In a Vase on Monday – Ents and a Forest Wedding

My son was married on Saturday and happily they managed their outside, fairy-tale wedding in sunshine, followed by a delicious meal inside. It was a lovely day, the bride looked gorgeous and everyone seemed chilled and happy.


David’s idea for the formal sit-down meal was that the table centres should look like trees, to give the impression of a forest and continue the outdoor theme.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had cavalierly suggested that ordinary glass vases could be papier-mâchéd to look like old tree stumps, covered with ivy and filled with vegetation. Unsurprising then that I found myself volunteered for the job. So over the last couple of months I’ve been gradually filling the lounge with my craft efforts. (It’s why I have been somewhat absent from WP). Naturally, some trunks look more realistic than others. I’ve had problems soften the shape of the roots without spending hours on them, but I found that adding ivy once they were painted helped the overall effect considerably. So here were all seven, before my son requested a further two vases to cater for a different guest table arrangement!


To fill the vases I planned on cutting some branches from our largest birch, some lime (luckily in flower and therefore adding scent) and to use some bare red dogwood and contorted hazel twigs that had been saved from spring prunings.

So way back when, to guarantee colour and longevity, I decided to make paper (crepe) flowers to wire into the arrangement. I looked up YouTube videos for fuchsias (you can find out how to do practically anything from YouTube instructions!), since these are a favourite flower of the bride and suit the colour scheme. They ended up decorating the dark trunks in fact.


I decided that larkspur would be a great fresh ingredient for the arrangements, because their flower spikes are long (the vases were quite tall in the end), plus they last so well without wilting or losing their petals. Furthermore, their pastel tones work well with everything else. Then, to add volume, I collected and dried wild oats and finally on Friday I cut some bolting parsnip, which has sent up wonderful, strong lime-green umbellifers.

Here’s another vase. You can just make out the lime flowers wafting their perfume about:


Since the arrangements were for the evening reception as well, I added some lights. And for the children attending (and because the bride keeps pet rats), I hung glass baubles, filled with toy mice snuggled in moss, on to the bare branches.


Here’s a shot of another filled vase/stump in the centre of a table. Strangely, although they are all filled with the same materials, they all looked completely different!


And below is a photo of most of the tables decorated with their vases, ready for cockery and glasses to be laid out.


Next morning we came down to a cleared hall, chairs on the tables and a long array of table centres, lights still twinkling on the side table:


So these are my vases for today. I’ve called them Ents (Tolkien, Lord of the Rings reference) in the title because my son loved those books and films, plus these trees have moved around a lot (Cambridge to Hampshire and back). I am cheekily re-using them to join Cathy for her In a Vase on Monday meme.


There are (thankfully) fewer trunks now that we are home, since several have been requested by guests, but these five decorate our patio for the time being.

To enjoy other crazy flower ideas and splendid arrangements do try clicking through to Cathy’s ‘Grease’ themed post and look at the comments. Meanwhile …

“I didn’t think it would end this way” – Pippin, LOTR


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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35 Responses to In a Vase on Monday – Ents and a Forest Wedding

  1. Magical vases. This was interesting. I hope your efforts were appreciated by all.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Looks great. Glad everything went well.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m so impressed with these vases and handmade flowers, Allison! Talk about a labor of love – you pulled out all the stops. I dare say no one will forget these unique and beautiful decorations.

  4. Kris P says:

    You did a masterful job with the vases, Allison! I’m impressed by the thought you gave in tying in touches of things beloved by both your son and his bride. Congratulations on your contributions to making the wedding a special and memorable event.

  5. Everything looks amazing! Brings back memories when I helped decorate for weddings when I lived in Mississippi. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you. It was lovely to be able to use so much greenery from the garden (two tasks achieved from the one ‘stone’) and the atmosphere was, at the same time, both effervescent and naturalistic.

  6. Wow! Wow! and triple WoWWWWWW! Spectacular – no one will ever forget such a magical scene. It is all the love and thought that goes into the special little personal touches that creates a very special uplifting day for all concerned. What a triumph!

  7. So crafty! Well done and congratulations

  8. Cathy says:

    I had seen the vases in the first photos and was thinking what a great idea they were before I read that they were all your creation – well done, Allison! I love all the different elements of them – the concept, the contents, the individualised touches, everything. It really will be something your son and his new wife and all the guests will remember, and you can be proud of your achievement, satisfied in the knowledge that they couldn’t have been any more perfect…

    • Thanks Cathy. They were such a fun thing to do and while only a small part of the prep, they did seem to have a harmonizing effect on the hall decorations. I even got a job offer from the venue management after they saw them (sadly not practical, but nice to hear).

  9. Tina says:

    The vases are beautiful! So unique and creative–I love the addition of the mice! Congratulations on the wedding…and the craft work!

  10. Chloris says:

    Oh well done, how creative. They look wonderful, what an amazing contribution to your son’s wedding.

    • Thank you Liz. I was so happy when it all came together down there. Up until then I’d only done one practice vase, ‘cos I didn’t want to use up the tree branches too soon. Fortunately, everyone’s preparations pulled the whole thing into a wonderful day.

  11. Christina says:

    Fantastic; you are so brave doing the flowers for a wedding – they look wonderful. Many congratulations to the happy couple.

    • I am glad that I depended mostly on trees and not a cutting border for materials, ‘cos I don’t think I’d be up to the timing of flowers for that! Thanks, I will passed on everyone’s good wishes.

  12. Goodness, what a fabulous and fun project. The arrangements look amazing.

    • Thank you. It was definitely fun, but a bit nail-biting at towards the end of the prep, when I had to transport all the papier-mached glass vases down to Hampshire in the boot of my car and then put each centre together.

  13. Sam says:

    They look fab! Many congratulations x

  14. Pazlo says:

    Outstanding on all counts!
    May I add my congratulations to you and the newlyweds.
    A little time to rest now!


  15. shoreacres says:

    I’m astonished by it all: the concept, the implementation, the unique approach to table decorations that too often are stereotypical or ‘blah.’ You did wonderfully well. I’m just astonished that people like you are able to do such things! If they’d needed a real tree trunk varnished, I could have done that. But these? All I can do is stand around and admire them!

    • Thank you. I’d have enjoyed working with real tree trunks too, but needs must and all that! In any case I had a blast making them and met some very help flower suppliers etc along the way. Now, the branches are shredded, the larkspur drying (for winter) and I just have to decide what to do with the vases …

  16. Cathy says:

    Amazing! They are so effective and I just love all the detail you put into them. I am sure they must have been a talking point among the guests and admire your creativity! 🙂

    • Thanks. They were enjoyed by many and I received plenty of compliments, which was v. nice. Funny thing was that driving the spent materials home in the car, I needed to roll the windows down, because the smell of hay meadows and linden trees was so, so strong.

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