By Don Bingham
While there are times I call our local florists or make a quick stop by the local grocery for those inexpensive gladiolas, nothing is more rewarding and pleasing to the eye than bringing the outside in and using God’s created masterpieces for floral arrangements.

Just wandering through the house, in closets, storerooms and the garage will produce a plethora of containers – right at your fingertips. More often than not, a clear glass container with some height is my first pick.

Most of us have shrubs and evergreens, and if we are lacking, one of our neighbors would surely appreciate some trim work done during the coming holiday season. Our backyard is full of wonderful vines, ferns and plants that add that touch of elegance from outdoors.

The beauty of these creations is the fact that there can rarely be a poor arrangement due to lack of ability on the part of the designer! The more cascading and whimsical, the better – the more sticks and branches, the more relaxed and stylish the arrangement.

The key is to create an arrangement as close to the way the flowers or greenery would grow outdoors – nothing to tight and stuffy – just varying heights and spiraling to delight the eye.

I like to use solid color containers, as well, and place a small object or two at the base of the arrangement, perhaps even in the container if it is clear – almost like a natural surprise to delight the eye.

Fall presents us with a smashing array of brilliant colors to use! Leaves, drying foliage, evergreens – all pointing to harvest, the holidays and winter. 

Berries will soon be out, and to fill a simple container with greenery and berries of every sort can take me back to the basics in an artistic palate of what nature has for our enjoyment. 

The following tips are used by most professionals to help make floral arranging a sure success:

It’s best to trim stems at an angle with floral clippers. Stems that are more hardy will need to be split a few inches up the center for better water absorption.

When it’s time for arranging, rinse the stems again to dispose of any of the residue of loose leaves that may distort your crystal clear water, especially when using a glass container. 

Freshen water every other day to help ensure the arrangement stays fresh and enjoyable for longer periods of time.

These wonderfully fresh arrangements are truly available at our door step and will rarely place stress on the household budget! While we all have a “larger than life” appreciation for the trained professional floral designers, you might be surprised at how NATURAL you can be at flower arranging for the coming season!