Autumn, with Orange Notes

Week 43, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers

Autum with orange notes
Autumn with orange notes. A favorite vase purchased at a vintage market more than a decade ago contains burnt orange chrysanthemums from Ojeda Farm, with lots of items cut from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden (ninebark, cotinus, viburnum foliage; miscanthus grass and the faded bloom stalk from a Rodgersia)
2 orange vases
Two more vintage orange vessels, include (left) 6-inch tall x 4-inch diameter McCoy bud vase, used in the 2013 arrangement; and a vintage vase with 2 handles, possibly Fiestaware.
Dusty Miller foliage, ‘Jazzy’ zinnias, plum-colored celosia, dark maroon zinnias, Craspedia, and some ‘Green Spice’ heuchera foliage round things out in these two mini vases.
page 82 Slow Flowers Book, 2013

Halloween approaches, as it does every year, and floral designers are acutely aware of the need to collect autumnal botanicals with an emphasis on flowers with orange petals!

Burnt orange chrysanthemums in a burnt orange McCoy bud vase.
Burnt orange chrysanthemums in a burnt orange McCoy bud vase.

When I created the pair of posies in vintage orange-glazed pottery, I used a combination of marigolds, crocosmia, and feverfew, along with culinary mint and fountain grasses. I love the little McCoy bud vase, which has a return appearance this week. The flower pot I used in 2013, a McCoy design with almost identical orange glazing, was on loan to me for that photo shoot.

Orange vase with two handles
Orange vase with two handles
Detail of antique American Belleek cider pitcher
Detail of antique American Belleek cider pitcher

This time around, I made three arrangements and used a brilliant vintage vase with 2 handles and a vintage jug with beautiful orange fruit pattern. I’ve had the antique American Belleek porcelain jug in my collection for years, and I’m so happy I am able to add it to this week’s grouping. Further research dates it at 1904, with handpainted fruits and foliage.

Celosia and dahlia details
Celosia and dahlia details

Finding florals to emulate what I created a decade ago was not hard, but I did want to expand the palette. The flowers include:

Burnt orange chrysanthemums, grown by Ojeda Farm
Yellow-gold and tangerine dahlias, from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Crested cockscomb celosia in a peachy-apricot tone, from Peterkort Roses
Craspedia (Billy balls), grown by Field to Heart
Dusty miller foliage, grown by Sonshine Farm

Green Spice Details
Green Spice heuchera detail

Other elements from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden include ‘Jazzy’ zinnias, plum-colored plume celosia, dark maroon zinnias, and some ‘Green Spice’ heuchera foliage round things out in these two mini vases.

billy ball and jazzy zinnia detail

It’s a hodge-podge, for sure! But the textures and accents of gold, purple, and silver really mix up the otherwise orange vibe — and that’s what this season is all about.

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)