Need to style your mantle for the holidays or decorate a table for an intimate dinner party? Before you do anything else, take a stroll around your yard. See what is in season and take note of textures, colors and shapes. Although most people think of summer blooms and greens as the best treasures to dress up a table, I actually prefer the less obvious offerings of fall, winter and spring. You have to get a little creative and look beyond the obvious blooming plant. Think berries, buds, pine cones, sticks, pine trees, logs, evergreens and beach grasses.
With a little ingenuity and maybe a can of spray paint or two, you can achieve a relatively inexpensive, nature-inspired arrangement or decoration. After you have taken stock of your hard, look through your collection of containers, vases, plates, linens, candles, twine and ribbon. Set aside the items that go with the colors and textures of what is available in your yard.
Once you have begun to formulate your theme, head outdoors with a basket, garden sheers and a pair of gloves. Take clippings of what you will need, you can always go back if you need more. Once back indoors, start playing with your greens/berries/pine cones in different containers to see what looks best. Two years ago, I decorated my Thanksgiving table with items I found in my yard and supplemented with kumquats and cranberries from the grocery store to add a pop of color that I felt was missing:
This fall, my husband and I had a small dinner party and I was again inspired to gather a centerpiece from the yard. This arrangement was more fun because it was earlier in the season so I had more options at my disposal. My favorite part of the centerpiece was the fruit from our Asian Dogwood tree which I put in the water of my seasonal arrangements. I collected fruit that had already dropped to the ground (before our dog could get to it!) and that was intact. The arrangements were primarily wild goldenrod and grasses from various dune grass plants. I supplemented the seasonal items with store-bought gourds and pumpkins.
Check back to see what I using I’m using from my yard for Christmas decorations!