Pumpkin Elegant

"Smart, fashionable, stylish" is how a French dictionary defines "élégant." This cunning, harvest-themed arrangement, designed by Jerry Atnip of Atnip Company Interiors in Ashland, fits the bill.

"It's warm and traditional but with a twist — the pumpkin," says Atnip, whose centerpieces will grace dinner tables at the Oct. 29 Schneider Museum of Art's Art Affair 2010 in Ashland.

"It celebrates the autumn holidays with seasonal flora and squashes."

Choose from fall's bounty — dahlias, chrysanthemums, freesia, late-blooming sunflowers, maple leaves, hypericum berries — to complement your ribbon and the bright pumpkin.

"A person could also purchase an affordable, seasonal bouquet and cut it to fit," suggests Atnip. "To create a taller arrangement perfect for an entry table in front of a mirror, use flora with height, such as gladioli and curly willow."

A final tip: If the arrangement is to be placed on a wood surface, be sure to use a plastic disk as a base to prevent the pumpkin from leaving a mark.

What you'll need

  • 1 pumpkin, 10 to 12 inches in diameter
  • 1 plastic florists liner to fit inside pumpkin (or plastic food container or bucket)
  • Oasis floral foam, cut to fit diameter of container and 2- to 3-inch depth
  • Fancy, straight pins
  • 18 inches of 1 1/2-inch-wide decorative ribbon
  • Flowers of choice, leaves removed from stems

Instructions

Cut a circular hole in the top of the pumpkin, remove insides and scrape clean. Soak the floral foam in water and fit inside the plastic container. Fill container with water up to 1 inch from the rim.

Cut flowers so they won't reach higher than 10 inches above the top of the pumpkin — you want the arrangement to be low enough on a dining table so guests can see each other.

Anchor the first few flowers into the floral foam, creating a solid base to support the remaining flowers. Add the rest of the foliage, cutting as necessary, to create an artful arrangement.

Pin ribbon in place, adding a bow if desired.

Replenish water every couple of days.


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