Kenzans are so fun and easy to use. Watch our quick video demo or read below to learn how to put together a beautiful, rustic display. We hope you have a go at creating your very own kenzan arrangement this Christmas, with a little help from Botany!
If you haven't seen our first demo, we create a bright, festive centrepiece using lush foraged foliage and beautiful roses. You can watch it here. This time, we create a more rustic, coastal display, using elements you might find near the beach - such as succulents, bunny tail grasses and saltbush.
Video length: 9.5 minutes | Reading time: 7 minutes
Step 1 :
Make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go - kenzans, bases, foliage, grasses and a pair of snips.
Fill your bases with water (any shallow dish will work if it holds approximately 2-3cms of water). For the arrangement you will need 2 kinds of foliage, some succulents and 1 kind of grass. We did add a little bit of flower at the end, but this is optional.
Prepare your grass by dividing it into approximately 5 little bundles of different heights. Tie each bundle together using some twine, and cut the stems at the bottom so they're all the same length.
This will make it easy for you to place them into the kenzans later, as grass stems are usually too thin for the pins.
Step 2 :
Start with your foliage. We used some saltbush, but any foliage you like will do. If you are down near the beach over Christmas, tree tree or eucalyptus would look lovely too.
Start with each end of your table centre. Place long pieces of foliage into the kenzan so that they are secure, but so they also drape along the length of the table.
Thicker stems can be prepared by cutting straight up into the stem, splitting it at the base. We have a quick video demo here (scroll down to "split woody stems").
Continue placing your foliage into the kenzans at different heights, cutting the pieces at different lengths to achieve this look. Don't go too high, as we want our grasses to be the tallest element.
You don't need to completely fill the space with foliage - make sure you leave room for the rest! When you're finished there should still be gaps.
Step 3 :
Next it's time to add the succulents. Use these by cutting short and place them low, as they are quite heavy and can easily unbalance the kenzans.
We placed them into little groups to make the most impact - one in each kenzan.
If you have any leftover stems, of if they are taking up too much space in the kenzan, simply tuck them under your foliage or lay directly onto the table to fill in gaps. They will be perfectly okay without water for the day.
Step 4 :
It's now time to add our little grass bundles, while there is still some space in the kenzans.
The best tip for placing these is uneven spacing. To explain, we used 5 bundles; the first three we placed close together, then left a large gap, and then placed the last 2 close together.
If you place them all evenly it doesn't quite look natural, so leave a big gap and some small gaps to get the natural effect.
Step 5 :
To finish off we used our dried seed pods to fill in any little gaps around the bases of the kenzans.
Cut longer stems down into smaller sections so you can group them together, then place or tuck into the arrangement where there is empty space.
As with the succulents, these do not require water so don't worry whether they are in the kenzan, or simply sitting directly on the table.
Once you've filled in any spaces with the seeds, adjust if needed and you're done! We had some spare white scabiosa flowers which we placed in at the end, but this is optional. The look would still work without the flowers added.
Then set the table with your vintage plates and natural cotton napkins to complete the look! Once Christmas is over, plant your succulents back into your garden for next year, and keep your grasses in a little bottle in the house.
- Get everything you need ready first; forage from your garden for some foliage, succulents and grasses.
- Start low, placing foliage at each end of the display to create length, then build back into the centre.
- Add succulents in little groupings for impact, and don't worry if they are not in the water - they'll be fine for the day without a water source.
- Add grasses in little bundles so they're easy to push into the kenzans, and space them unevenly for a natural look.
- Tuck your dried seeds into any gaps to finish. Set the table, and have a lovely Christmas!
Want a kenzan too so you can create sustainable arrangements at home? We stock Australian made kenzans in 3 sizes, on our GIFTS page.