M AG N O L I A WRITTEN BY SARAH McCULLEN
Voted the state flower by Mississippi’s schoolchildren in November 1900, and the state tree in 1938, Magnolia grandiflora bears fragrant white blossoms in spring, while the tree’s sturdy leaves remain green through the winter. Readily available yearround, the leaves are simple yet stunning in seasonal arrangements and long-lasting home decor.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM
ARRANGE A CENTERPIECE
Begin by arranging different heights and types of candlesticks in the center of your dining table. Snip magnolia branches, leaving about six inches of stem. Starting in the center of the table, lay them between the candlesticks. Use a generous amount of leaves to cover the bases of the candlesticks, and fill the center of the table to create a beautiful statement centerpiece.
HANG A GARLAND
Use thin wire or string to bind magnolia stems to one another, layering the leaves to create a thick garland. Using small tacks or nails, secure the garland to a mantel or drape over a mirror or a doorway. Use zip ties to attach the garland to a staircase banister. PAINT A PL ACE CARD
Add a Southern accent to your tablescape with magnolia leaf place cards. Pick large, flat leaves, and use a paint pen to write the name of each guest in the center of a leaf. HELPFUL TIPS
CREATE A WELCOME SWAG
In addition to magnolia, choose another type of evergreen like pine or cypress, and cut several long branches. Bundle the stems together, with the branches pointing downward in opposite directions. Secure the stems with a zip tie. Next, gather the magnolia branches, arranging the same way. Secure the two bundles of branches together at their stems with another zip tie, and cover the zip ties with a bow. Hang the arrangement on your front door.
Magnolia doesn’t wilt, but the leaves turn bronze as they dry. To keep them green, attach water picks, available at craft stores, to the stem end. Dust or coat leaves with spray paint to add interesting detail.
INVITATION | NOVEMBER 2018