When Southern Living magazine asked Baltimore botanical artist Meg Page to create dinnerware that can bridge the fall and winter entertaining seasons, she asked them to send her clippings from branches in their own backyards so she could get it right.
Page then arranged the nandina, boxwood, holly and mistletoe on the edges of white china, as she would a natural garnish, and began to create.
The result: dinnerware and serving pieces that have the same effect "as you would have if you ran out and clipped some holly for your cheese plate," said Page. The artist has worked on botanical notecards for Southern Living and her work as also been stitched into hand towels. This was her first attempt at china.
"I wanted to bring the outdoors in with these branches," she said.
The Latin names for the plants are delicately penned on the rims, which Page said was the biggest challenge. "Years of writing plant names on a straight line had not prepared me for that learning curve."
The pieces vary in price and can be mixed and matched to lovely effect. They are available at ballarddesigns.com. Search for Southern Living holiday branch dinnerware.