Rus­tic bloom­ing bas­ket

First For Women - - Feel-Good File -

WHAT’S NEW

This month, top florists are styling cheery asters in rus­tic “wel­come” bas­kets to greet the fall sea­son. “Here, bright-or­ange and hot­pink zin­nias evoke the feel­ing of a Septem­ber sun­set,” says florist Tracy Hafer­bier. “And the weaved bas­ket adds tex­ture and con­trast for a look that reads rus­tic-chic. Whether dis­played on a pa­tio table or a front porch, it’s a beau­ti­ful way to say hello to au­tumn!”

GET THE LOOK

Start by fill­ing a 5"-tall vase half­way with wa­ter, then place in a weaved wicker bas­ket. (Op­tional: Add a craft-store glue dot to the vase base to se­cure.) Next, cut about 18 zin­nias in var­i­ous shades of pink, or­ange and yel­low to 7 to 9 inches. In­sert each stem into the vase, spac­ing evenly and al­ter­nat­ing col­ors as you go. To fin­ish, tuck in hosta leaves or other leafy green­ery to fill in any gaps.

IN­SIDER’S SE­CRET

Fresh-cut flow­ers tend to wilt quickly when ex­posed to di­rect sun­light. To make this bunch last up to a week or more, pros sug­gest mak­ing your own flo­ral food. To do: Com­bine 1 quart of wa­ter, 2 Tbs. of lemon juice, 1 Tbs. of su­gar and a few drops of bleach; pour into vase. Lemon and bleach erad­i­cate bacteria in the wa­ter while su­gar nour­ishes stems for lively, blos­som­ing blooms.

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