How to Decorate with Flowering Branches

Southern Living magazine

Growing up Mother loved to garden.  I have vivid memories of Spirea (in the south also called “Bridal wreath”) blooming in our backyard.  Mother would clip some branches and let me play wedding — hence began my career as a party planner.

While branches are a cinch to source year round, looking out your window will confirm that spring is the season for flowering branches, when trees from coast to coast are aflutter with dreamy, delicate blossoms. Take advantage of nature’s offering and bring them inside to enjoy!

pc: Alice’s Table

With their height and presence, flowering branches are statement-makers—a little bit modern and a little bit girly. Plus they’re long-lasting and require zero floral skills: Get a bundle, stick it in a vase, add water you’re all set. Insta-arrangements.

The cheap and easy play is simply to target trees in your yard. Just approach the task as if you were pruning, going after the straggler branches that you’d eventually chop anyway, and cut right at the joint. Before you start working, it’s best to have a specific vase in mind (more on vases later) so you know about how long branches need to be. And powerful shears are a must—trust us, you don’t want to struggle using kitchen scissors as that might yield a visit to the ER and we don’t want that!

If there are no friendly neighborhood trees in need of a little trim, pop buy your local florist or flower market to check out the goods. Or, take your chances with a grocery-store run; sometimes even big-box brands can surprise you with a decent branch selection.

Photo: Johanna Eklöf

Prep 101

Split thin branch ends lengthwise, or smash thick branch ends with a hammer (yep, you read that right). This primes them for maximum water consumption. Then place them a vase filled with water so they’re submerged at least three inches. Change the water regularly and mist every few days so the petals have another source for hydration.

All About That Vase

You need a sturdy vase so that the heft and height of the branches doesn’t send it tumbling—so opt for something heavy or with a wide base (think pear-shape). And branches are besties with glass vases which show off their clean lines in a way that looks so sleek and architectural you almost feel guilty that “arranging” them took like no time at all.

How to Decorate With Them

Tall, upright branches like dogwood, quince, and curly willow look stunning on the credenza in your entryway, in the middle of your dining table, and even directly on the floor—in that lonely spot in the corner you’ve been wondering what to do with. While branches like silver dollar eucalyptus and wisteria, which lean to the romantic swoon, are ideal for your mantle, bedside table, and coffee table.

The Lane

“The Earth laughs in flowers.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tips for a Simple Easter Tablescape

An Eventful Life Blog

Sharing some inspiration from the Alice’s Table blog today on springtime entertaining.  We will soon be humming “Here Come’s Peter Cottontail” before you know it!

Does anyone else feel like we were just ringing in the new year and now we’re getting ready to celebrate Easter? Honestly, where has this year gone? As a group who can pretty much come up with any excuse to throw a party, holidays are our thing here at Alice’s Table. And right there on the same page is Chicago-based lifestyle blogger Rachel Geeser of An Eventful Life, who’s also a tad holiday-obsessed. Here she invites us to take at peek at her Easter table and shares guidance for pulling together a chic tableau that doesn’t break the bank.

This Easter keep things simple and focused on bright colors.  Here are her top tips for planning your own Easter or Spring tablescape:

Linens can make a big statement for a relatively small cost. Target and Home Goods are two great budget-friendly stores for finding linens and decor at good prices.  Look how simple it is to just wrap the napkin with ribbon and finish with hot pink tulip tucked in for good measure. Or how about this sweet napkin garnished with a radish — certainly Peter Rabbit approved.


Coconut Macaroon Nests from Skinnytaste

You don’t have to have a ton of decor for every holiday. These Coconut Macaroon Nests from Skinnytaste can serve as your Easter decor and dessert.  Look at these sweet little peat pots filled with candy.  Wouldn’t  a place card be adorable tucked inside at each guest’s place setting?

Yummy Healthy Easy

As far as an appetizer that will make a lasting impression, how about this adorable Easter carrot cheese ball from Yummy Healthy Easy.

And last, flowers.  They don’t have to cost a ton to make an impact and you don’t need to go to a florist. You can pick up a pretty bouquet of tulips or hydrangeas from your local grocery store for about $10. Other inexpensive blooms this time of year include spray roses and gerbera daisies. And don’t forget your own garden has plenty to contribute — like Dusty Miller, rosemary and daffodils.

Happy Spring!