EASTER TABLE | how to forage and decorate a wild spring tablescape
Spring is here, and all around the countryside, hedgerows are in full and growing bloom. Create the perfect Easter table display using inspiration from the wild outdoors.
We love a chocolate egg as much as the next Easter bunny – but spring is also a joyful excuse to bring the outdoors in. With the countryside alive with fresh growth, now is a great time of year to comb the woodland and hedgerows for a natural treasure or two (always with an eye to responsible foraging, of course). .
Better still, foraging for your own spring table decorations is an activity that is every inch as gratifying as the end result. With the Easter holidays fast approaching, little ones will love the chance to get involved; collecting twigs for a “nest” of painted eggs, for example, or learning how to make a dandelion crown.
From jugs of vibrant forsythia to pressed flower place settings, here are a few of our favourite ideas for crafting your very own wild spring tablescape – all using the bounty of the Great Outdoors. Happy making, friends.
Build a centrepiece tree and “nests” for painted eggs
Your own back garden could be the ideal starting point for a homemade egg tree. Look for sturdy blossoming branches such as dogwood or birch to take clippings from, then build your “tree” from a large jug or preserving jar. If you happen to have lengths of white or pale green ribbon handy, these look great to hang eggs from – or strewn across branches as standalones, for a lovely added flourish.
Hand-painted eggs are a tradition all of their own, naturally. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a few eggs leftover after decorating your tree. For these extras, children might like to create “nests” by foraging the undergrowth for moss, leaves and peaty sticks. Gather the nests around your tree in the centre of your table, and pile high with leftover eggs.
Top tip: Try painting white ceramic eggs, or wooden darning eggs (see our friends at Pops & Piaf for a lovely example), for decorations that last year after year. You don't need to invest in new paint, either: this is a great way of using up any leftover samples from DIY projects you have hanging around.
Accent your table with willows and spring shrubs
It’s always a good idea to experiment with height on your Easter table – and early spring blooms offer plenty of scope for an eye-catching display. It’s easier than you might imagine to conjure up a dash of cheer, too.
Forsythias, for example, are everywhere in spring, with vivid yellow flowers that make an outstanding bouquet, all by themselves. A few vases of these on your Easter table, or spread across a nearby sideboard, will create instant impact. Other larger foliage to add in include wild daffodils, pussy willow branches, with their furry catkins, or armfuls of cowslips.
Top tip: Run out of vases? Fret not. Watering cans make a playful alternative for displaying flowers in, or you can also get creative by styling a bouquet in a teapot, or a leftover olive oil bottle.
Create wildflower posies to scatter across the table
On the smaller end of the scale, you can complement your statement shrubs with little wildflower posies dotted here and there. For these, look for dainty and colourful blooms such as dog violets, deep blue muscari or ramsons (which smell delicious and you can forage the leaves for seasonal recipes, too).
These glorious spring blooms will look beautiful in small jam jars or leftover glass yoghurt/chocolate mousse pots. You can even sprinkle in a few extra pots on your table to hold tea lights in, for a touch more ambience.
Top tip: Create clusters of small chocolate eggs around each posy to match its colour; for example, with splashes of sky blue or dusky pink. Also, bear in mind that small posies have a tendency to wilt, so create yours as close to your guests arriving as you can.
Make Easter crowns and pressed flower place settings for your guests
Creating a dandelion crown is the kind of simple and pleasing task that children will love to be involved in. After collecting the flowers, there are plenty of YouTube videos around to follow in making a headpiece. A fun way of approaching this is also to create a crown (or if easier, a daisy chain) for each place setting – so each of your guests can be adorned in homemade Easter finery.
You could take this concept one step further by creating a wicker wreath, as a basis for a spring garland. This is great for weaving in any leftover clippings from your flower displays, above; and you can use them not only as crowns, but also to hang from a wall or on your front door.
Top tip: As well as crowns or necklaces, it’s a nice gesture to create hand-painted place names for your Easter table guests. You could add pressed spring flowers to the place settings, too; we are always inspired by the artworks by Steph at Me & My Bloomers..
A few final touches
Less is more on an Easter table. To let the natural beauty of spring-time displays speak for themselves, offset the beauty of flowers and eggs with pared-back table accessories. This might include anything from a pink blossom hand-twisted candle to a recycled glass vase, a cotton white tablecloth or more.