Technical Challenge: Woodland meets Modern

Last week, over on Facebook, I shared a few pictures of some unusual table centres. They were rustic and reminiscent of a woodland walk, whilst also having a modern twist of an orchid flourish.

I thought I’d share with you how, with a little imagination, a spot of foraging for the right chunk of bark and a few twigs, and an hour or so, you too can create an interesting feature piece.

You’ll need:

  • A section of curious looking bark (or a few pieces) – go for a wander and see what you can find! Obviously, if it’s private land, check with the landowner you’re ok to take some, and in any situation only take already-fallen bark (don’t go ripping those lovely trees apart!)
  • A few mossy, knarly twigs
  • moss
  • an orchid plant, or few stems of your choice of flowers
  • a stem of Dracena, or your choice of exotic-looking foliage
  • a block of Oasis (floral foam)
  • thin silver wire or gardeners twine
  • a small piece of cellophane (or a few layers of cling film)
  • sharp scissors and a knife
  • hot glue gun, (or strong liquid glue and a lot of patience!)

With all your bits and pieces collected, let’s get started!


Take your piece or pieces of bark and have a good look at them. Remove any unwelcome bugs or dirt clinging on, and check you’re happy to have it sitting in your house. If it’s damp, let it dry out before continuing.  Check there is a slit or gap or two on the top surface for stems to fit through -if there isn’t, get busy cutting or digging a few out with your knife. Not too big mind, you want it to be subtle.


Take your block of floral foam, and cut to size to fit snuggly into the underside of your bark. Soak the foam – sit the foam on top of a bucket of water, and let the weight of the water take the foam down. Don’t push it down as you’ll get air pockets which your flowers won’t like.

Cover the bottom of your Oasis with cellophane or several layers of clingfilm, to protect your surface. Leave the top surface clear, so you’re stems can enter unhindered. Secure in place with the silver wire or twine. Cover the visible ends of your foam with moss.


Using your glue, position and attach your twigs diagonally across the top of the bark. Remember to leave your holes accessible for your flower stems! You may also like to cover your wire or twine with a few bits of moss, but this is by no means essential. Make sure the glue is dry before continuing to the next step.

Next, get creative with your foliage and flowers! Depending on where you’re going to place your arrangement, think about the positioning of the flower heads – if it’s going against a wall, make it front facing, if it’ll be in the centre of your coffee table, make sure there’s something interesting on every side.

Put your foliage in first, just a few bits to frame and ‘set-off’ the blooms. Ensure the stems are going right into your floral foam beneath. Then add your flowers. Keep them looking natural – use the movement of the stems to your advantage, e.g. the curve of the orchid flower stem.


Ta-dah! There you have it, a woodland meets modern table centre. And the best bit? Now you have your frame, you can just change the flowers as your mood takes you! I’m thinking holly and ivy for Christmas, a few cheerful daffodils for Spring…

A final tip – make sure the foam is kept damp (a dribble of water over the sink will do it) and perhaps change the foam every few times too to make sure the stems are going into foam rather than holes.

I’d love to see your creations – why not share them with me over on my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?