Hanukkah Tablescape A contemporary composite centerpiece for the Jewish Festival of Lights.
Floral design, photos and text by Nita Robertson, AIFD, CFD
The winter holidays are just around the corner, and I wanted to share some tips on creating a fabulous tablescape for Hanukkah (or Chanukah), the eight-day Jewish Festival of Rededication (a.k.a. Festival of Lights). This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Nov. 28 and ends at sundown on Dec. 6. Because Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights, traditionally with candle lighting, song, prayer, the exchange of small gifts and, of course, food, you could place water tubes on the stems of the suspended tulips or deliver replacement stems each day of the holiday (which you would build into the price of the centerpiece) or use flowers to decorate around the base of a menorah as families light candles each night.
Step By Step
Create four supports for the horizontal structure of bleached curly- willow branches. For each support, bundle six pieces of 18-gauge wire, and bind them together with yarn. Place adhesive dashes placed at regular intervals along the length of each wire bundle, to secure
the yarn to the bundle
Bind three or four bleached curly-willow branches together with paper-covered wire, and then wrap the bindings with yarn, to decoratively camouflage the paper- covered wire.
Soak a brick of floral foam in flower- nutrient solution, and anchor it into an oval centerpiece container. Use with clear tape and/or anchor pins, if necessary. Insert the four yarn-covered wire supports vertically into the floral foam. Place one bleached curly-willow branch vertically in the center of the four wire supports, to act as a stronger main support. Wire the curly-willow branch structure horizontally to the tops of the five vertical wire and branch supports with paper-covered wire, to create a floating, elevated structure. For additional support, place two or three short curly- willow branches atop the floral foam, at the base of the vertical supports, to help hold them in place. Secure these branches to the floral foam with long wire hairpins.
Remove the leaves from 15 or so tulip stems. Place the stems of nine or so tulips through the elevated horizontal branch structure and insert them into the floral foam. Cut the stems of the remaining tulips shorter so that they will be suspended by their heads from the branch structure, with the stems dangling in midair.
Arrange Hydrangea, hybrid tea and spray roses, and seeded Eucalyptus into the floral foam in the oval centerpiece bowl. Add spiral accents of silver flat wire.
Create four (or more) accent vase arrangements to complement the focal arrangement, using Hydrangea, roses and seeded Eucalyptus. Add spiral accents of silver flat wire to each accent arrangement. DESIGN TIP: Choose containers of varying heights for the accent arrangements, to create varying levels of florals in the tablescape.
If you are setting up the tablescape at the client’s home, place the large focal arrangement in the center of the table, and then position the smaller vase arrangements, votive candles, stems of seeded Eucalyptus and any other coordinating accessories of your choice along the length of the table. DESIGN TIP: Take along (or deliver) a few stems of loose flowers to add into the napkins. I chose individual spray rose blooms, with the stems wrapped in silver bullion wire.
• Rosa spp. (hybrid tea rose)
• Rosa spp. (spray rose)
• Tulipa spp. (tulip)
• Hydrangea macrophylla (hortensia, French Hydrangea)
• Eucalyptus gunnii, seeded (seeded cider gum, seeded eucalypt)
• Salix matsudana/S. babylonica ‘Tortuosa’ branches, bleached (corkscrew willow, contorted willow)
• Oval diamond-cut silvered glass centerpiece bowl
• Round diamond-cut silvered glass tumblers/cylinder vases
• Square glass apothecary bottles/vases
• OASIS™ 3/16” Flat Wire (Silver) from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS™ Bind Wire (Natural) from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS™ Florist Wire (18 gauge) from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS® UGLU™ Adhesive Dashes from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS™ Bullion Wire (optional) from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS® Clear Tape and/or OASIS® Anchor Pins (optional) from Oasis Floral Products
• OASIS® Water Tubes (optional) from Oasis Floral Products
• White yarn
• Votive candles