It’s no secret that I love to comb the countryside gathering the freshest foliage and flowers along with cuttings from friends’ gardens (who have so kindly given me cutting rights!) to do flower arrangements. I like to think of these designs as “farm to floral” even though I incorporate purchased flowers as well. Without a doubt, the fruits of the autumn harvest yield the most gorgeous array of yellow, gold, rust, and red hues that absolutely are spell bounding.
One of my favorite fall excursions is our local Aplin Farms. Their fields, resplendent with acres of golden sunflower blooms, could rival the fields of Tuscany.
My business partner at Garden Gate, Vicki Harris and I spent an afternoon gathering buckets of sunflowers for our designs.
I couldn’t resist a photo “opp” with these three adorable sisters.
Of course, this was my favorite produce selection of the day – sweet potatoes from my home state of Mississippi!
Plentiful fields of sorghum doted the landscape at Aplin Farms.
October daisies, Lion’s Mane, Sage, and Zinnias are fall favorites of mine from the cutting garden of Jennifer and Joe Steever.
Endless fields of golden rod remind me of my Mother cutting it on the roadside when I was a child..
A few arrangements using “farm to vase” are shown below:
Autumn leafed branches, glowing in gold, red, and rust hues, are a focal point in many of the arrangements pictured below. Pears, small pumpkins, and vintage hydrangeas also contribute to the harvest theme.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Hartzog’s Satsuma Farm in Webb, Alabama. The Hartzog family has approximately 1000 trees in two different locations with this year being their tenth harvest. Groves of trees with cascading branches of glossy, green foliage and heavily laden with sweet fruit were spectacular against a perfect Autumn blue sky. The owner was kind enough to let me cut some small branches to use in a couple of designs.
Simple vases of roses combined with Nandina and Bradford Pear foliage formed the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving dinner. Although the roses were not home grown, they remind me of my Mother’s spectacular Thanksgiving tablescapes with her garden roses taking center stage.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise . . .”