I finished the last of this season’s landscape work, and the holiday decorating today. This feels really good. Tomorrow and Wednesday my crew will sort out a few minor glitches (this has mostly to do with errant timers, and a centerpiece that needs extra special reinforcement against a windy location) and put the shop yard to sleep. All of the stone and concrete pieces outdoors will be put up on pallets. The stone cisterns will spend the winter on pallets, upside down. A pair of old boxwoods in terra cotta pots will come into the garage, as will the few small espaliers left over from the summer. We still have warm weather in which to work-this has been the longest and mildest fall and early winter that I can remember. The work is winding down.
I can think about my own home for the holidays now. The pots and lighting outside were finished a week ago. My four iron pots out front have flame willow, fresh magnolia, and mixed greens. The centerpieces are lit with garland lights. These old iron pots came with the house. Yes, they were very much a part of the decision to buy and move here.
My crew installs fresh magnolia garland all across the entry and down the sides. The magnolia has garland lights spiralled through it. The two men who owned this house before me made a specialty of their holiday lighting. There are hooks and screws placed in a very orderly fashion everywhere. I could outline the entire house with lights, should that idea ever strike my fancy.
This makes any holiday display easy. For those of you who are afraid to put a brass screw in a wood front door for a wreath, I promise you will not undermine the integrity of that door, nor will you notice it the other 10 months of the year it is not in use. If you take the time to make it easy to decorate, you will decorate.
The architecture of my house is a hybrid betweeen Mediteranean style, and arts and crafts style. I love every detail. That architecture makes certain demands-from the landscape, the choice of plant material, color and mass. I am fine with that. Whomever designed this house, and the piazza style driveway, I respect.
Richard’s blowmold figures would not work here. The yellow brick and iron detail does not like white anything. I would have a hard time making a contemporary holiday display work with a house of this age. I have no problem with that. I like a holiday display that is warm and traditional. I like the smell of history better than any other smell in the world.
I have a pair of resin cherubs that I adore-Rob rolls his eyes every time I talk about them. I have had them over the mantle, framing a mirror. I have moved them all over the house. I look at them all year long. This is the first year I took them outside.
My landscape crew and I figured out how to do the lights such that these cherubs have a hand in holding up the light garlands. I am happy about how this looks. It makes me happy to be coming home.
I do much and many different things for lots of other people. My pleasure is in creating and delivering a look that feels like home to them. What I choose for my own home I choose with the same care that I choose for others. It is important to me that my garden, my landscape, my walkways, my terrace, my hellebores, my evergreens, and my holiday decor look like home.
Home for the holidays is a good place to be, indeed. I have a few more days to get ready.