The spirit and ambiance of the autumn season can be communicated with more than the traditional seasonal flowers and colors, as demonstrated in this contemporary centerpiece by floral designer and business consultant Frank Blanchard, AIFD, CFD, of Think Flowers Media in Portland, Ore. A lovely botanical decorative for any composition features an elevated focus, with the botanical rectangular or oval table or credenza, from the dining room to the boardroom and beyond, this sensational materials dancing among an enchanting horizontal “bramble” of lichen-covered branches. Contemporary in every way, from the styling to the choice of materials and colors, this dramatic design generates a modern autumnal vibe but with a softer palette, which may be more harmonious with your clients’ décor than traditional fall colors.

Step 1

Wrap two adhesive dashes to the top (non-pointed) end of each of eight bamboo skewers, placing the second adhesive dash an inch or so lower than the first.

Step 2

Attach the adhesive-covered section of each skewer to the side of a 4-inch water tube, just below the rim of each tube.

Step 3

Tightly bind the water tubes to the skewers in two places, to camouflage the adhesive dashes, with natural or brown paper- covered wire.

Step 4

Glue a tapered piece of dry foam into a boat- shaped ceramic container with hot-melt (pan) glue. Dip the pointed ends of the water-tubed skewers into the hot-melt (pan) glue, and insert the skewers, one at a time, into the dry foam, at varying angles, forming a somewhat “untamed” radiating pattern. Cover the surface of the dry foam with polished river rocks, to camouflage the foam and add weight to the container.

Step 5

Using short lengths of paper-covered wire, bind lichen-covered branches horizontally to the water tubes and skewers, as well as to each other, at various points, until you have created the desired horizontal “bramble” effect. The lichen-branch bramble should taper somewhat at each end to loosely reflect the shape of the container. Next, weave and wend fiber-covered wire over, among and through the lichen-branch structure, to create movement and rhythm and to provide additional security.

Step 6

Fill the water tubes with flower-food solution. Arrange long stems of English Ivy into the water tubes, followed by Virginia Sweetspire and Japanese Maple.

Step 7

Complete the design by arranging roses, Ranunculus and Starflower Pincushions into the water tubes, among the foliage.