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Spuds and Buds: Fresh Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day Décor

Laura Dowling
By Laura Dowling
Posted on Mar 13,2009
Filed Under News , Community, Entertainment , Local Style,
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To proudly declare your Irish heritage
to the world, place an unexpected, yet
 very appropriate, sign of welcome
on your door. This potato wreath,
rendered in 25 pounds of basic white
Idaho spuds, makes a strong statement,
offering an unmistakably Irish greeting
as well as providing enough potatoes
for a hearty and satisfying meal later on.

In the annual scheme of holiday celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day ranks high as the perfect, carefree occasion.  

 
Unlike some holidays that can be fraught with gift-giving pressure and tense family dramas, St.Patrick’s Day exudes an undeniable charm with its primary focus on boisterous camaraderie and unbridled indulgence in Irish food, music, fun, and drink.


How ironic then that this festive holiday that celebrates Irish heritage while simultaneously heralding the arrival of spring has become synonymous with such accoutrements as faux leprechaun costumes, dyed green carnations, and plastic shamrock decor.  

 
Rather than create an inspiring homage to Irish history and tradition, these items, albeit amusing, have become all too commonplace and lack the imaginative creativity that is the hallmark of the Emerald Isle.


Whether you envision March 17 to be an ideal occasion for sipping a rare malt whiskey in a Georgian manor house or for belting out the Unicorn song in a beer-drenched pub, perhaps it’s time to reclaim the simple charm of St. Patrick’s Day and infuse some fresh style back into the festivities.  Here are some new ideas for incorporating natural elements into your own Irish-themed party design and décor this year.


1.  Potato wreath. To proudly declare your Irish heritage to the world, place an unexpected, yet very appropriate, sign of welcome on your door. This potato wreath, rendered in 25 pounds of basic white Idaho spuds, makes a strong statement, offering an unmistakably Irish greeting as well as providing enough potatoes for a hearty and satisfying meal later on.

Continue the Irish theme in the entry
hall, with a bouquet of decorative kale
cabbage that hints subtly at the corned
beef and cabbage meal to follow. 
This bouquet, composed in an abundant,
overflowing style of floral and vegetable
elements, adds color, style and another
iconic Irish motif to your holiday decor.


2.  Cabbage bouquet.  Continue the Irish theme in the entry hall, with a bouquet of decorative kale cabbage that hints subtly at the corned beef and cabbage meal to follow.  This bouquet, composed in an abundant, overflowing style of floral and vegetable elements, adds color, style and another iconic Irish motif to your holiday decor.


3.  Green bouquet.  If green is the color of envy (and St. Patrick’s Day), your friends will turn a bright shade of chartreuse when they see a set of trendy and modern all green bouquets on your Irish holiday table.  This bouquet of green flowers – roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas, bells of Ireland, and viburnum – is placed in a basic container that is covered entirely in Kelly green ribbon, further accentuating and complementing the overall Irish theme.


4.  Polka dot mums.  Enhance the décor of your Irish table-setting with an inexpensive burlap or fabric tablecloth that is decorated in green polka dot mums.  Green “Kermit” mums are inexpensive and long-lasting and can survive out of water for the evening or longer.  Simply cut off the stems and glue the flower heads onto the fabric surface in a jaunty polka dot pattern.


5.  Candles and flowers.  Candles and flowers are a classic combination, providing the finishing touch to your Irish table setting.  In addition, the Claddagh, a 16th century Irish candle decoration symbolizing eternal love and friendship, is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day motif. Decorate silver candelabra with flowers and greenery for an elegant look or even insert candles (securely, of course) in bouquets for an earthy, woodsy feel.

If green is the color of envy
(and St. Patrick’s Day), your
friends will turn a bright shade
of chartreuse when they see a
set of trendy and modern all
green bouquets on your Irish
holiday table. This bouquet
of green flowers – roses, calla
lilies, hydrangeas, bells of
Ireland, and viburnum –
is placed in a basic container
that is covered entirely in
Kelly green ribbon, further
accentuating and complementing
the overall Irish theme.


Laura Dowling (www.lauradowling.com) is Principal of Intérieurs et Fleurs in Old Town Alexandria and Instructeur Associé of L’Ecole des Fleurs in Paris, France.  She writes and lectures frequently on flowers in the French style but looks forward to celebrating her Irish heritage on March 17.



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