Table Moderne de la Nature

A ‘modern take’ on the traditional nature table

When I was a child I used to love collecting natural items to go into a nature table display. My two mini gardening assistants and I have been foraging in the Painted Fern garden and pulled together this ‘modern take’ on the table de la nature, opting for a chic style with an ornate frame and opulent finds, but this could easily be recreated in other styles and colour schemes to suit your interior decor.

You will need:

Picture frame (back and glass removed)
Wooden clothes pegs
Jam jar
3 test tubes
Paper and pen
A selection of natural objects depicting the season – 5 or 6 for the frame and 3 for the test tubes


  1. Carefully remove the backing and glass from the picture frame
  2. Attach two lines of twine to the clips on the back which hold the glass in place spanning the width or length of the picture frame
  3. Lay your finds out until you are happy with the layout, and attach to the twine with clothes pegs. Bulky items such as pine cones will need to be tied on with ribbon. We have opted for fern leaves, Clematis seedheads, Rosemary for scent, a pine cone and a peacock feather
  4. Fill test tubes with water and insert into jam jar
  5. Place different flowering subjects in each test tube. We have used Clematis, Thalictrum seedheads and Oxalis foliage. Subjects with slightly different heights work best
  6. Cut down your paper labels to a uniform size at a scale that suits your subjects. Here we have used handmade hemp paper with natural fibres showing through, but brown paper or parcel tags also look effective for a simple look
  7. Hand write your find names on your labels and affix to your subjects by clipping under the clothes pegs to the twine or to the jam jar tied with ribbon
  8. Et voila, your nature table is complete and can be displayed for all to see and touch. This can be updated as often as you like to depict the changing seasons or as your subjects start to look past their best