Branches in Bloom

By Kate Riley March 13, 2013

I’ve been feeling run down this week, disorganized, overwhelmed, out of sorts, and irritable as a result. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is in those moments, I need to step away from the things that cause strife and take a moment to seek serenity. Often I find it by sprucing or cleaning around the house – clearing out clutter and cleaning the countertops. Adding something fresh from nature always helps.

I read a great quote from Barbara Barry last week (one of my favorite designers) and she said, "To me it’s easy to be a designer. You just look outside and half your job is done for you."  How true is that?  I too am so inspired by nature, and I never tire of the organic shapes and color palettes that nature reveals with every season.

Spring comes a little earlier where I live (please don’t send me hate mail) so I popped into my local florist to spend a few dollars on some branches in bloom. The different varieties of quince and cherry and magnolia come into the shops from the San Francisco flower market and now bring a welcome dose of spring to our home. 

blooming branches in vases


Here are a few more of my favorite images of branches in bloom – proof that when  inserted into simple vases or vessels, any interior is instantly brightened. 

magnolia woodwoolstool

Wood Wool Stool


branches in bloom martha stewart

Martha Stewart


white cherry blossoms gardenista



quince branches in entry trad home

Traditional Home


forsythia brightboldbeautiful

Bold, Bright & Beautiful


southern living blooming branches

Southern Living


pink blooming branches



marie claire maison

Marie Claire Maison


branches in basket

  Love Warriors


vases of blooming branches


Of course you can force branches to bloom weeks before they do outdoors in your region – here are some helpful articles on the topic.

How to Force Branches to Flower 

Forcing Branches

Forcing Branches to Bloom



  1. I like them too. I made decoration from brunches for xmas. This is the cheapest decoration and so beautiful too.


  2. Kate, I feel the same way this week. . . I need to take a break from the blog today to get this place under control! Love the branches. Great way to decorate for spring.

  3. THANK YOU!! Just the dose of Spring I have been needing and the inspiration to get some flowers for my home too. Here in Minnesota we are still getting snow, so any reminder that Spring is on it’s way is welcome in my book! : )

  4. Happy Spring to you! These pics are great perfectly timed inspiration for me as I’m working on some Spring decor with branches today! So, thanks! Yours are gorgeous!

  5. Thank you for sharing such great pictures of these blooms with us. It is still cold and windy here in NJ and I am wanting and needing some spring!!


  6. I live near Sacramento, not too far from you, and our 80 degree weather has “forced” our trees to bloom! My neighborhood is full of cherry trees and flowering pear, pink and white blossoms everywhere. Love this time of year. Thanks for giving me the idea to bring those blossoms inside, too.

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling that way. Maybe it’s the time of the year.

    Either way, totally loving this. Your space looks great Kate!

  8. I’m jeleous we are going into autumn (I’m in Australia). My favorite thing about the beginning of spring is hacking branches of cherry blossom from my garden, they last forever and are truly beautiful not to mention free ;)

  9. Love how it brights “life” into your home. I know I have been feeling the same way lately. I think it’s the time change and of course I’m not sleeping well, but I completely have Spring Fever and I want Spring to truly be here already. I have started to put the winter decor away and started brining out the Spring colors, so that is helping. Winter is still pretty much here in New York, but we are almost in the Spring weather. :)

  10. Lovely! I love blossoming branches! And I will not send any hate your way…I prefer to live vicariously through the joy of others. : ) We are sitting here in Minnesota with a fresh 12 inches of snow on the ground this week, on top of the last 8 inch snowfall the week before. And today, more snow coming down, of course! I know spring is coming according to the calendar, but outside, we seem to have endless January going on.

  11. Wondering where you bought that gorgeous silver mirror featured in your picture?

  12. I also felt the same way this week…our lifestyle is just so toxic that I really need to step back and find serenity…and it is indeed true that nature really makes a good job in it… and branches blooming just cheers me up… and I can’t help but praise God for such wonderful creations… :)

  13. Hey Kate! Love your blog! Your branch post gave us the idea to spruce up some DIY vases with branches–we gave you a shout-out on our blog-

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Your blossoms look so beautiful, and like Kate above mentioned – I LOVE your mirror! I hope you are feeling better! I know that feeling… =(

  15. I like the idea of using branches instead of the usual blooms. I always opt for tulips when I’m picking up a quick bouquet, but I think branches could be a nice change. I also love the mirror… I clicked on the link and somehow it looks so much nicer in your place than it does in the ad!

  16. Nothing blooming in the midwest yet :( But when it does i may need to go rim some of my branches! For now my spring decor consists of grocery store tulips and daffodils… i love the freshness though. It might be a nice look to have fresh flowers like that mixed in with some blooming branches….I think I will try it!

  17. Kate — It must have been in the air. Last week I felt so frustrated and grumpy. I’m not sure why we get off track like that occasionally, but I agree with you, getting outside seems to reset my inner computer. I usually go for a walk and try to put my thoughts back into perspective. The blooming branches are one of my favorite decorating elements – so simple and they speak of what is yet to come. Great post.

  18. I’m so sorry you’re feeling yucky! I have felt the same way lately too. We took March Break this week – just from teaching my kids – and it was immensely helpful. Hope you’re back to your cheerful self soon!

  19. So spring, and so beautiful — thank you! Now if only I had bought the live curly willow branches I saw the other day . . . they were just beginning to sprout their tiny, delicate green leaves!!

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