An Easter Tree
Since I was a child, we have always had an Easter Tree in our home. Several weeks before Easter, my mother cuts some budding branches from our garden. Some years it is forsythia branches. Other times it has been pussy willows. Most years were branches left after the annual pruning of our fruit trees. She has a lovely white ceramic vase to arrange them in that she uses each year, and then we would help put on the special egg ornaments that she brought back from Germany, many years before--painted wood eggs in pastel colors.
Last week here in our store we decided to put together our own Easter Tree and we wanted to share the process so that you can do the same. If you already have an Easter Tree, we have a few ornaments that you may want to add to your own collection.
First we needed to get our branches. Not everybody has access to branches in their yard so we went to a cut flower store to get ours. We got a few cherry blossom branches and also a few quince. Usually you will need 5-8 branches to make it look nice.
Next we wanted to find the right vase for the branches. Something tall tends to work better. We love this flower crock that we have in store, but any tall and wide mouth vase will do!
This was probably the easiest arranging that we have ever done as there were very few stems. Just drop them in and push them around for a minute. Add some water because the branches are still living and if they are kept alive, the blossoms will bloom after a few days!
Next, find ornaments that you really love. We styled two different trees using some of what we have in store. On the first tree we used pysanky eggs from Slovakia (see them here), an art common in many Eastern European countries. These are real eggs that have been hollowed out and painted using a variety of techniques: wax resist, hand-painting, embossing, and perforation. Each color is symbolic and usually made with natural dyes. This style of egg decorating is ancient, pre-dating Christianity. As the legend goes, the more colors on an egg, the more magic the egg contains. The storytellers say that somewhere in the world there is a giant serpent chained to the mountains; from year to year, if the amount of painted eggs increases in the world, the serpent's chains are tightened. However, if each year the number of painted eggs decreases, the serpents chains are loosened. So the ancient art must continue to flourish!
Our second tree we styled a bit more playfully, featuring a variety of different carved and painted wood ornaments from Germany--everything from eggs and rabbits to different animals around the farm (see them here). Spring is a time for new growth and rebirth, and all of the eggs, animals, and flowers are reminders of the season.
Perhaps you already have your own egg tree, but might want to gift the traditions to someone you love. If you have lots of branches in your yard, trim a few, pick up one of our eggs and get someone started on the tradition. It only takes one ornament to have an egg tree. The blossoms do the rest. Peruse our egg tree collection here.