Holiday Foraging

By Becky Cardenas / Photography By Stefanie Keeler | November 16, 2016
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Becky Cardenas picking persimmons for her holiday table decor
Becky Cardenas picking persimmons for her holiday table decor.

New ideas for decorating a holiday table are as close as your backyard when you look at the landscape with a forager’s eye. Use seasonal offerings of fruits, vegetables, flowers and foliage to create custom centerpieces, napkin rings and wreaths. Foraging is a fun challenge and a great way to get the entire family involved while also incorporating organic and sustainable elements in the decor. In the process you may also start new traditions for your holiday gatherings.

Becky Cardenas cutting persimmons
Becky Cardenas cutting persimmons

Take a walk around the neighborhood, a hike through the woods, even a stroll through your own yard or garden to collect supplies for your decorations. Once you begin to explore, you start to notice the beautiful bounty in nature. In Northeast Florida, we have a wide range of textures and colors that can be gathered to create your holiday centerpiece. Look for flowers and greenery with different shapes, sizes and textures to add interest. The variety also allows your eye to move throughout the centerpiece seeing something new with each view.

Walking through trees
Becky Cadenas cutting beauty berry
Becky Cardenas with a basket of foraged decor
Becky Cardenas with foraged plants

We have an abundance of evergreen trees and foliage which can be used as a base for the holiday centerpiece. A great way to add texture and a pop of color is to add berries from Holly, Nandina and Beauty Berry bushes. Cold hardy herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and mint will add wonderful fragrance to your table scape or a holiday wreath.

A basket of persimmons
Foraged leaves and flowers on a platter
Adding Nandina to the wreath
Making a wreath with foraged plants.
Rosemary and Nandina on wreath
Becky Cardenas holding wreath.

Branches laden with persimmons and kumquats make wonderful additions as well. I like to use these branches for the centerpiece while also using the fruit itself to style the remainder of the table. Get creative with root vegetables and turn them into place cards or candle holders. Camellias provide beautiful blooms in red, pink and white. Fresh herbs in napkin rings add fragrant greenery to plates. Don’t be afraid to include items such dried seed pods or flower heads, or other vegetation that catches your eye. The possibilities are limitless. There are no rules, just lots of fun to be had.

Foraged decor and napkin ring
Foraged centerpiece and candles.
Foraged centerpiece
Antique bottles and leaves

Hand forged copper spoons and artisan wares by Mandy Dexheimer of Amanda Blair Dexheimer Studio. Styling by Becky Cardenas of The Wilding Collective. Shoot Location at Linwood House at The Glen Venue.

Article from Edible Northeast Florida at
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