Decorating With Flowering Branches

At the farmers’ market this weekend, we couldn’t resist gathering up a bunch of these gorgeous flowering branches for our Easter table. Murmured oohs and aahs followed us all the way back to the car; two days later, we still do a double-take walking through the dining room. As fruit trees spring into bloom and farmers prune their orchards, now's the time to take advantage of the abundance of blooming branches. Some ideas and tips after the jump...

Try out these ideas and tips, inspired by the images above:

1 Our favorite way to display flowering branches is just on their own in a simple vase, like the crabapple branches we brought home from the market. A good rule of thumb is to choose a vase that’s about half as tall as your branches. For textural interest, try and select branches that have unexpected curves and forks, rather than going for a “perfect” look. These are fantastic on a mantle or even on the floor in front of a fireplace.

2 These photos from Elle Décor (via This is Glamorous) demonstrate how to achieve an equally stunning effect with just one or two elegant branches as with a big, lush arrangement. Simple, slim containers are great for the latter, while a fat spherical vase makes a nice counterbalance for a lush bouquet.

3 Sarah from the fabulous Saipua cut short sprigs from a bunch of dogwood for the bouquets and centerpieces for a wedding. Since the blooms themselves can be so exquisite, this is a great thing to do if you’ve got an extra branch left over or a piece that’s broken off.

4 It’s always nice to work flowering branches into a mixed bouquet to add some height and texture, as in this beautiful arrangment from Ink and Peat.

5 Lastly, for some practical tips… if you’re lucky enough to have your own flowering tree or shrub to harvest, remember to prune properly, cutting your branches right at the source (not leaving stubs). Also, before you arrange branches (store-bought or pruned at home), prepare the ends to allow for maximum water absorption: For skinny branches, cut a lengthwise slit in the end of the branch, and for fatter branches, use a hammer to smash the end of the branch. (Image from Sunset.)

More flowering branch inspiration from Apartment Therapy:
How to Make a Branch Centerpiece
How To: Display Cut Flowers (10 Easy Ways)