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As we approach the fall of 2012 we can get excited about what the season has in store for us. One of the things I like most about the fall is warm colors in hues of orange, red and gold. This year we are also seeing splashes of vibrant Olympian Blue from Pantone’s colors of the year (www.pantone.com) showing up everywhere from fashion to home décor.

carolcaggiano2012Carol CaggianoAdd a snappy pair of blue shoes, a blue scarf or beads to your wardrobe and a blue pillow or throw rug for your home. These are ways to work these blue tones into our autumn palettes.

With flowers we can introduce these trendy hues immediately and inexpensively with bunches of deep blue delphinium, or more subtly with nigella or sinuata statice accenting more traditional fall and late summer blooms.

Because texture is important in fall floral arrangements and bouquets, eryngium can add exciting texture while introducing vibrant blue hues. Another way to go would be to use a blue vase, bouquet wrap or accessory to introduce this fun autumn hue. However you choose to work with it, blue will make your fall designs look fresh, new and very much in style.

Fall is all about leaves, branches and berries. Use as many as you can in your fall designs. Hypericum is a fabulous product that comes in a wide variety of colors and some of the newer branched varieties are a fabulous value. Look for some magnolia leaves with their brown “suede” underside to give you a more sophisticated look than traditional oak leaves.

Incorporate branches or twigs where ever you can. This earthy natural look is very much in trend and can add so much to your floral selections. Tuck bundles of twigs in among the blooms in a bouquet for texture and color. Don’t overlook the ever-popular orchids, my favorite cymbidium for sure, to add some punch to your fall selections.

Supermarket floral departments tend to keep the price points low, as those sell the largest volume, but offer some more upscale designs and bouquets and you will be surprised how they will sell.

We are in a tough economy but consumers still want to buy flowers. Keep your displays fresh and inviting and wherever possible add signage to give the consumer some helpful information. These signs could contain a name for the bouquet such as “Festive Fall Bouquet,” but even more important could contain care and handling hints, longevity information or variety names.

The more the consumer knows about our products the more comfortable they will be in purchasing them. As much as we follow color and design trends, the need for consumer education is a fact of life that is not going away and is only going to get stronger. Start this fall by making your product both consumer “friendly” and “trendy” and you will see sales soar.

Carol Caggiano is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and of Professional Floral Commentators International. She serves on the board of the Society of American Florists and lives in Jeffersonton, VA. She can be contacted at CJCaggiano@aol.com.