Little to No Cost Spring Decorating ~ A Southern Magnolia and Clematis Centerpiece

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I've been wanting to change the centerpiece in the keeping room
and with the white clematis in bloom and plenty of southern magnolia leaves to gather,
my plan was to bring some outdoors in for this centerpiece.

There was one little problem, rain!

It's been raining and raining and according to the weather forecast it's going to continue through Friday.  I didn't want to wait that long, so with an umbrella in one hand and my pruners in the other, I headed outside.

clematis vine

When bringing fresh flowers and greenery in from the garden, I like to give them a little bath to remove any dirt and other "things" that may be on them.

For flowers I fill a large plastic tub with fresh, cool, water.
Holding the farthest end of the stem I submerse the flower
and begin gently lifting up and pushing down the flower,
always keeping the flower submerged.
Keeping the flower submerged for a bit encourages any "living things" to "let go," so they come out in the water rather than on my supper table. 

I do this a few times and then lift the flower out of the water.
While it is still facing down and still over the tub, I gently shake it to remove any excess water.
I then place place the stem in a container of water until I need them for placing in the arrangement.

These magnolia leaves were just cut and still wet from the rain.

wet southern magnolia

For greenery like magnolia leaves, I wash them in the kitchen sink.

First, I place a stem of leaves in the sink and spray them down real good with cold water using the hand-held sprayer.

Often they need a little more than a gentle spray, so I wash them using a bit of dawn dishwashing detergent and a brush.

washing the dirt off magnolia leaves

After washing the bottom and top sides of the leaves I give them a good rinse with cold water.

washing garden greenery

Drying the excess water off with a paper towel, I lay them on a kitchen towel to dry a little more.

drying garden greenery

For this arrangement I am using a ceramic pitcher.
I purchased this pitcher many years ago and thought it was enamel when I first saw it.

Just inside the pitcher I will place a wide-mouth Ball jar to hold the water for the magnolia leaves.  

ceramic pitcher

To help keep the stems in an upright position I used a little floral tape.

floral tape and ceramic pitcher

I chose a small ironstone sugar dish for the clematis.

white clematis

keeping room centerpiece

Both arrangements were placed on an ironstone platter and then I added a small birds nest.

keeping room centerpiece


keeping room centerpiece

white clematis and birds nest centerpiece

I've been trying to spruce things up for spring with little or no cost, and so far so good.
This southern magnolia and clematis centerpiece didn't cost a thing!

Here are some other ways I've decorated for spring with little to no cost:

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  1. Those magnolia leaves are just stunning Cindy. And your home is gorgeous! Mimi xxx

  2. I never had magnolia in my home, to be honest, but they look so beautiful. I believe you convinced me to give them a try. I don't even know very well how they smell. Thanks for the useful article.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful Cindy....I too wash and wash flowers dipping them in water to let go of the "critters" lurking in the petals and leaves, especially the hydrangeas....your clematis is gorgeous...they are not blooming here yet. Love your gorgeous centerpiece of the beauty from your garden.

  4. Very Pretty. Thanks for sharing. The magnolia leaves add just the right touch. I have never thought to use them like that.

  5. Beautiful, Cindy. Simplicity is a wonderful thing and the price is right! :)

  6. Just beautiful, Cindy. Something pretty from the yard is my favorite kind of decorating in the spring and summer.

  7. Cindy, the magnolia leaves on your dining table are stunning!!! I am totally inspired to go get some from my yard now:). I pick flowers for my yard in the rain too!

  8. That is simply beautiful! I don't thing I've ever seen Clematis used in a centerpiece. Very creative!

  9. Such a pretty arrangement. I love magnolia leaves. Wish we could have them in NJ. The weather is not quite sure what it wants to be here


  10. Beautiful! Wish I had that plant!


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