The Secret Behind Beautiful Farmers’ Market Bouquets

Labor Day might signify the unofficial end of summer for us humans, but our many-petaled friends know better than to think we’ve entered fall just yet. In New York, September means farmers’ markets full to bursting with dahlias, zinnias, and sunflowersónot to mention a slew of tinier cutting flowers. Wearing riotous shades of fuchsia, magenta, green, and gold, September’s farm flowers are not for the color shy.

Gardenista editor Erin stopped by the prettiest stand at the Greenmarket recently and bought one of the expertly arranged bouquets made by the farmers at the Queens County Farm Museum.

Above: The Queens County Farm Museum sells at the Union Square Greenmarket every Friday. You can expect similarly beautiful arrangements to be available for the next few weeks before the bouquets will take on decidedly more autumnal hues.

Above: What makes a beautiful farm bouquet? In this case, a rainbow of color and nearly as many textures. Erin decided to take home a bouquet and perform something of a dissection to determine the secret to farm bouquet success.

Above: At home, she snipped the ends off my bouquet to refresh the stems and to encourage them to drink water.

Above: First up, the bouquet relied on a smattering of focal flowersólarger varieties meant to steal the showónamely sunflowers, zinnias, and dahlias. These flowers are brightly colored for attracting attention, but they also grow on long, straight stems which make them easy to arrange.

Above: Next up, and no less important than the showstoppers, were the filler flowers: goldenrod, celosia, gomphrena globosa, gomphrena fireworks, and cosmos greens. The feathery texture and range of colors in the goldenrod, celosia, and gomphrena make them perfect for adding a pop of visual intrigue without looking too heavy. A stem or two of the airy leaves of cosmos will bulk up the bouquet and provide support for the larger stems without weighing them down.

Above: Added together, the bouquet makers focused on creating volume by varying the heights of the stems. Stems with tinier flowers poke up from the top, while the heavier blooms were kept toward the bottom of the arrangement.

Does the gomphrena look familiar? That’s because it’s in the same family as this superfood.

4 Simple Bouquets to Make for Any Occasion


Val M.
Val M4 years ago


Autumn S.
Autumn S4 years ago

Love it . So pretty!

criss S.
criss s4 years ago


Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago

very pretty--ty

Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy4 years ago

so pretty

Spencer Young
Spencer Young4 years ago

Simply beautiful

Anna Ballinger
Anna Ballinger4 years ago

Very pretty. Thank you for sharing..

Dawn W.
Dawn W4 years ago


Olivia S.
Past Member 4 years ago love farmers' markets this time of year especially. I love sunflowers but gave up trying to grow them as the deer love them.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 years ago

Interesting. Thanks.