Pineapples, notoriously fickle and difficult to grow, have long been a symbol of hospitality and extravagance–in fact, Georgian confectioners were known to have rented pineapples by the day, to less wealthy customers, before selling them to be eaten by their more well-to-do clientele. The same pineapple might show up on several tables before finally being consumed.
Pineapples are especially noticeable at the Colonial Williamsburg living history settlement in Willliamsburg, Virginia, where costumed interpreters reenact all aspects of life in a British Colony during the mid 1700’s. Here, you will find the pineapple represented on everything from painted Wedgwood china to architectural details. Nowhere is the pineapple more evident, however, than in the stunning centerpieces and floral displays created daily for the governor’s dining room.
These types of centerpieces would have been familiar sights on the tables of the privileged class in Austen’s Regency England as well. To create your own version of the welcoming Williamsburg centerpiece featured here, follow Julie Mulligan’s simple instructions.
- Tape a piece of wet floral foam to a low shallow dish.
- Insert a 4” floral or craft stick about 2” into the bottom of the pineapple and insert into the top of the foam.
- Insert fresh cut greens, such as magnolia or balsam, into the bottom of the foam to form the base of the arrangement.
- Using the 4” sticks insert a row of apples on top of the greenery base.
- The next row that will be between the pineapple and the apples will be made with lush red roses. Give each rose a fresh cut on an angle (stem length should be about 5”) and insert into the foam.
- You can add sprigs of filler flower, such as the blupernum that I used here, or add another variety of evergreen for additional texture.
After more than 25 years as an innovative floral designer, Julie Mulligan has expanded her career to that of a floral lifestyle expert. Taking a creative approach with all her work, Julie designs unique containers, vases and packaging to complement and enhance the breathtaking beauty of her floral designs, including many 1-800-FLOWERS.COM® signature arrangements.
Julie and her designs have appeared on numerous television shows as a floral lifestyle expert, including The Montel Williams Show, Extra, WABC Eyewitness News, and NBC’s Weekend Today. She’s also been featured in high-circulation national magazines like People, US Weekly, Star, Family Circle and Women’s Day, among numerous others.
For a brief history of how the pineapple has served as both a food and a symbol throughout the human history of the Americas, go to www.levins.com.