers look so special.

These are the flowers that came inside the $8.99 bouquet:

  • 3 hot pink Gerbera daisies
  • 3 lavender carnations
  • 3 red roses
  • 4 small purple daisies
  • purple statice

In addition I added:

  • one flowering Kale
  • $ 3.99 bouquet of miniature purple chrysanthemums



I used a small thrift store urn for this arrangement.

If you don’t already know, thrift stores are the best place to find those unique –and cheap—vases for your flowers.

For this quick arrangement I didn’t bother with floral foam (didn’t have any) so I just filled the vase with water and started cutting stems.

Remove the green leaves so that nothing is submerged beneath the water.

And basically I started adding flowers.



What I noticed right away was that all the flowers were in shades of purple except for the three deep red roses.

So gradually with the addition of each new flower I began to space out the three roses around the vase for a balanced look with the colors.

In the photo below I could see that two of the three pops of red were too close and needed to be moved.


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When it comes to making your own Fall arrangement  you can make it more interesting by adding fruits or vegetables.

Here I cut the stem of the flowering Kale down and simply added it to the vase. I think it goes wonderfully with its purple center and pink tinged leaves.

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When working with flowers in the same color family I pay attention to their different textures as a way of deciding which flower goes next to the other.

In a small arrangement like this I tend to group in threes.


Once I got all my flowers arranged in the vase I could see there were empty spaces left, especially around the Kale.

So I simply began tucking my extra bouquet of miniature Mums into those spots.

And when I was done, I went outside and clipped a few strands of Ficus leaves as a final touch.

Don’t forget to use your foliage and branches from your own yard.


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Here’s the finished look from above.  

If you look at the white arrows in the picture you can see that if you draw lines between the roses you almost get the shape of a triangle, so that no matter which angle you’re looking from, the color red is apparent.


Funny but when I’m playing with flowers I don’t’ actually think things through like this; it’s more a gut reaction to what I’m seeing in front of me.

But I’m sharing these thoughts in case they’re helpful to you.


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Besides Flowering Kale you can add any of these to your flower arrangement depending on your color scheme:




dried oranges

cinnamon sticks tied together

I even used fresh limes in my recent pineapple centerpieces.

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Well, I hope you found this post helpful…

There’s nothing that makes me happier than playing with flowers

and visiting with you.





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  1. That is just beautiful, Leslie...I love the colors and the combination of the kale with flowers! And the pretty container is perfect...
    Thank you so much for you so kind comment on my fall are always so supportive and uplifting to me!

  2. Beautiful, Leslie! I'm liking this a whole lot. It's fresh, yet with the brass vase and white pumpkins I get a sense of autumn. '-)

  3. Leslie, I am constantly amazed by the beautiful things that you create! This is stunning! I am going to try this or something similar today!

  4. Leslie,
    This is fabulous. I love the jewel tone colors and the bouquet looks like fall to me---in a sophisticated way. Great job.
    I have put a pumpkin on the mantle and actually decorated my dining room table with my taxidermy pheasant "Redfern" and faux autumn leaves and a few pumpkins. I love this season and have a hard time refraining from decorating for it. It's an illness and I'm taking a prescription for it! :-)

  5. pretty and cheerful, and love that kale in there! no orange necessary! peace of the autumn ocean breeze to you.

  6. Leslie, I love styling flowers and I adore the color palette you chose, so vibrant!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Painting Central Park

  7. So pretty, Leslie! My Grandmother was a florist and she always had the most beautiful floral arrangements in her home. Unfortunately, I did not inherit her talent.

  8. Flower arranging is an art and you're very talented at putting together pleasing arrangements, Leslie. The colors you chose look so pretty against your dark walls, and I love the addition of the kale to your arrangement!