It's A Southern Thang

5.03.2012

 I want to show you a simple change I made yesterday to the fireplace. In the winter I have logs sitting in it, but for the warmer seasons I like a basket of greenery.


A common choice for a southern fireplace is magnolia branches.

Problem is I don't have any magnolia trees, oh, but my neighbors do.

So I went over with clippers and a basket in hand and stole, borrowed, clipped, snipped, took, helped myself to their trees. Of course I had permission. They told me to take all I wanted.

I can't wait to see how these dry out. I have not used real magnolia branches before. I love the look of real greenery and bringing the outdoors in.

If any of you seasoned magnolia branch users know anything I should do special for these branches, please let me know. For now I will just enjoy the fresh greenery.
It's a southern thang.


Joining the following:
My Romantic Home
French Country Cottage
At the Picket Fence
Funky Junk Interiors

Wow Us Wednesdays still going here.

57 comments:

  1. Hi, Kim!!!
    I was heading for the party and saw this fresh post here!!
    LOVED what you did!!! It is so different, for me!!! I use to have a cat that chewed plants, so I don't have ANY in the house! Never imagined to use Magnolia branches!So, you did not put any water in the basket?
    I LOVE the peacock picture...

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  2. Well I learned something new! LOL I'm in TN, but have never seen or heard of magnolia branches in the fireplace. I've seen ferns used that way and I love the look of candles in place of logs. When we built this house we opted for gas rather than wood burning, so I don't change anything with ours. We have a magnolia tree and I've used the greenery on my mantel or outside during the holidays, and the eventually do darken and turn brittle.

    tina

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  3. Hi Kimmie! Oh, how pretty this is! I love those shiny leaves!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  4. Hi darling, love the change. The greenery adds so much warmth and richness.. hugs ~lynne~

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  5. Oh this is so pretty :)

    I don't have a very green thumb at all so I never would have thought this!

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  6. I love this idea. I do have a magnolia and it has SO many blooms my whole yard smells lemony. We won't discuss what a mess it makes in the pool and on the pool deck. I'm going to do this today! I cut leaves for greenery in mason jars with gerbera daises for my son's wedding reception last fall but we only kept them a day. Even if they only last a few weeks it will still be awesome!

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  7. Kim,
    Are they as fragrant as the flowers?That smell is wonderful.Love that look.I have faux logs in our gas fire place.I can't move them because they all have to be in a certain way and I am not paying to have someone fix it LOL.But I do hide it in the summer.I will share soon.Have a great day.
    Anne

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  8. It looks so fresh in there. I think I will do that although we have those annoying glass doors on our fireplace so maybe I will just place a plant in front of it!
    -Shelley

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  9. I love magnolia leaves. I'm anxious to see what happens to yours. I always want to bring them home when we are in the south, but I thought maybe they would just turn brown and curl up. Keep me posted...I'll be in Florida in July. Maybe I'll take my clippers! I love the look in the fireplace.

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  11. LOVES that look Kim. You crack me up..I can see you sneaking over there with your clippers!

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  12. That greenery looks so pretty in your fireplace! Ironically enough, as I was driving into my subdivision earlier today, some neighbors were cutting off magnolia leaves and flowers off the ones at the front of our entrance! Lucky for you to have a generous neighbor. That would be great at Christmas on your mantel too.

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  13. You could try using hydra picks-- that might help the branches stay green a little longer.

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  14. I like learning all these southern thangs... someday maybe I'll be a part of them!....

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  15. Love the look of fresh greenery. You have some nice neighbors but maybe they saw this as an easy opportunity to get their tree pruned :) Love your fireplace. What color did you use?

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  16. I have used them before in water and those babies will last for like 3 weeks....so I am as interested in you as to how long they will last without!

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  17. I love greenery in the fireplace...brings that black hole to life. I'd like to put a fern in mine but know I'd end up with fern leaves everywhere and a fake one just won't do. I think magnolia leaves are a great option.

