Summer Gradation Studies

When we visited the market last week we were hoping to find the ingredients to show you how to put together a late summer floral arrangement. As we walked around for our first look at what seasonal goodies were available, we noticed that actual flowers were in short supply. We weren’t in the mood for sunflowers, dahlias were already sold out, and nothing else looked all that great. Then we saw them. Strawflowers usually don’t impress us much, but this particular bucket had a beautiful blend of warm colors and our minds immediately went towards gradation. Alongside this week’s other big winner, heirloom tomatoes, we were able to create a palette-perfect tabletop setting to transition us out of summer and into fall.

The thing that first stands out about strawflowers is their texture; appropriately enough, strawflowers feel like straw. The have the same texture as most flowers do after they have been dried, which means they are long-lasting and hold up well for projects. This flower loves long, hot, dry summers, so by the time Indian Summer rolls around strawflowers are in their prime.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Studio Choo’s post after the jump!

And everyone knows that summer is the season for fabulous, flavorful, burst-in-your-mouth tomatoes. As the season winds down everyone should be running out and grabbing as many tomatoes off the vine as they can carry right this second. We did exactly that and ended up with a selection of tomatoes in every size, color and flavor. We paid particular attention to choosing colors that would blend well for our tomato “wreath”. Reds with a bit of green and orange ones with yellowy stripes worked particularly well for bridging the gaps between solid colors.

Then the real fun started. We snipped the heads off of our strawflowers and arranged them in color groupings on the table. You could leave the flowers flat on the table, glue them onto a wreath form, or string them into garland form like we did. The flowers are sturdy and easy to string, and their dry nature means that this garland will last into fall.

With a few serving plates strung along next to each other we were able to lay out our end-of-summer tomatoes in a similar gradation, although don’t count on this arrangement to last quite as long. Delicious, freshly cut heirloom tomatoes don’t stand much of a chance on our dinner table.

  1. Char says:

    Who’s the illustrator of the beautiful Illustration?

  2. Linda says:

    Sigh…..Wonderful images early on a winter morning.

  3. Alice says:

    I found your perfect picture on the Internet.
    May I take a part of the second photo for a NONPROFIT summer camp poster design?
    I really like the image of fall!

    1. grace says:


      please email me at designsponge at gmail dot com to discuss.


  4. Miss B. says:

    I’m with Lauren above, this post was stunning!

  5. Jordan Foutz says:

    Most of these don’t even look real. Such amazing colors in nature.

  6. Jason Fahy says:

    We’d buy prints of several of the above shots, if you made posters of them! :) Beautiful work.

  7. nicoled says:


    I am not sure of your copyright usage on your photos, but I can tell you a facebook page is using the one in this post of the tomato salad and passing it off as their own to drum up business. In the photo section at: you can find the picture.
    Good luck and I hope that none of your other work has been lifted and not credited.

    This is a beautiful post, by the way. The colors and theme are lovely and make me yearn for fall…and summer has barely begun! Oh, the wait.

  8. Nikki says:

    That tomato salad is gorgeous, have to attempt to make it this summer!


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