Photo: Linda Nederkoorn
One of the signs of autumn is the heavy morning dew that makes gardens glisten. This is the season to savor the flowers that are still blooming and to harvest the flowers that dry well for winter arrangements.
If you have annuals such as blue salvia, globe amaranth lavender, and celosia still in bloom, pick bunches, tie the stems together, and hang them upside down to dry out of the sun. This helps the stems to be straight when you arrange them later.
The large flower heads from hydrangea bushes can be cut also, and the leaves stripped from the stems. If the stems are stiff and woody, they will dry upright in a vase without water. Otherwise hang them too. When the leaves turn, pick some branches of colorful leaves and place them in water and they will last about a week.
For mixed autumnal arrangements use bittersweet, Chinese lanterns, sprays of crabapple, rose hips, grass, wheat and berries to blend with late blooming flowers.
Natural looking containers are best for fall arrangements: for example, use a basket, a small-hollowed out pumpkin, a terracotta or ceramic bowl or even a coffee mug. If you have a few last day lilies in bloom, float them in a glass bowl for a centerpiece for your table. Fall’s final flowers are precious – soon they will only be a memory.