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Holiday floral arrangement: pomegranates, orchids and berries

Pomegranates can add unexpected shape and color to a fall floral arrangement. (Photo courtesy POM Wonderful) In the weeks closer to Thanksgiving, it might be challenging to find pomegranates without scarring and suitable for placement in a lovely centerpiece arrangement.

A solution is to keep an eye out now for the best-looking specimens. The website Ehow has instructions for drying pomegranates which we have not tested, but UC Davis in California recommends waxing as a commercial solution. Pomegranates are susceptible to water loss through their skin, and will shrivel with dehydration.

Try coating them with a craft store finish such as glossy ModPodge to add sheen and help keep them plump. 

The Golden Harvest centerpiece was made from a project by POM Wonderful, which supplies fresh pomegranates as well as pomegranate arils and juices to area supermarkets and gourmet food stores. Area florists sometimes stock cymbidium orchids around the holidays, and they can also order them.

Fresh materials: 9 pomegranates, 8 gold cymbidium orchids, 10 stems hypericum berries, 20 magnolia leaves

Supplies and tools: 10-inch by 4-inch cylinder-style glass vase, 2 blocks of floral foam, 8 water tubes, 18 food-safe wood picks (6-inch size, from a florist or found online), 2-1/2 yards double-sided
tape, knife, floral shears, floral tape.

1. Wrap two parallel rows of tape, covered side facing out, horizontally around the very clean vase. Keep the tops of the leaves somewhat even, trim off the leaf bottoms. Remove paper and press leaves around the outside of the vase with the underside facing out, forming an even line at the vase’s base.

2. Submerse foam blocks in water until saturated (about an hour); don’t force down. Cut the blocks with a knife to fit the vase, allowing the foam’s top to extend about a half inch above the rim. Secure with floral tape.

3. Insert two wood picks into each pomegranate and insert evenly around the foam. Tuck the cut hypericum berry clusters between pomegranates.

4. Trim each orchid stem, place in a water tube and tuck into the arrangement.

Note: Lilies, roses, alstroemeria and mums can be used in place of orchids. Omit water tubes for those flowers, which be pushed directly into the moist floral foam.

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