Magazine article Sunset

Harvest Bouquets

Magazine article Sunset

Harvest Bouquets

Article excerpt

Stroll out into the garden this month, basket and shears in hand, and chances are you'll find plenty of handsome materials to cut for harvest bouquets. Leaves are turning shades of red-gold to plum, berries on shrubs such as pyracantha are ripening, and chrysanthemums are blooming in colors that echo fall's low, golden light.

Growing among them might be other treasures, such as dried grasses, glossy or straplike green leaves, or interesting seed pods or fruits. Collected into bouquets, they can bring your garden's late-season color indoors.

The arrangements pictured on these pages, created by members of The Carmel-By-The-Sea Garden Club for a fall flower show, make use of materials gathered from gardens and roadsides. Although many of the prunings may not have the longevity of cut flowers from a florist, they go together quickly and handsomely for bouquets.

Once cut, most last about five days in water.


In the West's mild-winter areas, many summer flowers--such as cosmos, gaillardia, and some roses--continue blooming well into fall. Others, like mums, are just starting to bloom. Use these as featured plants. For the background, fall foliage might include Chinese pistache (cut twigs with leaves attached).

The chart on page 82 lists fall performers for mild climates. For hardiness in your zone, check the Sunset Western Garden Book.) Your garden or neighborhood might yield other choices.

For longest-lasting bouquets, cut foliage early in the morning, plunge stems immediately into water, and arrange as soon as possible.


Bouquets can be simple and loose, like the one pictured on page 80; symmetrical, like the one pictured at left; or asymmetrical, like the one pictured at the bottom of this page.

Wedge a moistened block of florist's foam into the vase. To secure large fruits such as apples, wire or tie them onto small twigs or branches.


Fall foliage... start with these for background

Chinese pistache. Reds, oranges, and yellows. Grape. Yellow to reddish purple fall color. …

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