Home & Design Trends

The Latest Floral Trend is Right in Your Backyard

Oh, and it costs $0.

January 26, 2022
Photo by Bobbi Lin

I didn’t always buy into the idea that fresh cut flowers and plants make a space come alive. For a long time, I would either decorate with faux plants (I definitely didn’t have a green thumb) or forgo the inclusion of botanicals altogether. Looking back now on photos of those spaces, I realize that something was severely lacking, and it wasn’t bright green leaves or vibrant petals—it was simply something natural.

On the surface, it can seem sort of new age-y to say that plants, flowers, and foraged bits make a space feel alive. But once I started treating myself to flowers most weeks to scatter around my apartment, my mood would instantly be lifted whenever I spotted them.. Not to mention that cutting, clipping, and arranging is my favorite post-grocery store ritual (less so the actual grocery haul).

Flowers can be pricey, though, especially if you’re buying from a florist and not DIY-ing a bouquet from Trader Joe’s, and even then, supplying your home with fresh flowers can be a weekly expense that adds up. And plants? Well, we all know how it goes when you forget a watering, or even worse—overwater.

Enter: branches. Yep, regular ol’ branches. After scrolling through endless photos on Instagram, I realized that all the beautiful interior accounts I follow had photos that included said branches, and that they appeared to be sourcing their decor straight from their backyard. Patinated pots accented with a few twigs, vases stuffed with big, sculptural branches’, fall leaves picked at their prime for the kitchen counter… the thing they all have in common is that they can be found almost anywhere.

After having realized the trend and wanting to try it in my own home, I recently forced my boyfriend to screech to a stop on the side of the road (safely!) so I could jump out and collect some branches I’d really liked. (I’ve also been known to root around in my parents’ backyard and at the beach for dried pampas grasses and cattails, but that’s neither here nor there.) Did he fully understand why I was climbing through the trees for the best pieces? No. Was I over the moon to harvest home decor for free? You bet.

And that’s precisely the most fun element of the trend—the act of foraging itself. It’s also delightfully seasonal, so you can accent your home with varying foliage and branches depending on what you find. Orange-hued leaves for fall, sparse sticks in winter, little buds in spring, and blooming floral branches in summer—and they’ll last so much longer than cut flowers that are most likely out of season, because branches almost always look fantastic when dried out.

Now that we’ve covered the fun part, we’ll include a disclaimer: not everything is meant to be foraged. Sure, you have free reign in your own backyard, but you should never remove plants from protected areas like state parks, and you certainly shouldn’t put yourself in harm’s way just to clip off a tree branch. You’ll also want to be sure that you’re not bringing any pests inside with you (give everything a good shake and a rinse), and keep potentially toxic plants well out of reach of pets and kids.

Would you try this trend in your own home? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Laurence Chenery
    Laurence Chenery
  • Rocio
  • Judy
  • Barbara
  • Cindy Dodge
    Cindy Dodge
When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.


Laurence C. June 22, 2023
Where is this pendant light from?
Rocio February 1, 2022
I have been doing this for years and I love it..... I even pick up from the street at times when the branch has an interesting shape or beauty. Love it! And I love the ideas from Home52!
Caroline M. February 1, 2022
Love to hear that!!
Judy January 30, 2022
I once did that only to find after the branches were in my house a day that a nest of some type of pest was attached to the branch. Look them over carefully.
Caroline M. February 1, 2022
Oh yes, definitely look them over carefully! I like to give them a good rinse too.
Barbara January 30, 2022
That said one of my favorite memories as a young girl is hunting for bittersweet to decorate with in the fall in the woods on our property.
Barbara January 30, 2022
Be careful. Against law to take plants off beaches.
Cindy D. January 30, 2022
On a recent winter walk, I noticed how beautiful the dried Queen Anne's Lace and other flowers and grasses looked against the white snow, so I picked a few stems and put them in a vase on the mantel, along with a few pine cones and sprigs of White Pine. My January mantle scape is complete. There's a kind of serenity to it.
Aja A. January 26, 2022
Yesss I love big sculptural branches as decor. If I get to Trader Joe's early enough I can usually find nice branches there starting in mid Feb or early March. I need to go for a drive and try foraging though.. great tip!
Caroline M. February 1, 2022
Lol Trader Joe's is so wiped out these days I'm more likely to turn to branches outside!