Gather – Flowers for your table

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Wildflowers collected from our fields in White Stone, VA

I firmly believe that when you gather friends and family at the table you should always have fresh flowers there too.  They elevate the experience and can be done simply and inexpensively from gathering wildflowers in various shapes and sizes to pulling together one flower, in one color, to make a statement.

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Wildflower arrangement by Jamie Campbell for Decoratop

You can pick one vase to fill for a center arrangement or find various jars, cups and vases in varying sizes to place organically around the table and house.

When I have a special event, dinner or meal and want that extra help I love collaborating with a florist in order to get more unique flowers than are readily available in the yard or at the local market.

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Photo by Will Hawkins / Flowers by The Wild Bunch

It’s also fun to add in fruit and vegetables as part of the table decor.

Think about what season you are in and pull from what is growing at that time.  Lilacs are my favorite flowers and I love to fill vases of them in the spring all over the house for their soft color and lush scent.

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Mason Jar Vase and Lilacs by Country Living 

If you have a large group, it’s fun to have flowers run down the entire table so that everyone gets to enjoy them like I did last summer for a large family gathering in the photo below.  I worked with Cindy at The Wild Bunch in Kilmarnock, VA.  She does amazing work.

If you do not have a garden or yard to pull from, visit your local market or grocery store.  When in Boston, I love what Trader Joe’s keeps in store year round and look for groupings of one type of flower to mix and match colors as opposed to the prearranged bouquets.  Another favorite – peonies…

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Peonies / Photo by Amber Lilyestrom

When creating your own arrangements, you must strip the stems of all leaves for the part that will be below the water line.  This slows up any bacteria growth and keeps the water clean longer.  I like the flowers to be cut shorter in the vase, so that the flowers are poised just above the top of the vase and often tie the vase or jar with twine or a ribbon.  Cut each flower individually to fit your vase in order to have various heights and place them loosely for the look you want.

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Flowers by The Wild Bunch

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Carrie Allen created this site as a way for people to share stories about things they love.  She loves chasing quiet, authentic moments and sharing them with her family and friends.  Read more about her inspiration here. 

Erika Riddington – Stone Cold December

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“Each year as December approaches,
And Earth turns gray, stone cold,
Summer green lush is faded
And russet–brown overtakes gold,
I’m not perplexed or longing
for that chroma, or sweet fruit that has been,
But I do still revel in the fresh and beauteous.
I do not wish to give up
the lavish gathering in.”
-Anonymous

I live for a good walk.
As stone cold December approaches,
Thanksgiving weekend with family is particularly special.

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I go with delight at being together with the beloved people I rarely see.
I go to thoroughly enjoy simply breathing the fresh air and moving through space.

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Farm in Amherst, MA.

 
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I also go with a an eye for treasures to bring the freshness of outside in for the winter.

Gems stand out…
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The treasures found? An abandoned wasp’s nest for the classroom, some bright winterberry from the marshy farm’s edge, emerald moss for an advent garden, fragrant boughs of balsam for the holiday house, a bird’s feather for no purpose at all.

These artifacts find a place in our home and become part of our celebrations.

Through our sometimes too hurried and harried daily existence, the fresh pieces from the natural world are reminders of a flow beyond and help keep us connected to the larger Life.

Erika Riddington is a relatively new middle school science teacher, (former landscape architect), currently raising a family with her husband in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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