December 21, 2010
Earlier this month, House & Home held its annual Trends Breakfast at Toronto’s Sutton Place Hotel. I look forward to this day not only for the event itself, but also for the night before, when a bunch of my fellow H&H-ers get together and set up. It’s a night of stuffing gift bags and arranging floral centerpieces into the wee hours of the morning, but hey, when you’re with your friends, it doesn’t feel like work!
This year I was helping out with the centerpieces, designed by my colleague Peter Paquette. So, if you’re looking for a colourful and festive way to dress your table for Christmas dinner, read on. I’ll show you step-by-step how we created these beauties.
We began by working with our friends Fabiola and Jan Prins from Niagara’s Prins Grow Inc. Check out the Online TV segment our team shot at their greenhouse. We ordered a few hundred stems and they definitely did not disappoint — look how bright the colour is!
Next, we started a bit of an assembly line with our vases — simple cylindrical glass vases you can find at any local florist. Notice how there’s a little plastic cup in each vase? More on that later.
We then dug into our big box full of pine cones. Sadly, there’s no backyard filled with pine trees at House & Home, so we found these at a flower wholesaler.
Here comes the tricky (and slightly painful) part. Place the pine cones, one at a time, around the plastic cup in the glass vase. It’s like a game of Tetris, trying to find the perfect pine cone to fit so there aren’t any gaps. Wear gloves if you have them — these little guys were sharp! Don’t be afraid to get a little rough with them and really squeeze them in there, too — the finished product will look best if you can really pack it full.
Once you’ve filled the vase to the top with pine cones, pour some water into the cup and add your freshly cut amaryllis. For a finishing touch, we added a wide chartreuse grosgrain ribbon and taped it with double-sided tape to the vase. Here’s Peter with the mother of all centerpieces!
For more inspiration and tips, see our DIY Holiday Flower Arrangements photo gallery.