The Edible Fall Centerpiece
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 29, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)
This centerpiece is for practical folks who do not require a formal showpiece. Better yet, it is for children to create since they enjoy putting it together. Of course, a centerpiece like this one would not be used at the White House or some other elegant place, but it suits my farmhouse. There are no set rules in creating this centerpiece; merely a few simple principles which are listed below.
- Fall floral arrangements should reflect the autumn colors found in nature.
- The fall centerpiece should be arranged in a container which corresponds with the colors of fall.
- Create overall balance in the floral design by placing the tallest plants in the back and the smallest plants in the front, just as you would in a flowerbed.
When making the centerpiece create it to show your unique personality as well as the bounty of fall.
Keep in mind that this centerpiece mixes edible products with manmade ornaments. Some ornaments are covered with glitter and other inedible effects. Be sure to wash the apples or other edible items you add to the display before eating from it.
The colors of autumn are often vivid gold and yellow, red, orange and rich hues of burgundy. Floral arrangements and accent colors for fall centerpiece displays should reflect the colors found in nature. You may purchase the flora it you like. It can be found at discount centers and craft stores in inexpensive bundles. These bundles are easy to handle and need not be cut apart as they are complete decorative collections. And the silk bundles are convenient, because you can reuse them each season.
In the photo are three separate bundles of silk fall foliage in one of my jadeite pitchers. The jadeite is not a typical fall color, but I like my jadeite dishes. Therefore, I use them at every opportunity. You can do the same. Use what you have and what you like. If you use live plants for the centerpiece remember they will lose their freshness after a time. Also be careful when collecting the live plants. Plants such as poison ivy are abundant in nature. The resulting rash will make you miserable if you come in contact with the poison ivy.
The fall centerpiece should be arranged in a container which matches the colors of the flora. You might try a copper or tawny colored container. Use a low, rectangular basket to hold apples, candies, pies or other edibles. For my edible arrangement I used a lid from a hat box. I simply wiped it clean and turned it upside down then filled it with goodies. Notice the lid in the photo at left. Remember, though, I cheated and used a jadeite pitcher for one of my fall arrangements. It is perfectly acceptable to use what you have and what you like. Enjoy your arrangement.
Place a pot of mums or perhaps apple pie, candy corn or other edibles at the center of your creation. Surround it with layers of color by adding gala apples, dried gourds, decorative corn and silk leaves tinted for fall. There are many fall hued ornaments which you can add to the centerpiece. Use your imagination to create the centerpiece, and have fun while doing it.
If you have children let them help create the display. They will add their own unique touches. You might toss gummy worms among the apples. Your children and guests will be amused at the wormy apples.
As September moves into October you may want to add a faux spider or other creepy touches to the centerpiece. Take a walk down the Halloween isle at your local discount center for eerie supplies and creepy inspiration. What fun your children will have in adding scary touches to the centerpiece.
When November arrives replace the scary accents with pilgrims, or turkeys. A cornucopia of flowers is a nice addition in November as well. You might want to place an urn and notepad in the center of the display. Have family members write what they are thankful for and drop the note into the urn. On Thanksgiving Day you can read the thankful notes aloud.
Whether you create a simple centerpiece or a large display it is important to remember that it belongs especially to you. It will be a unique and fun creation of your own design. Enjoy!
Dave's gardening forums is a wonderful place to begin.
Dave's garden crafts and decorating forum
Fabulous fall recipes
Autumn crafts for kids
Halloween on the web
Virtual tour of the White House
All photographs are my own