Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
There are any number of ways we can use Indian corn in floral designs.
Letís start with the very small ones, which are generally called baby corn. These are tiny enough that you can actually make entire wreaths or swags from them. Miniatures to medium sized ears are also wonderful for using in dried floral designs of all sorts.
All different sizes of ears would be suitable for fall cornucopias, which are a traditional seasonal kind of display. For these designs, youíll want to mix the ears with gourds, baby pumpkins, and the like.
Depending on the kind of design you are doing, it may be better to use only one kind, or mix them up. For cornucopias, it is great to mix the different colors up. For this, I would highly recommend using a combination of reds, highly colored blues, pinks, and reds as well as multicolored ones. Cornucopias are traditionally associated with Thanksgiving and fall. These are also known as horn of plenty. They actually originated in ancient Greece. At that time, they displayed the design in an upright position while we normally place the cornucopia on its side so the contents can spill out.
Baskets of various kinds are perfect for fall displays with corn and other seasonal materials. Traditional harvest trugs work especially well for this sort of thing. For these designs, I like to use a mixture of grasses, autumn-hued blooms, along with vegetables and fruits.
A traditional way of displaying ornamental corn is to tie the ears together in a bundle so the arrangement can be hung on a door. This is easier to do if you leave the husks on. Suitable spots for such displays include outdoor spots, such as on porches, and decks.
For many other kinds of designs, it is also best to leave the husk on the corn. Just pull it back to exposure the entire ear. These husks are often highly colored, such as blue, red, and purple. So they can add a wonderful touch to arrangements.
Depending on the design, you may need to wire the cob. If so, select a strong wire. Position this above the husk and base of the ear. Then, twist the wires together to form a good, strong stem.
If you remove the husks from the corn for your design, reserve it for use later. These are perfect for various kinds of fall designs.
For autumn displays, create wall bouquets. These are especially suitable for kitchens. As a finishing touch, add a seasonally-themed bow.
Many kinds of decorative corns should be available at roadside stands, farmersí markets, and tailgate markets. Choose ears that are fully mature. If theyíre picked too early, they likely will not dry properly and wonít last as long as they normally would.
If you are growing the ornamental corn to use for floral designs, allow the ears to become very dry before you pick them. Donít be in a rush.