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Tropical Mimosa Table

by elyn_ryn

On this table, I used the foliage from one of my favorite summer trees, the mimosa. Its delicate pink blossoms look like feathers and are striking against its green fern-like foliage. I was convinced that people love mimosas so much that a brunch cocktail was named after them. Nope! Turns out that the cocktail was named for the Acacia dealbata, a tree with yellow foliage. So why has this pretty foliage been overlooked as a cut flower since they are ubiquitous in nature? Maybe it is because the pink flowers can fade quickly, or the branches close easily. Whatever the reason, mimosas look pretty cut and placed in vases. Their leaves look like ferns, and they have a very tropical look.

Flamingo Placemats

I used Mimosa leaves on this table because of the whimsical flamingo placemats I found at Hester and Cook. (I have listed sources at the end of this post.) Summer-y and full of personality, these placemats come in a pad of 24. They are approximately 12 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (or 31 x 47 cm) in size. Flamingos seem to be the quintessential tropical summer bird, and summer-blooming mimosa trees with their pink blossoms are a good match.

Table Runner

I also used a black paper table runner from Hester and Cook. It is chalkboard paper and went well with the black on the flamingo beaks.

Napkin Rings

The napkin rings are handmade out of raffia ribbon. Since I used blush-colored napkins, I used a blush-colored velvet ribbon to tie together mimosa leaves, fern, and a faux orchid. Then I placed them between the ring and napkin.

You can also buy real orchids from the grocery store and use them instead of using faux orchids. You can make the flower bundles ahead of time and place them into a closed plastic bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. They will usually keep for a day or two if kept chilled.

Glassware

The black on the flamingo beaks and the table runner led me to use black wine glasses. I thought the black glasses seemed to work well in an unexpected and fun way.

I added clear iced beverage glasses with etched ferns that were pretty with the mimosa fern leaves. I also wanted to limit the table to four colors–white, pink, green, and black–so the clear glasses added texture but no color.

Plates

The pierced plates are busy on a busy table, but they work. I tried other dinner plates, including black ones and a couple of plain white dinner plates, but I kept coming back to the pierced plates. Remember, when you set your table, use what you like. No one will be comparing all the other possible choices. If you are happy with how your table turns out, then guests will love it.

A Word about Mimosa Trees

Considered an invasive tree in most of the U.S., these blooming trees multiply so effortlessly that they are considered a weed by some. They are usually associated with the southern U.S. but seem more exotic than native trees. It turns out that they are native to Asia and not the U.S., which explains why the environment doesn’t keep them in check like it does the native trees.

Fragrance

Even though many people do not love mimosa trees, many people do like their fleeting perfumed fragrance that travels with the wind. I love to walk near them because you never know when they will greet you with their sweet scent.

Seeds and Seed Pods

When mimosa trees first bloom, they produce puffy pink flowers with their fern-like branches. That is what I used for this table because the ferns and blooms are both safe. You can even make tea from the flowers! However, later in the summer, seed beans start to develop. They are pretty in flower arrangements, but they are poisonous to humans and pets. Just be aware of this if you want to use mimosa seed pods in your flower arrangements. They are okay to look at, but no one should eat them!

A Sensitive Tree

Did you know that mimosa trees do not like to be touched? When you cut them, the foliage will close. They open later when the “danger” has passed. They also close at night and during rainstorms and then reopen in the morning sunshine or after rain. When I picked these branches, all of the leaves closed up, and some of the flowers drooped. After a while, the ferns started to open again, but not all the flowers opened. If you use them for a table, be sure to give them time to reopen after you arrange them.

Click here to see a different tropical tablescape with the same placemats.

Click here to go to a different kind of flamingo-decorated table with links for pineapple recipes.

Sources

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