Centre of interest

A few seasonal flowers and a bit of know-how are all you need to create an early autumnal centrepiece.

You will need
Plastic-coated chicken wire
Compote vase
Waterproof florist’s tape (available from floral supplies store)
Sharp secateurs/snips


Floral ingredients
Base: autumn foliage, fruit on the branch
Focal: dahlias, garden roses, zinnias Supporting: amaranth, mini zinnias
Airy accents: scabiosa and cosmos


  1. Form the chicken wire into a ball and place it in the base of your vase to create a stem stabiliser. Secure the wire with a cross of waterproof tape over the top (this will be hidden by foliage).
  2. Create a base of foliage and branchy greens to establish your shape and set outer boundaries; layer in supporting airy foliage and heavy fruit to cover the base
    of your vessel.
  3. Position focal flowers to follow the shape defined by your foliage base.
  4. Thread through supporting flowers for colour accents and to create depth and space within the arrangement.
  5. Finally, add the airy accent blooms to emphasise a sense of movement.



Use seasonal flowers They are more sustainable, fresher, last longer and look right together. Doing this also gives you the creative license to use berries, autumn- tinged leaves and other floral ingredients that are only available seasonally.
Mix bought blooms With some garden greenery. The natural shape of the stems will help guide your design.
Plan ahead Some blooms may need a few days to open – especially standard roses purchased in tight buds. Garden roses and dahlias, on the other hand, have a shorter vase life and only need to be picked a day or two before using them.
Favour similar hues Those that are close to each other on the colour wheel, so as to create a more cohesive aesthetic.
Vary the size and shape of blooms for contrast and interest. Think about design techniques such as repetition, space and directional lines in terms of the composition.
Consider the size of the arrangement – a long and low shape is perfect for a dinner table setting so guests can still view each other over the top of it.

Follow Lydia @missdahliamay

Words and styling Lydia Reusser
Photography Greta van der Star

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