feature designs


Cornucopias, both real and implied, are perfect for customers ready to give thanks and celebrate the autumn bounty.

Originating in Greek mythology, the cornucopia is literally translated as the horn of plenty. It has come to be associated with the celebration of Thanksgiving and the abundant fruits of the harvest. Designer J. Keith White, AIFD, has employed some simple design accessories that most florists have on hand to create five fabulous cornucopia designs that can be whipped up ahead of time or on demand for Thanksgiving shoppers and fall events.

Guest designer:
J. Keith White, AIFD, is partner and design director for AANDK Productions in Houston, Texas, a special-events company for retail, corporate and trade clients. He is involved in the Texas State Florists’ Association and the Allied Florists of Houston, which awarded him Member of the Year in 1996. Mr. White is a member of the FTD Education Team and the California Cut Flower Commission Education/Outreach Team.

Other members of the FTD Education Team are Jeffrey Corbin, AIFD, AAF, PFCI; Deborah De La Flor, AIFD; Toomie Farris, AIFD, AAF; John Klingel, AIFD, AAF, PFCI; Ian Prosser, AIFD, AAF, NDSF; and Tina M. Stoecker, AIFD, PFCI.

This design feature and Mr. White’s work on it were sponsored by FTD Group, Inc.

disguised vase
Your arrangement doesn’t have to be horizontal to suggest a cornucopia. Those who excel at vase arrangements can use this method to quickly and easily add a fall accent. Gold aluminum wire is wrapped around a clear glass vase and formed into a tail, and encircled angel vine at the mouth of the vase further accentuates the cornucopia. The botanicals are a mix of the traditional and the exotic, and their staggered placement, including Hypericum stems extending around the perimeter, enhances the lush feeling of this bouquet.

MATERIALS:  ‘Ignace’ garden spray roses from Flower Transfer; angel vine and preserved oak leaves from Knud Nielsen Company; vase from favorite supplier; ‘Milva’ roses, Anthuriums, pincushions (Leucospermums), Hypericum and steel grass sponsored by FTD Flower Exchange.

HOW TO: Bend one end of a length of aluminum
wire over the lip of a glass vase to anchor it, and
coil the wire around the vase, extending past the
bottom to create a tail for the cornucopia. After
reaching the tip, coil back up around the vase,
weaving the end of the aluminum wire into the
shape or securing it over the lip of the vase as
well. Weave several pieces of steel grass in a
crisscross fashion from the cornucopia’s
mouth to its tip.


coiled cornucopia
A trio of strong blooms make a big impact in this diminutive and intricately woven wire vessel. While materials are few, the arrangement has high value because of its artistic presentation. A small foam holder at the mouth of the cornucopia provides the flowers’ water source, and delicate bullion wire encircles the entire creation, as do woven lengths of steel grass, providing a continuity that draws the eye from the front-and-center florals to the tip of the cone. A floral foam form is wired just inside the cone to hold the floral materials.

MATERIALS: Oasis® Mini-Deco™ Holder, Gold Aluminum Wire and Bullion Wire from Smithers-Oasis; preserved oak leaves from Knud Nielsen Company; ‘Milva’ roses, Cymbidium orchid, Hypericum and steel grass sponsored by FTD Flower Exchange.

HOW TO: Create evenly spaced loops on a length of aluminum wire, wrapping the wire around a marking pen. Form a cornucopia by coiling the wire back around itself, leaving a wide mouth and narrowing to a tail.


natural surroundings
A simple, elongated coil of angel vine creates a woodsy cornucopia from which a wealth of rich ingredients appear to tumble. Both the flowers, which are inserted into soaked floral foam in a small design tray, and the preserved oak leaves are united by their rich sheens and hues of red and orange. A few accents of cool green, including the artichoke at the cornucopia’s base, add to the natural look.

MATERIALS: FloraShapes® 6-inch Florist’s Bowl from Floralife; angel vine, preserved pomegranates, preserved oak leaves and barked wire from Knud Nielsen Company; ‘Eric Taberly’ garden spray roses from Flower Transfer; ‘Milva’ and ‘Charlotte’ roses, Anthuriums, Asiatic lilies, miniature callas, Proteas, artichokes and Hypericum sponsored by FTD Flower Exchange. 

HOW TO: Loosen a coil of angel vine and form it
into a cornucopia shape. Insert two larger twigs
into the bottom of the coil to create a base. Wire
a foam-filled design dish to the base and the
cornucopia frame with barked wire.

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