Holiday table decor

Sunset  – September 2, 2004

Select fall fruits for their colors ― red pomegranates and apples, and orange persimmons, kumquats, and mandarins. Incorporate clusters of fresh pink peppercorns and red berries such as nandina, and fresh flowers such as coral freesia. For foliage, use chestnut, eucalyptus, liquidambar, magnolia, maple, and oak leaves mixed with citrus and grape leaves. Green winter wheat and dill weed also work well in this kind of centerpiece.


*Seasonal materials: foliage, fruits, and berries (see above)

Making the harvest centerpieceMaking the harvest centerpiece


*Garden shears or scissors

*Florist’s picks

*Florist’s wire

*12 strands of raffia (strands are usually about 5-feet long), knotted together at the top (the length of the strands will depend on the size of your table ― a 6-foot-long table would require a 4-foot swag; an 8-foot table, a 5-foot swag)


1. Cut the foliage down to 3-inch-long stems with lower leaves and needles removed, and arrange it into small bundles. Use florist’s picks to hold bundles together and to pierce fruit so that it can be attached to the swag.


2. Thread the florist’s wire through the raffia knot and twist the wire back on itself to secure. Run wire down the length of the raffia and cut at its end. Gather a small bouquet of mixed materials (selected from the bundles set aside earlier) and use the florist’s wire to attach the bouquet to the raffia swag, below the knotted end.

3. Repeat the process, working your way down the raffia with varying bouquets of fruits, foliage, and berries. When you’ve reached the end of the strand, shape the swag into a circle and tie or tuck the raffia ends beneath the arrangement. If you prefer you can use the swag as you would a runner.

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