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An Amateur's Guide To Arranging Magnolia Stems In a Vase

A friend and I visited the coolest new store, Urban Farmhouse, around the train tracks in Franklin, TN. It was there that I saw a beautiful magnolia arrangement in a vase, and thought, surely I can do that. After dropping all of those leaves and whatever else in the pool, it was nice to think that something good could come out of our Magnolia tree (besides the wonderful aroma from the blooms in the spring).

Brooke and I armed up on a misty Saturday morning and I started cutting, while she started twisting.

My first attempt at an arrangement didn't look so good. Something that I thought was going to be simple sent me to fire up google, and that's where I found........ nothing. No tips, no hints, no clues "magnolia in a vase", "magnolia stems", "magnolia arrangements". So here is a guide for you, from one amateur to possibly another:

Arranging Magnolia Stems in a Vase:

1. Keep it Simple. I arranged both a wide and a narrow brimmed vase. For both, I felt like the simpler the better. This meant around 3 stems for the narrow brimmed vase and 2, 3 stem bunches for the wide brimmed vase.

2. Go Long. I looked for long woody stems with leaves bunched at the top.

3. Watch for Curves: Magnolias have the tendency to grow curvy, but the straight limbs are easiest to arrange.

4. Remove Damaged Leaves or Leaves With Critters: Cut these puppies off!

5. Bundle: Not so important when using a narrow brimmed vase, but I found this helpful with my wide brimmed vase. I used twine to bunch 3 stems together. Since I didn't have any brown twine, I went with what I had, white. I tied the bunch near the leaves in an attempt to conceal the twine.

6. Hydrate: Arrange everything and THEN add water to your vase, otherwise you will have some very dirty water.

6. Clean Up Your Tree: Lastly, keep your tree healthy! After cutting your stem, make sure your follow it up to the main branch and cut as close as you can. Follow these pro tips for more on healthy cutting.

The final product!!

Yet to figure out: 1. How long will these stay green? 2. Will I need to change the water out? Stay tuned for answers!

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