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  18. Kim,

    Just stop by here for some sweet tea later and I have plenty of magnolia branches (and a turtle shell) you can have :)

    blessings,
    karianne

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  19. You can use just the leaves to create a wreath. Use either a styrofoam, whatever you have on hand...layer the leaves going all around. It will look similar to a laurel leaf wreath. They really are beautiful. Also just the pods that fall off look nice in a basket or bowl.

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  20. What a great look, Kim! I love magnolia leaves!! If you want to keep them green longer, you can use florists' foam and tuck it down in there, and wet it down occasionally.

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  21. I'd love to move south. And magnolia would be on the top of my must-have list. Looks great, Kim!

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  22. Kim, I've used magnolia leaves on my mantel at Christmas and they just dry naturally. I may have to copy this basket in the fireplace idea. ;-)

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  23. http://www.ehow.com/how_6571534_make-glycerine-leaves.html


    You can preserve them with a glycerin and water mix. I have heard about it, but couldn't remember how to do it, so I "googled" it. This is one of several sites I found. I did a search for "magnolia leaves and glycerin."

    Blogless Peggy in Virginia

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  24. Hi Kim,
    The branches look very festive and summery. Here in the coastal south they don't last long, maybe a few days before they dry out. I'm not sure there is any way to preserve them. Just enjoy while you can.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  25. They look great, Kim. I think fresh greenery add so much to a house. I have added several green plants to my house in the last two years. I got tired of all the silk and faux plants a few years back. xo Diana

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  26. The magnolia branches look very pretty and I ADORE your mantle display, so pretty!

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  27. Kim, it looks so pretty.Love the added greenery.

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  28. Yep. . . it's a Southern thang, for sure!

    I love magnolia branches. To make them last longer, I sometimes paint mine with spray paint. I've found that I get the best results from using a couple different colors of green, applied sort of at the same time. I think I've used Krylon's Hosta Leaf and Ivy Leaf, maybe, applied right on top of one another in light sweeps of color. Of course you can put them in water which will keep the fresh for awhile, but spray painting will keep them a pretty green for much longer. :)

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  29. We have two enormous magnolias flanking our old house. Last time I cut some leaves I just left them natural and they lasted for about ten days.

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  30. What nice neighbors. I have always admired the magnolia leaves I have seen made into garlands and wreaths at Christmas time. I'd love to know how they last.

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  31. The magnolia branches look great in your fireplace. We have three Little Gem Magnolias at our house and I love cutting branches and flowers. If I want to keep the branches green I usually put them in water but I don't know how long they will last.

    Gretchen

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  32. Magnolia leaves are beautiful and I love how you're using them. Great basket, too.
    Mary Alice

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  33. It's a very pretty look. We are still using our fireplace as it's still cold here. :)

    Dee

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  34. Pretty we use them all the time in weddings.

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  35. I have also used the glycerin and water, about half and half. First you beat the end of the stems with a hammer so they will take up the solution more easily. They will turn brown but will be pliable and not crumble. I have kept some as an arrangement for years.

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  36. So pretty, I just hate seeing a big ol dark and sooty fireplace box, you've got the right idea!!

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  37. I had no idea magnolia leaves would dry. They don't grow this far north so I have no idea about them, but love the look in your fireplace.

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  38. I was also going to recommend the glycerin. I have also heard you can dip these in floor wax several times (drying between each dipping) and this will help extend their life. Haven't tried that one. When we lived in Europe, my sweet Mama sent me a huge box of magnolia every Christmas so I had a piece of "home."
    I use the wild magnolia from my woods year round in floral displays. I also love the pods. Great natural elements.

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  39. Love the magnolia leaves. How pretty. Now I sure wish we had some of those in the desert. Not likely. Hugs, Marty

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  40. Very nice treatment to a fireplace for summertime!
    Someone asked me the other day if I was from the South! I took it as the highest of compliments!
    I always get greens from my friends huge Magnolia tree!
    Very pretty.

