I didn’t always buy into the idea that fresh cut flowers and plants make a space come alive. For a long time, I would either decorate with faux plants (I definitely didn’t have a green thumb) or forgo the inclusion of botanicals altogether. Looking back now on photos of those spaces, I realize that something was severely lacking, and it wasn’t bright green leaves or vibrant petals—it was simply something natural.
On the surface, it can seem sort of new age-y to say that plants, flowers, and foraged bits make a space feel alive. But once I started treating myself to flowers most weeks to scatter around my apartment, my mood would instantly be lifted whenever I spotted them.. Not to mention that cutting, clipping, and arranging is my favorite post-grocery store ritual (less so the actual grocery haul).
Flowers can be pricey, though, especially if you’re buying from a florist and not DIY-ing a bouquet from Trader Joe’s, and even then, supplying your home with fresh flowers can be a weekly expense that adds up. And plants? Well, we all know how it goes when you forget a watering, or even worse—overwater.
Enter: branches. Yep, regular ol’ branches. After scrolling through endless photos on Instagram, I realized that all the beautiful interior accounts I follow had photos that included said branches, and that they appeared to be sourcing their decor straight from their backyard. Patinated pots accented with a few twigs, vases stuffed with big, sculptural branches’, fall leaves picked at their prime for the kitchen counter… the thing they all have in common is that they can be found almost anywhere.
After having realized the trend and wanting to try it in my own home, I recently forced my boyfriend to screech to a stop on the side of the road (safely!) so I could jump out and collect some branches I’d really liked. (I’ve also been known to root around in my parents’ backyard and at the beach for dried pampas grasses and cattails, but that’s neither here nor there.) Did he fully understand why I was climbing through the trees for the best pieces? No. Was I over the moon to harvest home decor for free? You bet.
And that’s precisely the most fun element of the trend—the act of foraging itself. It’s also delightfully seasonal, so you can accent your home with varying foliage and branches depending on what you find. Orange-hued leaves for fall, sparse sticks in winter, little buds in spring, and blooming floral branches in summer—and they’ll last so much longer than cut flowers that are most likely out of season, because branches almost always look fantastic when dried out.
Now that we’ve covered the fun part, we’ll include a disclaimer: not everything is meant to be foraged. Sure, you have free reign in your own backyard, but you should never remove plants from protected areas like state parks, and you certainly shouldn’t put yourself in harm’s way just to clip off a tree branch. You’ll also want to be sure that you’re not bringing any pests inside with you (give everything a good shake and a rinse), and keep potentially toxic plants well out of reach of pets and kids.
Would you try this trend in your own home? Tell us in the comments below!