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Holiday Flowers With Brooks Matthews

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012

Over the next couple of weeks, we’re all going to host lots of holiday gatherings. Decorating your home, especially your holiday table, can be somewhat overwhelming. With that in mind, we called on Brooks Mathews to give us her sage advice on how to create lovely holiday tablescapes that are both affordable and long lasting. Brooks’ resume is a mile long, but her work on the Blue Moon Party is her most recognizable feat. She is a native Tennessean, so her knowledge of plant zones and materials is second to none.

Lou Farrell, owner of Import Flowers, and Brooks Mathews have worked together for years to create gorgeous floral arrangements. When you go to Import, be sure to tell Lou that StyleBlueprint sent you!

If you’re new at creating your own tablescapes, there are lots of resources that you need to note:

Import Flowers on Murphy Road continues to be a great source for all types of greenery, berries, branches and gorgeous flowers. Lou Farrell is a huge fan of StyleBlueprint and keeps us apprised on new trends. All the flowers you see today are readily available and are not special orders. While flowers are available all the time, mid-week is when most of the flowers arrive. If you want to order flowers, you need to be put in your order up to a week in advance. Pop by Import Flowers. You’ll be amazed at the selection.


This is only a small sampling of what’s available at Import Flowers.

Geny’s Wholesale Florist on Charlotte Avenue has a huge array of floral supplies like oasis, plastic trays and Christmas ribbon. If you want the best selection available, stop by Geny’s in September for your ribbon. They sell out fast! They do have a limited amount of fresh flowers. Geny’s Wholesale offers special order flowers, too!

Finally, start a collection of what you love in the colors that work for your home. Antique malls, Ilex for Flowers, The Tulip Tree, even TJ Maxx and Target are great resources when it comes to home decor. Whatever you do, don’t buy everything all at once; be patient and truly collect. Add slowly, supplementing with flowers and greenery. Most importantly, have some fun!

The best collections are found objects over time. On your next vacation, pick up some favorite pine cones or great branches and incorporate them in your next holiday tablescape.


The wonderful bark bird was acquired from Ilex for Flowers a number of years ago. If you find something in your home’s color palette, grab it. It can be used all year round.

Small vases are a great investment. They can always be incorporated into your table decor and allow your guests to see each other.



A closer view gives you an idea of how gorgeous this flower is. (Note: most floral designers remove the pollen stamens, but we loved the contrast of color!)


This wonderful branch, a Fantail willow, was purchased from Import Flowers. Lou Farrell has a great eye for unusual varieties of plant material.

When you are putting together your holiday tablescapes, take a walk in your yard. In my own yard, I have boxwoods, Foster hollies, nandinas with berries, mahonia buds and Sawtooth acuba, which I cut and use in floral arrangements throughout my home.

This is Ilex holly that you can grow in your yard. It is a deciduous shrub that you can inter-plant with evergreens, and in winter the berries are bountiful.

 You can even take your grandmother’s candelabra and transform it to something quite lovely.

This arrangement will last about a week (just remember to water it) and is comprised of amaryllis, Ilex holly, small calla lilies,Star of Bethlehem, variegated holly, pepperberries, freesia, boxwood, and nadina. These are all long lasting varieties, which make a good investment.


Various textures makes this arrangement interesting to the eye.

This arrangement (above) will also last up to a week or more. It’s perfect for a mantel, dining table or sideboard. The base of this arrangement is block of oasis set in a favorite bowl. Remember, you MUST soak your oasis for an hour or more. Start with the long branches – your foundation – first to determine the length of your arrangement. For this one, we used short needle fir, Lisianthus and nandina. Next, add in the big blooms to build your structure. Here, we used three different types of proteas, amaryllis, pomegranates and Brunia Stokoei blooms. Finally, you can fill in with small clippings of Foster holly and other greenery to cover up the oasis. Green pepperberries add the final touch to this gorgeous arrangement.

An up close view gives you an idea of how whimsical this arrangement is in its final stage.


These Brunia Stokoei blooms grow on top of fir trees.


Believe it or not, this limb was found on a walk in the woods.


This a collection of dried pomegranates, seed pods, nuts and fungi. The yellow Osage orange “horse apples” are not real, but they’re certainly keepers from season to season.


Simple but gorgeous, this mantel combines family heirlooms, holiday collectibles and fresh greenery.


This arrangement was made from leftover materials placed in an old champagne bucket for good cheer.


This antique tea caddy was owned by Brooks’ grandmother. Her grandmother adored birds and berries, so as a tribute to “Granny” Hazel Dedman, this arrangement was conceived.


This will be Lewis’s 13th Christmas! Year after year, he helps out during the holidays by getting the heck out of the way! Lewis is the guard of Christmas cheer.