A natural foliage garland can be a great alternative to a more structured centerpiece for Christmas dining. While some arrangements can interfere when having a conversation across the table, a garland won't!
For this arrangement we have payed close attention to color, matching foliage, fruits, flowers, and even candles. Sticking to a strong tonal theme throughout the table garland really helps create the drama and the feel of feasting opulence.
Take a piece of rope slightly longer than the length of your table; this will allow the garland to naturally cascade over each end. Tie the wire to the rope a few inches from one end and leave attached.
Use sprigs of the different foliages to create a small bunch. Place down so that the top of the bunch is flush with the end of the rope. Secure the stems of your bunch by wrapping the wire around a few times.
Repeat step 2 all the way along the table, layering the bunches slightly so that there are no gaps.
Just before you reach the end change the direction of the bunches of foliage so that the last two or three cover the finishing end of the rope and no stems can be seen.
Place your garland in situ on the table. Drape grapes around the sides and any other chosen fruit. Some larger fruits may need a small stick to help secure them into the foliage. With the pears I simply poked one end into the fruit and then the other into the garland.
Flowers can either be dotted around the garland in small bud vases or individual stems can be placed into test tubes which will be concealed when amongst the foliage.
Anna Potter is the founder of Swallows & Damsons, a floral studio in Sheffield, England.
Have you ever made a garland? Share your tips in the comments.