I am so close to being home for the holidays. The whirlwind of winter and holiday containers, holiday and winter lighting, the the late landscape installations, and cut flowers for parties came to a close yesterday afternoon. How I like the energy and enthusiasm that describes busy-this year was exceptionally so. The change of the seasons is a natural event to be treasured, but I am ready to be home for the holidays.
Angie and I did make a garland for my house. Thick with multiple species of fir, pine cones, and magnolia branches-it was heavy, long, and lush. We added large sugar cones, grapevine balls and magnolia stems. The entire horizontal portion of the garland is zip tied to a 12′ bamboo pole. This detail is essential, should you want your garland straight. The grapevine garland over all adds volume and dimension. Steve and my crew made fairly quick work of putting it up. (How is it that they make everything seem easy?) This loosely constructed natural garland-my most favorite ever. It compliments the vintage architecture of my 1930′s home.
My winter pots are simple. Tree of heaven stalks-5 in each pot, surrounding a spotlight. I like seeing the evidence of the fire within. The mixed fir greens are loaded with chartreuse mini lights. Thank you so much English Gardens, for offering lights in chartreuse green. Outside all-my newly installed landscape lighting. The stole of dry flower heads from my own limelights impart a warm look.
Though Southern magnolia is not native to my zone, the glossy leaves and felted obverse is striking in the winter, no matter how you use them. A few twigs and some cut boxwood to fill give the pots some heft against the brick. That warm and congested look will look great, given the addition of a little snow.
For a while I thought I might skip the holiday decorating at home altogether, but this helped revive my interest.
Off the deck, a rectangular Hudson box from Branch is stuffed with big stick stems wound round with grapevine, pearl lights, and chartreuse mini lights. Not only does this winter pot delight me, it lights the stairs that go down to the garden. Who goes into the garden at night? That would be me, with the Corgis in tow, at 6pm for an evening tour. I appreciate a lighted path, as it is dark so early now.
I sold the pair of tapered Hudson pots that I had planted for fall early in the holiday season, thinking Buck would be able to make me a new pair in time for the holidays. He has been at least as busy as I, filling special orders for fountains and boxes. This winter arrangement is bright enough to see from the driveway. I like getting a welcome home the m,inute I arrive.
The lighting in front is the best it has ever been. Of course a slow exposure makes it seem much brighter than it looks in person, but too bright might be a virtue this time of year. I no longer worry about guests tripping up or down the steps-the walk is well lit.
I did put holiday lights up over the garland to match the lights in the pots-just for atmosphere. Chances are very good I will leave them on until after Valentine’s Day. Why not?
I was ready for the first snow. As for the inside-better than half way home.