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Holiday Feature

Beyond the Poinsettia

A Fresh Look at Holiday Arrangements

As Christmassy as those red, white and pink leafy plants are, poinsettias are not the only option for the season. Florists from across Acadiana show us how to think beyond the poinsettia with trend-setting approaches to festive floral arrangements.

Glenn’s Flower Box

St. Martinville

Glenn Hebert, owner of Glenn’s Flower Box in St. Martinville, offers an idea that anyone can pull off – not just florists. Hebert, who often features DIY videos on his website for his followers, suggests a nature-inspired design that can be used as a centerpiece or a Christmas tree alternative.

To get this look, he painted a large branch found in his backyard with white, glossy spray paint, and secured it in a deep bowl. Next he continued the nature-inspired theme with red cardinals (sold in craft stores) and an acorn birdhouse ornament (sold in Glenn’s Flower Box). “You can put as much or as little as you want on the branch,” he says. “That way you can add to it as the season goes on.”

Lastly, Hebert laid moss around the base of the branch and piled mix-matched, brightly-colored ball ornaments on top. “Some of those are discount store ornaments and some were given to us by a customer who thought we could create something great with them,” he shares.

This year Hebert predicts a continued trend with red cardinals, but also with other nature-inspired images like owls, squirrels, mosses, branches and leaves. Muted, rustic looks will also stay popular, as will traditional colors of red and green. “Less is better,” he says, but one way to give an arrangement or decor some layers and added interest is to make bows with several different patterns and colors of ribbon. He is also a big fan of using pieces from around the house, borrowed items or second-hand items in holiday arrangements and on the tree.

Thru the Garden Gate Flowers

New Iberia

facebook@thruthegardengateflowers

Beth Dubois has the honor of being the only mobile flower truck in the area. Hers is a success story that started with a travel business that suffered under the strain of the pandemic, and resulted in her rediscovering a much-loved pastime and earning her horticulture credentials. Although her business Thru the Garden Gate Flowers is relatively new, she’s been seen at several events this season already, selling her arrangements and providing much-appreciated advice to attendees.

Thinking “beyond the poinsettia” for Dubois resulted in a stunning arrangement that included traditional holiday colors of red, white and green. In her design, she included red roses, white chrysanthemums, deep red alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas), bunches of white hypericum berries, magnolia tree leaves, and two types of eucalyptus (she suggests something wispy, like Silver Dollar, and something straight, like Spiral or Baby Blue).

In giving readers a peek at one of her holiday arrangements, she also shared her secrets to the perfect design. “The general rule is to use at least two greens and then two to four different flowers,” Dubois says. She admits she sometimes starts with too much, then edits herself back after looking at it from different angles. “You can definitely put in too much,” she says. “But I love color. Everything is that sage green and all the earth-tones and soft, which is beautiful, but I like to see some color, too.” She suggests using a background of florals and greens that have muted, softer colors, then choosing your pops of color to make your festive statement.

Maison de Fleurs

Breaux Bridge

When we approached Maison de Fleurs about submitting an interpretation of arrangements that are “beyond the poinsettia,” owner Gisela Sanders knew the exact design she would use. “Every time I do one, people comment on how much they love it,” she says.

Indeed, the arrangement Sanders presents is a fun and festive take on a holiday statement piece. It stands nearly three feet tall and combines mostly whites and greens, punctuated with dots of bright red. The focus of the piece, standing tall above the rest of the arrangement, is the large bouquet of white, long-stemmed lilies accented with white alstroemeria, which are gathered with a bright red ribbon wrapped around the stems, a peralized webbed ribbon, and felt ornaments. At the base of the design, arranged in a holiday-themed galvanized bucket, are green mums and button mums, bright red hypericum berries, foxtail, leather leaf fern, jade, honey bracelet and frosted pinecone picks.

Sanders is looking forward to the holiday season and shared some of her predictions for floral designs and decor. She says the traditional, nostalgic color schemes that give you that “home feeling” are making a return this year, but there are ways to give it a more modern take. “I’ve seen a lot of black and white mixed in with traditional colors in the last few years,” she says. To achieve the stylish look, simply add black ribbon (try a buffalo plaid) or black ornaments to a red and green arrangement. And, while the farmhouse, galvanized container is very popular, Sanders says you can easily substitute a ceramic or glass dish for a more elegant look.

Root Floral Design

Lafayette

The team at Root Floral Design in Lafayette is known for creating thoughtfully-designed, stylish arrangements for events, special occasions or just because, and owner Mia Sandberg gives readers a great example of her approach to a poinsettia alternative. The arrangement features a cornucopia of reds, with just a dash of pink and cream: red heart roses, sweet peas, dahlias, anemones, ranunculus, kangaroo paw, tulips, godetia, astilbe, and wine-colored painted plumosa in the place of greens.

The near-exclusive use of reds allows this arrangement to become a statement piece. “We think that using a monochromatic color palette creates for a bold design that will surely stand out in your entire house,” Sandberg says.

“We love to use accent flowers that stand out slightly above the roses to create depth. Although we love asymmetry, this design can be made more symmetrical, if preferred.”

In other floral designs this season, Sandberg hopes to see the use of more dried and textural pieces, like the painted plumosa in their holiday design – one of their favorite looks. As far as trends we likely won’t see this year, Sandberg gives that honor to pampas grass. “We think it has run its course and now must be retired,” she says. “Plus it’s extremely messy and gets all over the place, so we highly suggest staying away from it for that reason alone!”

Like our other floral designers, Sandberg says the overall key is not to go overboard. “Less is more in my book,” she advises. “I want to see your beautiful table. I want to see the green on your Christmas tree!

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