Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Weddings- Embrace the Season

Okay, Okay, I know that last week I was writing about visions of spring running through my head while there was a lot of snow on the ground, but the reality is that this is winter. And if you take the time to look around, you will notice there is a lot of subtle beauty in this season. I encourage my winter brides to consider including branches and foliage material in some of designs for their reception pieces or even in their bouquets. There are many trees and shrubs that offer evergreen material, but today I want to focus on the simple beauty of some of the bare branches that are available from my gardens this time of year.
The branches pictured above from left to right are: Viburnum plicatum (this shrub has flat topped clusters of white flowers in the spring),Pussy Willow (Salix caprea), Curly Willow (Salix matusudana), and Redtwig Dogwood (Cornus sericea).
Viburnum plicatum pictured above.
Curly Willow pictured above.
Close up of Pussy Willow pictured above. The silver gray buds feel like velvet.
Pussy Willow pictured above. These branches of pussy willow are actually dried branches that were cut from my trees last year. They keep beautifully for about a year or so, and look great in winter designs.
Close-up of red twig dogwood pictured above.

Red twig dogwood pictured above. The bark on these trees turns a deep red once the weather turns cold, but is a reddish brown spring through fall. I enjoy using these branches in Christmas designs, but they are also stunning in just about any floral design. My daughters love the simplicity of using just the branches for designs.
All the fresh branches have been anchored in dark river pebbles with water added, (do not add water to the dried pussy willow branches). If the water level is maintained so that it covers the cut tips, these branches should last for weeks. If set in a sunny, south facing window, they may even develop roots. I have been successful in growing some of these cuttings into small trees and shrubs.

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