Bay Hill Florist OrlandoOur shop rarely carries carnations or mums. Our year-round staples are roses (in scores of varieties), hydrangeas, lilies, tropicals and seasonal offerings that come from local growers.  While we’ve taken pride in avoiding “cheap” flowers like carnations and mums (except for special orders), I’ve always gotten confused come fall. The fact is, mums are traditional fall flowers, and carns come in the fall colors that people love to see this time of year. So what should I design with?

We got an order for an event that calls for fall colors, and our customer knew just what she wanted: burnished hydrangeas, ‘Mango Flame’ mini callas, ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Leonitis‘ roses, bittersweet and pomegranites. Talk about a sophisticated palette! I added ‘John Storey’ orchids, hypericum berries and sedum for good measure.

And now I know what to design with in the fall when I’m in the mood to be creative and work with interesting materials (all the time).

Some other good ones: ‘Hearts’ roses, seeded eucalyptus, curly willow, chocolate cymbidiums, Safari Sunset and green hydrangeas (for brightness).

Bay Hill Florist OrlandoAnother thing I’ve realized is that fall colors juxtaposed with colors on the opposite side of the color wheel look really good together. Today I made a vase arrangement for a customer whose only direction when he placed his order was: “Use a mix of colors, whatever flowers you want, and just make it look great.”

As a grid to hold my flowers in place in the low cylinder, I used pittusporum in the bottom. Next I added three blue hydrangea on one side of the arrangement, a cluster ‘Florida Sunset’ orange roses and a cluster of red hypericum berries. I broke up the ‘Florida Sunset’ roses with burgundy spray roses, and finished the arrangement with a few stems of red ‘John Storey’ orchids and a bittersweet branch.