Tara Huston, owner of Fawns Leap flower shop in Boulder, reveals how to create a casually chic fall arrangement in five easy steps—proving that you should ditch the mums and kale once and for all.

1: Fill the bottom of the vase with folded chicken wire. Secure it into place with floral tape in an X across the top of the wire; you could also circle the perimeter for extra stability. (The wire helps keep the flowers in place as you arrange.)

2: Forage for greenery (yes, in your yard). You want a combination of soft, pliable branches—such as Russian olive, commonly found in Denver—and upright ones, like ninebark, to fill out the arrangement. Huston established the shape here with Leucadendron, viburnum berries, and Pieris japonica.

3: “Choosing a range of tones with two or three complementary colors helps to give the arrangement depth,” says Huston, who opted for dahlias in sunset orange, ranunculus in deep burgundy, yellow garden roses, and cockscomb in fuchsia.

4: Watch your height: “For a dining table, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you can see over the flowers for easy conversation,” Huston says. “Place your elbow on the table and extend your hand straight up. If the tallest flowers are below your fingertips, the arrangement will be low enough.”

5: Finally, don’t fuss too much. “That loose, playful style is more in fashion at the moment,” Huston says. If your arrangement feels natural and looks asymmetrical, you’ve done it just right.