Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower – Albert Camus
My front garden has been full of amazingly coloured sycamore leaves, which I wanted to use in a Halloween/Autumn design. With an inexpensive bunch of bi-colour red/yellow roses and alstroemeria from the supermarket and of course a pumpkin (expertly carved by my daughter and friend); I hope to have captured the flaming reds and oranges you can see outside at this time of year. If you don’t have time to create the leaf collar the flowers looked good without this extra finish.
How to Create
Unwrap the flowers, remove any lower leaves – I also had to remove some thorns from the roses using a small knife. I had collected some leaves the day before so they had a chance to dry out a bit. I created a circle of roses and altroemeria in my hand, put the biggest rose in the centre. When I was happy with the shape I tied the flowers together using string/raffia. Choose any vase tall or short with an opening not too big for the flowers. Holding the stems against my tank vase, I cut the stems so the flowers would sit just above the neck of the vase. Dilute the flower food and add to the vase.
To create the leaf collar, I cut a length of decorative copper wire (you could use garden wire instead) and threaded through each leaf, (I removed the stalks first). You will have what looks like a leaf garland. Tuck the beginning of the wire into the top corner of the vase – you might need to push away the first leaves to create some bare wire. Then holding the wire and leaves across the top of the vase, just separate the leaves a little so they form a collar around the flowers, it’s good to have some overlapping and different angles they don’t have to be perfect! Tuck the end of the wire into the vase to hold in place.