Crimson & Clover: Holiday Centerpieces Take Center Stage without Stealing the Show

Floral DesignerAmy Epstein shares last-minute insider secrets for your holiday table
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Dec. 24, 2010 - PRLog -- Baltimore, MD Amy Epstein of Roland Park's Crimson & Clover Floral Design knows a thing or two about special occasions.  After all, there are few people in the world as exacting as a bride and their mother when it comes to bouquets and centerpieces and Amy has created the floral designs for nearly 500 weddings.  
   Entertaining over the holidays can be nearly as stressful, but it doesnt have to be even if it's last minute.  Amy shares a few tips so your centerpiece doesnt overwhelm you, or your guests, while entertaining:

•   Avoid strong-smelling flowers for centerpieces at the dinner table. Flowers such as Oriental Lily have a potent fragrance that can compete with the aroma of your meal.  
•   If using candles in your centerpiece, use only unscented as the same rule applies.  Strong fragrance can actually ruin the taste of food which is a definite 'no-no.'
•   When serving dinner, if your arrangement is large, you may have to move it to the buffet table or sideboard when placing platters on the table and to help aid in conversation.  
•   As always, centerpieces should be kept low as to not interfere with table conversation, or tall enough that the focal point is over eye-view.
•   To avoid moving your centerpiece, try deconstructed arrangements with 4 glass cubes that can be lined down the center of your table on a pretty runner.
•   Individual bud vases filled with one or two choice flowers a red or white rose, chrysanthemum or holly, at the place of each guest, tied with a pretty ribbon and name tag  not only serves as a place card, but as a favor when guests depart.
•   When using herbs in your cooking, you can complement the flavors of your meal by tying bunches of the same herbs and incorporating them in your centerpiece or bud vase arrangements rosemary, mint, lavender and thyme are all pleasantly fragrant and keep guests focused on the meal.
   Of course, consulting with your local florist and having them design something to your specifications color, decor, size, formality and even menu can leave you time to focus on other things, says Amy.  Whether it's one centerpiece or several, florists have access to more unusual flowers, containers and design elements than a host may.
   Amy also encourages hosts to use flowers in their food as well.  Just make sure to ask your florist or grocer about any possible pesticide use on the flowers or determine if they are organically grown.  
   Orchids are amazing floating in a champagne cocktail for New Years, she says and an organic red carnation, snipped right off the bud with scissors, the petals looks like soft, red confetti, taste like radicchio with a slight peppery flavor and against the green leaves of a salad are a surprise pop anytime of year.
   Amys unique artistic take on floral design springs from both her natural ability but also her background in fine arts and interior design.  She is the recipient of the 2010 Brides Choice Awards for Flowers & Decor from Wedding Wire, 2008 Best Florist nod from the Baltimore City Paper and a 2007 recipient of the Best of Weddings from The Knot.  
   For information, customers may contact Amy at 410.534.5459 or via email at or visit

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