Hope and flowers spring eternal and now’s the time for a little of both. While winter never really bared its teeth, I’m still really excited to see Spring bloom forth.
Whether you go to Winston’s for a large bunch of cherry blossoms or head to your own yard to trim back unruly forsythia, a towering arrangement of flowering branches can set the mood for Spring’s entry.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy flowering branches is to place them in large glass vases and put them on my fireplace mantel. When it comes to branches, more is definitely better. Just remember, branches are top heavy so weigh down the vase. I like to use polished black river rocks; not only will the vase not topple over, but they keep the branches in place better than a floral frog.
If your mantel is blessed with a mirror, leave it be. If not, choose a flowering branch that coordinates with your painting. By that I mean, you don't want your floral arrangement to "fight visually" with the painting.
For instance, if the painting is simple, then let loose with a riot of color and texture. Conversely, if the painting is detailed, stick with one color and use a longer branch to allow the painting some room and the flowers to go above the picture. Finally, if you are using a mirror, place the vase just inside the frame. This designer trick will instantly double your arrangement.
Now, what to place in front of your mirror? I know some interior designers who think nothing should go in front of a mirror, I don’t agree.
Sometimes I like to layer candles in different heights with mercury candle holders. The look is dramatic. Other times I’ll style the mantel based on the flowering branches.
Magnolia flowers are singularly beautiful and fragrant, so I like to use wood accents. Perhaps a few small stacked wooden boxes or wooden candle holders with pale pink candles. If time is on my side and I plan in advance, I love to force bulb flowers in silver bowls to up the style quotient.
But what if you don’t have a mantel or fresh branches make you sneeze? There are many good silk flower branches out there; I recently spotted some at Pottery Barn, Home Goods and Target.
For a small investment you can have arrangements for years to come. I must admit, I like the silk forsythia because I don’t have to clean up the falling “petals.” No mantel? Why not cut smaller branches and set out a grouping of three to five small vases for your kitchen table. Place them all on a tray for easy removal at dinner time.
For very little effort you can enjoy a taste of Spring inside your home.