“A magnolia branch at this time of year is a tribute to tradition,” says Atlanta floral designer Shean Strong. “And the holidays are all about nostalgia, memories, and sharing those experiences. The large-scale display folds Strong in both flowers and colors instead of the traditional monochromatic arrangement of evergreen branches that is common at this time of year.
Strong used Edith Borg magnolia branches to complete the effect. “I wanted to keep the color of the leaves alive,” he says. “You can see a slight chartreuse edge and center in this variety. To create that pop, I played with yuzu portair and juniper berries.” I also incorporated those red rosehips and variegated amaryllis.” Final celebratory touch? A little cedar.
Many Southern gardens have magnolia trees, so collecting a few nice branches might become a new annual tradition of sorts. Strong says. “The twist of the branches and the unique grouping of the leaves.”
Place a special piece like this at your holiday buffet or place it on your front door table to greet friends and family. This is the ultimate welcome gesture.
Watch Strong create this arrangement and share more tips below.