Friday, December 26, 2014

Decorating with Greens for the Holiday

I love decorating with live greens for Christmas. It’s my way of keeping the gardening spirit alive even in the colder months. Some years I’ve made boxwood tabletop topiaries, other times I’ve arranged greens in vases inside, or in pots or a pail on the porch, and I always make my own wreath (either from scratch or starting with a basic wreath of greens). I never remember to take photos for my blog, though, so this year I made sure I did.

My first purchase this year was a simple wreath made of just boxwood. I have always wanted a boxwood wreath and they are hard to come by in my area for some reason, or you’ll find them and they won’t look so great or they are really expensive. This year we happened to be at Terhune Orchards the weekend after Thanksgiving and I saw they had these beautiful boxwood wreaths at a very reasonable price and I couldn’t resist. I added a gold bow, a few pinecones and holly and viola, instant festive wreath – simple, yet elegant. (Don’t tell the neighbors, but I cut the holly from their holly tree that overhangs our yard – ssshhhhhh!)

The two-tiered pot by the front door stays there year-round, so I like to fill it with greens. (The pole with basket on top came from Kinsman Company.) I get lots of loose greens from Bartram’s Gardens. It has been an annual tradition for many, many years to go there with my mom. They have piles of loose greens and you stuff as much as you can into a brown bag and pay $10 for each bag. What a bargain!

This year I got some pretty magnolia leaves, blue spruce, and other greens from Bartram’s, plus the holly from my neighbor’s yard and some twigs from my own yard. There are pine cones tucked in here and there, too. Those drop into my yard from my neighbor’s pine tree. (I wonder if they know that two of their trees help me decorate from Christmas each year.) I decorated the rim of the top basket with silver Christmas balls this year.

For two of my hanging baskets, I got this idea to fill them with greens. I had seen something similar at the Plow and Hearth store using fake greens and thought, hey, I can do that with real greens. Again, I decorated the rim with Christmas balls, this time silver and red. That was a last minute idea I had come up with.

We usually put a live Christmas tree on the front porch and decorate it with lights, beads, and Christmas balls. We ran out of time this year, so that is why you see the silver and red balls on the hanging baskets instead!

I like to add a little holiday cheer to the greenhouse, too. I keep strings of white lights in there all year round, but for Christmas I like a poinsettia or some other festive plant, besides the two Christmas Cactus plants and the Cyclamen that I always have. This year I found a Lemon Cypress at Whole Foods. The bright, green color really caught my eye.

I had made these candle decorations many years ago. They actually sit on my fireplace mantel the rest of the year. They are in little terra-cotta pots with dried flowers and mini pine cones.

I picked up the tradition from my mom of decorating the fireplace mantel with greens. I add lights and Christmas decorations.

I like to add animal decorations, sometimes made out of natural materials, so that it looks kind of like a little forest. This first little owl came from Plow and Hearth.

This stuffed bird on top of a pine cone and the two little reindeer below also came from Plow and Hearth.

We haven’t done a tree inside for the past few years, since we had our two cats, Molly and Izzy. My old cat, Montague, used to climb the tree when he was young, but stopped doing it when he was older. Izzy is a climber and I know she would be up that tree in a shot, and is big enough to take it down with her. So until she “matures” and we feel like we can trust her, no inside tree for us.

I will keep my decorations up for a little while longer, however, the cut greens do start to look dry after awhile. I enjoy it while it lasts. I hope you and yours had a happy holiday!

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