Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dried Branches and Fresh Flowers

Dried branches don't like getting wet, but that doesn't mean you can't create centerpieces using both dried branches and fresh flowers. Here are some examples of branch centerpieces we've made incorporating fresh flowers. 


Mitsumata Branches with Dendrobium Orchids.


For this, we simply attached floral tubes to the branches with cable ties on the top and the bottom (using just one would allow it to tip over). We decided that the flower stem looked best held close to the branches, so we loosely attached the top of the stem to the Mitsumata branches with a cable tie. 


Mitsumata Branches, Fountain Grass and Dendrobium Orchids.  With the orchids and floral tubes securely attached to the Mitsumata Branches, it was easy making a slightly more complex arrangement. One bundle of Fountain Grass does a great job of adding texture and filling out the arrangement.


Here we made a Sandblasted Manzanita centerpiece with orchids using a branch that we had previously set in plaster. Once we buried the base in pea gravel, we set the floral tubes on top of the pea gravel, then attached the orchid stem to the Manzanita branch with a single white cable tie. The finishing touch was to fill the top of the vase with Reindeer Moss


Just a few orchids on a Sandblasted Manzanita centerpiece can have a huge impact. We attached the flowers with small cable ties. Note that no floral tubes are used here - Dendrobium orchid flowers hold up well for a few hours without water. 

Twisted Willow Branches and Lilies. For this display, we placed a smaller diameter vase holding the lilies and water inside a larger vase. We then added some crushed stone to hold the relative positions of the vases and added in the Twisted Willow Branches. 

13 comments:

postscript said...

absolutely gorgeous!! orchids with the branches is genius. I will definitely keep this in mind for my wedding center pieces, whenever that happens :)

Leta Monica said...

Hi Justin! For the twisted willow and lilies centerpiece. What size vase is that? I can't wait to do this for my wedding, let me know. Thank you.

Justin said...

Glad you like it and congratulations on the wedding! For the Twisted Willow and Lilies, I think the outer vase was 6 inches in diameter and 16 inches tall, and the inner vase that held the lilies was about 3 inches in diameter and 14 inches tall.

Abby said...

I am trying to place either manz branches or birch branches in my centerpieces. How hard is it to make a plaster encasing at the root system and how sturdy is that option. The branches will be coming out of the middle of a circular fishbowl and we don't want them to fall over. The plaster would be covered by sand and stones. How hard is the plaster to make?
Thank you!

Justin said...

Hi Abby - I'll admit, I was a little bit hesitant before I started working with it, but found that it was very easy and fun to use - less complicated than mixing a batch of pancake batter - just follow the directions on the package. For this application, simply get a plastic container that will fit in your bowl - perhaps the bottom of a plastic bottle, or one of those storage containers you can get at the grocery store - put your branches in, and pour the plaster into the container. With the Manzanita, I just prop it up against a wall and tape the branch to the wall while the plaster hardens. With the Birch Branches, I'd wrap the bottom of the bundle with a rubber band, arrange them the way you like, and do the same. Once the plaster sets (20 minutes or so) you'll have a very stable and secure display. - Justin

shanaye said...

Hi Justin, Great idea! I want to use this idea for my living room. I want to put them on each side of my couch. Do you think this would work? What size branches and vase should I use? Also would any other type of branch work (darker)? And could I use artificial flowers?

Justin said...

Glad you like the idea! This certainly can work for your living room. The standard vase size we use of 3-5" diameter, 12-18" tall should work fine. If you'll be using the floral tubes, you'll want to use a branch that is thick enough so that it doesn't look odd. For a darker branch, the Brown Kuwa -http://www.nettletonhollow.com/kuwa-branches.html - would be a good choice. You certainly can use artificial flowers, in which case you wouldn't have to use the floral tubes (and can put the flowers on pretty much any branch).

Lisa said...

Hi Justin!

I am going to use mitsumata branches in altar arrangements for my May wedding. I thought about using floral wire to attach gerber daisies to the branches. Do you think the gerbers will last all day? They seem to be pretty resilient flowers! I also thought about buying the hanging votive holders and putting 1 gerber in each with water instead of candles...do you think the branches would be strong enough?

Thanks so much!

Justin said...

Congratulations on the wedding! I don't have experience working with gerber daisies, so you'l certainly need to do a trial run. No matter what I think you are going to need to use the floral tubes.

Displaying them in hanging votive holders instead of candles sounds like a fantastic idea, and the Mitsumata should be strong enough, but you should be careful in placement, and of course test it out first. Hope this helps!

Monjori Islam said...

Hi Justin,
How many manzanita branches did you use and how tall were they.
is 12 to 18" tall enough? how tal was your vases? I am planning to do this for my october wedding coming up but because I have not seen this in person I am having hard time deciding which size I should order and how many I should use in each table.

Justin said...

Hi - Congrats on the wedding! For the Manzanita displays we used 2 of the 18-24" size in containers that were about 6" in diameter (or square). You might be able to use the 12-18" size. Hope this helps! - Justin

Dena said...

Hi, Justin!

I would like to attach stock flowers (my winter version of cherry blossoms!) to manzanita branches for my friend's upcoming wedding. I'd love to do this the day before the wedding because it would just be too much the day of! do you know if I'd need to use floral tubes or if I could get away with attaching the stems with just some wire and floral tape? I want a full effect so I really would love to use a lot of flowers--which means a lot of work! :) Thanks! -Dena

Justin said...

Hello! If those are fresh, you definitely should use the floral floral tubes! Some flowers can look good for a few hours without water, but 12+ hours would be really testing the limits!