How to Make a Modern Arrangement with Fruits and Vegetables

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Not all floral arrangements need to have flowers. This arrangement showcases the bounty of fall in all its glory, with cabbages, artichokes, pomegranates and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. It's a stylish way to dress up an autumn mantel or a Thanksgiving buffet table. Best of all, most of the contents of the arrangement can be eaten afterwards. And that's something to be thankful for.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-tight container
  • Floral foam
  • Wood skewers
  • Rubber bands
  • Ornamental cabbages
  • Artichokes
  • Squash blossoms
  • Pomegranates
  • Green beans
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs
Fall Vegetable and Fruit Arrangement
Fall Vegetable and Fruit Arrangement (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 1

Start with a solid, water-tight container like an ice bucket. This arrangement is top-heavy, so the heavier the container, the better. Consider other non-traditional floral vessels like salad bowls and dutch ovens.

Start with a water-tight container
Start with a water-tight container (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2

Cut pieces of floral foam to fit into the container. Select "wet" floral foam, such as floral foam formulated for fresh arrangements. You can purchase floral foam in the floral section of crafts stores. It comes in standard-sized bricks, which can be easily cut with a knife.

Cut floral foam to fit container
Cut floral foam to fit container (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3

Remove the floral foam from the container and soak the pieces in a bucket of water for about a minute. Then return the foam to the container. Although most of the elements of the arrangement will not actually need a water source, the weight of the wet foam will help stabilize the top-heavy arrangement.

Soak the floral foam in water
Soak the floral foam in water (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4

To select the fruits and vegetables for this arrangement, a trip to your local farmers market will definitely inspire you. A great foundation for the arrangement is ornamental cabbage, as the heads look like giant flowers. Remove the outer leaves that are yellowing or wilted, and trim the stem.

Remove wilted leaves from cabbage
Remove wilted leaves from cabbage (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5

Insert the stems of the cabbages into the floral foam. The stems should be hidden completely in the foam. These cabbages are the only element in the arrangement with stems, and therefore the only things in need of the water in the floral foam.

Insert the cabbages into the floral foam
Insert the cabbages into the floral foam (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6

Artichokes are also ideal for this arrangement because of the bud's flower-like appearance. Insert skewers into the stems of the artichokes.

Insert skewers into artichokes
Insert skewers into artichokes (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7

Insert the skewers with the artichokes into the floral foam. You may need to trim the skewers if they are too long. The photo illustrates how the arrangement looks so far from the back.

Insert the skewers into the foam
Insert the skewers into the foam (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 8

Squash blossoms are a farmers' market favorite, and their golden blooms look like African tulips. Bundle three squash blossoms and a skewer together with a rubber band, and they're ready to go into the arrangement.

Bundle squash blossoms with a skewer
Bundle squash blossoms with a skewer (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 9

When inserting the squash blossoms and subsequent elements in this arrangement, aim for a rounded look in which the sides are shorter and the middle is taller. As you can see in the photo here, the squash blossoms, which are in the middle, are higher than the artichokes and cabbages on the side.

Insert the squash blossoms
Insert the squash blossoms (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 10

Pomegranates, which are a fall staple, add a pop of color to the arrangement. As with the artichokes, insert skewers into the fruit to create a long stem, which you can use to place in the floral foam.

Put skewers in pomegranates
Put skewers in pomegranates (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 11

Green beans aren't just green anymore at farmers markets. These purple and yellow beans provide additional color and texture in the arrangement. Bundle the beans with a skewer in the middle, securing them with a rubber band, and place them throughout the centerpiece.

Bundle beans with rubber bands
Bundle beans with rubber bands (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 12

A farmers market truly is inspiring, and everywhere you look there are fruits and vegetables ideal for this arrangement. The deep purple of these eggplants contrasts so beautifully to the green cabbages. Again, insert skewers into their base to create stems for you to place in the centerpiece.

Insert skewers in eggplant
Insert skewers in eggplant (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 13

As you complete the arrangement, you will inevitably notice a few empty spots here and there. The perfect filler for these spaces is fresh herbs, which also make your centerpiece smell glorious. Bundle herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme with rubber bands.

Bundle herbs with rubber bands
Bundle herbs with rubber bands (Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 14

Then position the herb bundles wherever there is an opening in the arrangement. If the arrangement is already densely packed, you will be able to fit in the herbs without anchoring them to skewers. Keep the arrangement in a cool place, and enjoy the fruits – and vegetables – of your labor.

Fill in any gaps with herbs
Fill in any gaps with herbs (Image: Jonathan Fong)

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