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  41. You have the best of both worlds. We use to have them in our yard, and they make a mess, so to have access to them w/out having to clean up their debris is the perfect situation. Love them at Christmas w/ holly berries and cedar or pine sprigs.

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  42. What a great idea, Kim...looks beautiful and lets you get more use from the fireplace area, too!

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  43. First of all, I love your new pic on your sidebar! The branches look terrific, I have no clue about them though:) Soryy, I am no help....XO, Pinky

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  44. It looks really refreshing! My cat would have those branches out of the basket in no time, though. ~ Maureen

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  45. Hello Kim,
    I just love the Magnolia - I don't have a tree either - used too, but the roots compromised our foundation.
    I'd rather have this old house! The Magnolias in our area are showing stress from the heat and drought - so glad to see the beautiful leaves displayed - I don't know if this is another 'southern thing' but, my brother-in-law calls those baskets 'butt baskets' always makes me laugh. I hope you have a blessed weekend!
    Kathy

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  46. Magnolia leaves are the best for decorating, especially at Christmas. 12 years ago, when my oldest got married in Chicago, my dil wanted to use magnolia from our yard. I shipped huge bunches up there and stored them in our hotel room in the bathtubs and everyone else's bathtub too. LOL....It saved her tons of wedding money. Sadly we had to cut down the tree as it had taken over the whole front yard. We have a small one now in the side yard that hopefully in a few more years I can start snipping from.

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  47. You have a wonderful neighbor. I'm drooling over my neighbor's Magnolia branches after taking all this inspiration in. I have a feeling I'd better not do any of the above! I love the look for your fireplace KIm.
    Have a great weekend.

    ~Emily
    The French Hutch

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  48. You are the Queen of the small change! I love to see how you make simple changes around your home. This is such a fresh fun idea.

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  49. My first experience of seeing Magnolia leave on a fireplace is when we stayed in a B&B in Augusta, Georgia...the fireplace in the room had garland of magnolia leaves on the mantle...and vases of them throughout the room...I was smitten!!...Lived in South Florida then and the only garlands were those of palm fronds!!...When we moved away from South Florida to North Central Fla, the first thing I wanted was a Magnolia tree!!!...I so love them..

    Your basket is beautiful in the fireplace...Love those Southern Thangs!!!

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  50. Timely tip. On to-do list is clean out fireplace before company comes. A basket with a plant would be excellent in the place of ash.

    ~Bliss~

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  51. If I could handle humidity, I'd be a southern convert, in a minute! Magnolia leaves are beautiful. So big and shiney! You could set them in a bowl of water inside the basket. Before long, you might get you very own little starter tree!

    Looks great, Kim!

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  52. It looks wonderful, you're giving me fireplace envy. Very fresh and cool for summer.

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  53. Well, my little Franklin Fireplace just called out that HE wants something pretty in front of his summertime doors, too. Now, I couldn't grow a magnolia tree out here on the prairie of West Texas if my very life depended on it BUT...I saw some pretty faux greens at Pier 1 that I might add to Mr. Franklin.
    As always, thanks much for your inspiration.

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  54. I just love your fireplace and those magnolia branches are wonderful! So gorgeous. I always love the magnolia branches in Southern Living designs too. Thanks for linking up!! :)

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  55. Very pretty, Kim! What a great idea. I've seen plants inside on the grate in summer, but I love the basket of leaves! I like to "dress" my fireplace in summer, too. I put a big pile of kindling and bracken on the grate and then in front I line up all the little birds nests I've found over the years ... fallen from trees and discarded by their owners. In early spring I put wooden or blown out eggs in the nests, and during the summer I put flower blossoms inside. I hope you keep us posted on how the Magnolia leaves turn out as time passes!

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  56. So Kim - Inquiring minds NEED to know! How long did your cut branches stay green? I need to collect enough for cneterpieces on 26 tables (which is gonna take some time) but don't want to get snipping too early! Our 'Belles and Beaus' Father-Daughter Dance is in three weeks. Will they last that long?

    Cheers - Jennifer

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