A festive dining table to dazzle
As Christmas Day draws closer, many of us feel like breaking from the holly, ivy, red and green tradition. That doesn’t mean we hate Christmas, simply that we feel like a change. This year my table is going to be almost bridal: white, with a hint of glitter.
I’m starting with some thin-necked, silvered glass bottles, but any tall, narrow bottle or vase would do. Filled with white wax flower and the odd branch of silver birch, these will form the beginning of the upper storey for my arrangement, and give an all-important sense of lightness.
I bought the wax flower from a florist (approximately £1.75 per bushy stem – I used 10), but I like to use as much as possible from the garden. That’s where sprigs of rosemary come in. It’s useful to grow ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’, which has vertical stems rather than gnarled or trailing. Strip the bottom leaves and then sear the stem ends in boiling water for 20 seconds before you arrange them and they’ll last twice as long. Cut the tip out of each stem carefully, snipping immediately above a pair of leaves, and then cut another section, and another, down the stem. You can then use each one, as the cut end will be neatly hidden in the density of the leaves. The sombre dark of rosemary is excellent in contrast to