In his 2005 book “Living with Arrangements”, Nico de Swert demonstrated a charming idea that I have used with many variations. It is basically a melon-like slice section of an orb which can be translated into various designs. You can watch Nico do arrangements for Pottery Barn on youtube – click on this link:
My original how-to appeared in “Christmas Balls” (see Archives, Dec. 6, 2012). In the drawing, the ‘melon’ slice is very clear. It is replaced with a slice of Oasis. The Oasis can be sealed with a piece of Press-n-Seal, which happily sticks to wet surfaces. Place a piece the Press-n-Seal along the inside cut ends to hold in the moisture. Keep the Oasis hydrated with ice cubes once a day. They will gently melt into the surface where it first dries out.
Last month when buying my pumpkins, I made sure to get one with which to do this design. Last week at the Fairfield Garden Club, I demonstrated how to do make a pumpkin into a container. This ‘pumpkin’, middle of the group and probably more of a squash, had a bold yellow gold color with an amazing bumpy texture and deep ribbing.
It is easy to do with a block of Oasis too. Using a cookie spatula, still the best thing for Oasis – thin with no drag to it, shave it to shape, allowing the height to sit slightly higher than the surface of the pumpkin. Hydrate the Oasis and place it back in the space. Toothpick skewers can hold it place if necessary.
At the demonstration in Fairfield, chocolate Anthurium, bronze mums, Solidago with a reddish cast, dried yellow kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos) and beech leaves were used with Galax leaves and pine sprigs. Thanks Fairfield – we had fun!!
Looking ahead past Thanksgiving (forgive me!) this can be adapted other ways for holiday designs. This is an 8” Styrofoam ball with dried pinecones, nuts and other faux botanical items. The wedge cut out contains pine and roses, plus a little spring of kiwi vine. This is where the Press-n-Seal helps keep the dried, dry, so that it can be used over and over. The whole thing sits on a decorative wood candle stand.
In the same vein (ha ha pun intended) but much quieter, Eucalyptus with its seeds, dried tree fungus painted silver, and oak leaves with silver only on one side stand on a wonderfully textured silver vase.