Pumpkin displays often include bundles of bittersweet for sale. Look for it at garden centers, tailgate markets, herb farms, flower shops, craft shops, some supermarkets, and wherever grapevine wreaths and everlastings are sold.
The dried mini-branches of bittersweet are filled with red berries in tiny petaled orange pods.All-thumbs flower-arrangers can get away with quickly stuffing sturdy stems of bittersweet into a vase or ginger jar. Even a haphazard arrangement looks artful because of the natural angles of the mini-branches.
This dried material has the advantage of looking good in a formal room, where you might crave autumn color, short of displaying a bowlful of Jack-Be-Little pumpkins or a twine-tied trio of Indian corn.
Those two serve better as country accents, while bittersweet doesn't clash with cut crystal, Chippendale, damask and other elegant appointments in a formal room. One problem with bittersweet is that it attracts some house cats.
- Joyce Rosencrans