Tag Archives: arranging with bittersweet and gourds

Bittersweet…For Fall!

Our shipments of bittersweet have begun to arrive, and on its own or combined with pumpkins, gourds, and dried pods of all sorts,  fall decorating can begin!Arrangement Close-Up - Bittersweet, Mini White Pumpkin, Burlap, Pods

A Simple Arrangement of Bittersweet Each year we’re fortunate to have friends in North Carolina supply us with long stems of beautiful, freshly cut bittersweet that we enjoy using in many of our fall designs and that you can purchase to create your own too.

The vines are expertly hand cut in the mountains, packed carefully between paper, and shipped to us. It’s so fresh the berries are usually still closed until they begin to open in the heat of the greenhouse. To keep the berries from shedding, give them a good coating of a heavy-duty hairspray. We discovered this tip a couple of years ago, and it works well.

Stems of bittersweet...

Stems of bittersweet…

Bittersweet is lovely on its own in a simple vase,  but it can also be the star in more elaborate arrangements. The sky’s the limit with so many interesting supporting players of dried materials, gourds, and plants. Here are some designs from fall 2013. With this year’s season just beginning, I’m sure there will be many more to show you in the coming weeks!Bittersweet arrangement


Note:  This fall decorating staple is also an invasive vine in many parts of the country. Because of this, we recommend its use for indoor decorating only. This simple step will prevent birds from eating any of the seeds on outdoor decorations and depositing them in areas here where it could get a foothold.  We also ask that you dispose of indoor decorations at the end of fall by bagging them up in a plastic garbage bag and sealing it securely.

Fall…Arrangement Inspiration

imageWe look forward to fall with its autumn hues glowing on gorgeous pumpkins and gourds, bright stems of bittersweet and dark colors of pods and stems. Nature gives us all the inspiration we need for interesting and arresting arrangements.

Here are a few we’ve created recently

A simple wreath made of cotton bolls is embellished just enough with touches of ribbon and bittersweet…these wreaths also add charm to winter and holiday decor. Simply remove the bittersweet and change the ribbons if desired.

Bittersweet in Putti UrnBittersweet, arranged in a classic urn, gives us the quintessential look of fall. This piece is quite large, but the same effect can be achieved in a simple vase just as easily. I used dry foam with moss and added gourds to complete the arrangement.

Pumpkin/gourd/bittersweet in basketSwan gourds here are grouped in a basket lined with moss and angel vine. If you let your imagination go, you might see an aviary family under the branch of a tree. Or, you might just see a natural composition encircled and overhung by bittersweet. There’s no wrong way to interpret this!

Pumpkin/gourd/bittersweet centerpiece in bowl


A beautiful bowl is the starting point Jamie used for this grouping of gourds and pumpkins. Interesting shapes, varying colors, and the play of bittersweet wind throughout this balanced design.

Pumpkin/succulent arrangement



This rough textured oval container lends itself well to a casual grouping of miniature gourds and pumpkins interspersed with succulents, touches of bittersweet, and moss. Mixing live plants adds yet another element of color and form to many compositions.Gourd Arrangement

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