Pumpkins Get Pretty

06 Sep 2023

Incorporating florals into fall décor

By Emma Dannenfelser

Photos by Pixabay

Here in the South, the upcoming Fall season can look a little less traditional and a little more unconventional. Instead of the customary cozy plaids, steaming mugs of cider and brightly colored leaves, we can find inspiration from a coastal fall, reminding us of never-ending sunsets on the beach.

The Charleston Flower Market on Maybank Highway leans into pink, orange, cream—and even aqua—hues for the fall season instead of the traditional "spooky" orange, black and purple tones. Pulling inspiration from nature for fall decorations is an excellent alternative to commercial and oft repetitive “scary” motifs.

“Instead of it being scary, it can just be something fun, different and whimsical,” said Charleston Flower Market designer Catherine Davis.

If tradition is more your speed, the Charleston Flower Market still has exciting options, the most popular being pumpkin filled bouquets. The pumpkins can be filled, and decorated, with traditional flowers, as well as succulents for a unique look.

Creating floral arrangements in, on or around pumpkins is a trend that has recently been circulating on popular creative inspiration sites such as Pinterest and Tik Tok, making this a great craft to try at home, or with the kids as well. The possibilities are endless and allow you to use whatever color and size pumpkin you desire. Using a smoky, blue Jarrahdale Pumpkin could be a great way to play into a coastal fall theme. Let your imagination run wild!

“We love to decorate the pumpkins, it’s just a neat container that provides something that can go from Halloween all through Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to embrace the fall, especially somewhere like Charleston, where it doesn’t really feel all that much like fall,” Davis said. “It’s a great way to decorate for fall without it being too ridiculous.”

A great tip from Charleston Flower Market is to coat your pumpkin with Vaseline or petroleum jelly, so they not only stay shiny and aesthetically beautiful to look at, but also to prevent bacteria from developing and causing the pumpkin to rot. Davis added that if you’re specifically looking for a long-term decoration, a faux pumpkin might be the way to go.

Davis added that another unconventional way Charleston residents embrace a coastal fall is by leaning into more neutral colors, like soft creams and tans, by decorating with dried grasses and Pampas grass. When paired with a steely blue, this pallet not only embraces the southern fall, but emulates the stunning landscape of the Lowcountry.

Dried flowers, herbs and even mushrooms are also an excellent way to decorate for the fall, as they will last longer and offer the warm, homey look that fall decorations usually offer. A great benefit to decorating with dried plants during fall months is that they are able to withstand heat, lasting longer than many fresh options. Succulents are another great alternative to fresh flowers, requiring almost no maintenance and lasting long even in extreme heat, Davis said.

The secret to keeping flowers alive and vibrant for as long as possible, whether the bouquet is in a typical glass vase or a gourd, is to keep bacteria away from the water and the flower stems. A great way to do this is by keeping the container clean, changing the water regularly and giving the stems a fresh cut every few days.

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