As winter begins to fade and there are new signs of life, decorating with foraged branches is a simple way to bring nature home. Branches create a wild aesthetic, have textural appeal, and add vertical interest to your space. Branches are innately simple and imperfect, making them easier to use than flower arrangements. Whether you are creating a cozy table setting with a cut branch runner or putting some in a vase, bringing foraged branches indoors can bring life to your home. Here are a few tips for decorating with branches.
How to forage (and where)
Foraging just takes a few supplies, primarily strong clippers. A gathering basket can also be nice. When clipping branches, look for pieces with interesting shapes and details.
The best place to forage is in your own yard. If you don’t have access to branches at home, you can buy fresh branches from your local grocery, cut flower markets, or websites like Terrain. Alternatively, you can purchase realistic faux branches.
If your yard does not have plants to choose from but foraging from home is something you want to do, consider planting trees or shrubs that provide color and interest all season. That way you can enjoy bringing nature inside all year. Great plants include flowering trees & shrubs (such as redbuds and lilacs) and evergreens (such as olive and variegated shrubs).
How to care for cut branches
Cut the branches at an angle because this helps the plant drink water. Remember to change the water every few days.
For early spring branches, cut them a few weeks before their regular bloom time, when the buds are not too small. Place them in water near a sunny spot in your home. This will force bloom the buds and provide beautiful color in your home.
Consider scale & movement
It is a common mistake to make arrangements too small. Don’t be afraid to use larger branches for a dramatic statement. Alternatively, sometimes a single, unusual branch can create a sculptural moment.
Invest in quality materials
Since branches tend to be heavier, use sturdy vessels. Glass vases are pretty to show exposed stems and pottery brings a timeless aesthetic. Look for interesting shapes, textures, and colors. Vessels with a more narrow neck help branches to stay upright.
Helen Dealtry and Dan Berry
For more ideas of how to forage or arrange plants in the home, I recommend these books.
Feature image by Athena Calderone