In A Vase on Monday – Bourbon and Branch for Easter

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I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia; the Deep South. Celebrating Easter has some traditions. There is usually an arrangement of flowers centered around Spring featuring pastel colors and bulbs, maybe some forced branches from Cherry trees if Easter is early.

The traditional Easter fare is a ham criss crossed with a knife, canned pineapple rings centered in the squares, cloves inserted (and sometimes a maraschino cherry) the entire ham is then doused in brown sugar and baked. The women are madly working in the kitchen while the men are outside having a Bourbon and Branch.

Bourbon and Branch is a cocktail, branch is water from the pure running creek in the backyard.

I have eschewed the ham tradition and the bourbon tradition. This leaves me looking for some other kind of branches as the creeks I would drink water from are few and far between. What is currently blooming in my garden is mostly orange, not what I had in mind for an Easter arrangement.

The Hong Kong Orchid tree has been flowering for a couple of weeks, a nice lavendar color and has a gnarled branch look about it. I decided to try one of those large branch arrangements that appear effortless. Ha, the branches are twisty and uncooperative and have to be pruned into submission. Then I decided to add a Palm frond, it is Easter, just a bit late for the palm part. The frond overwhelms everything so I cut it down to a smaller size and add some russet Bromeliad foliage to pick up the darker color in the Orchid flowers.

Here is the result, I thought this was a bit weird, but I like it. I left the pods and some browning foliage on Orchid tree branches and crushed the ends a bit to see if they would last longer that way. A semi traditional Easter arrangement, as I have the branch part covered, maybe I should try to find the bourbon.

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19 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Bourbon and Branch for Easter

  1. Another pretty vase. I like the orchard tree branches. I haven’t been able to get one to flower in my area, but south of here, where it is a bit warmer, there are huge ones that that bloom in the spring.

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  2. George Rogers says:

    The pod is the crowning touch…and you don’t see many pods on HK Orchid Tree (?). No need to skip the bourbon…maybe it would sanitize the local creek water.

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  3. Cathy says:

    Thank you for sharing the Georgian Easter tradition, most intriguing – even though the ham sounds a very 1970s thing to me! I enjoyed following your thought process as you created your vase and agree that the result is most acceptable, even without the Bourbon. Do you have a Bourbon bottle, or typical glass that it might be drunk out of, that you could have added as a prop?

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    • I have a bottle of Jack Daniels (bourbon made in Tennessee) and the thought passed through my mind of adding it to the picture-then it passed right on out. The color would have looked great with the arrangement!

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  4. pbmgarden says:

    Beautiful arrangement for the holiday. I remember hams like that too, but no running creek nearby.

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  5. A beautiful and unusual mix of plant material for Easter! And wonderful Easter traditions remembered.

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  6. Kris P says:

    Traditions must adapt to one’s circumstances! You’ll have to report on how the branch does in your vase. I haven’t had much luck getting my own Bauhinia (x blakeana) to hold up as cut flowers for much more than a day or two but I’ve often wondered if cutting an entire branch might make a difference.

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  7. Chloris says:

    I love your exotic Easter arrangement, your Bauhinia blooms are gorgeous.
    As I dislike meat with fruit, your ham with tinned pineapple sounds as horrible as the tomato in aspic thing. But I love hearing about the traditions in different parts of the world. Bourbon and Branch is a new concept to me. Your branch is lovely and obviously less of a health hazard than the traditional sort.

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    • Thank you, I agree about the ham, it is still as popular as ever in many circles and the Honey Baked Ham Company is a multimillion dollar enterprise here. Nevertheless we had turkey for Easter dinner. Bourbon and Branch is common to the deep South, some people use special water from their own branch!

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  8. Hannah says:

    I grew up in Texas, my mother was from South Carolina. So we had the scored ham but I only remember the cloves, and what a fragrant taste they had with the ham. I miss the Bauhinia blooms from S. Calif. though, they look great with the fan of the palm behind them, like butterflies, Amelia.

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  9. Cathy says:

    It is unusual but I like it too – I think it is the way those purple orchid tree flowers are gracefully dangling. I had to look up the tree to get an idea of what it looks like, and am amazed at how big they can get. Beautiful!

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