November brings our Thanksgiving holiday and thoughts of celebrating the vast varieties of vegetables and fruits available.   Just a few tricks will make these wonderful, long lasting fruits and vegetables fun and attractive additions to your holiday arrangements.

Green grapes and green apples are good accents for a combination of viburnum berries, cockscomb and white lisianthus.

Photo by Tom Weishaar

A trick for working with heavy bunches of grapes is to balance them horizontally across the vase using a bamboo skewer.  Here two skewers are tapes together for extra strength.  

Fruits and vegetables may be staked with skewers and placed into an arrangement.  More stability is achieved using two skewers placed at an angle.

Oranges are picked into a phoenix design of magnolia and fritillaria.  The Phoenix design is a round base with stems rising radially from the center and named after the mythological Phoenix bird that ignites and rises to heaven.

Photo Rob Cardillo

Vegetables and flowers fill a large copper compote bowl.  Green amaranths, and hydrangea combine with two shades of orange roses and accents of blue thistle and purple hyacinth bean are contrasted with green persimmon, purple eggplant, green peppers, and orange pumpkins. 

Photo by Sarah Salomon.

In Sogetsu Ikebana design there is a class using fruits and vegetables where materials are placed side by side.  My design, mostly green, included patty pan squash, a few cherries, one lime, and blueberries still green on the vine.  A bunch of explosion grass bursts from the plate. The garlic scapes, one of my favorites, circle and wind around the space and were a suggestion from the instructor, Midori Tanimune, who said to “not be afraid to do out of the space!”

Another example of vegetables simply laid on a surface is this wire cornucopia filled with succulents and a few white mini pumpkins.  It’s very easy to do. Just a few dried oak leaves and bits of moss finish the design. The clay slab is called a trencher and made by Brett Thomas of Mobile Raku pottery.

Lots of things to do with arranging with vegetables but also even more for eating.  Happy Thanksgiving!!