No need for store bought glitter - Plant Talk readers are generous in sharing their ingenuity and techniques for decorating from nature. Just reading about clove-studded oranges and freshly cut boughs makes me feel better about the holidays. And the winner of the contest takes home a new pair of warm, comfortable and weatherproof BOGS boots....
The elegance of this gnarled old apple tree, in contrast to Christmas glitz and excess, kicked off the contest. Readers responded to the photo, so I asked you to send in your favorite ways of decorating simply, inexpensively and from the garden.
Did you ever come through, inspired by memories, fragrances, and your winter gardens. And I found a fabulous new blog, by a fellow librarian who has such a good eye and way with a camera. Check out Rosemary's Blog.
Here's how Lucinda in Denver decorates without the abundant evergreens we take for granted. "Now I live in Denver and foraging is very sparse. I collect pine cones when I walk my dog and get the boughs at Whole Foods that they cut off the bottom of the Christmas trees. I fill all of my outside pots with these as we can't grow winter containers here (too much freeze/thaw). I had to pay to get some red twig dogwood but I do love those branches! I bought some LED lighted branches w/ brown stems that look great with curly willow, some birds and leaf ornaments."
Or, closer to home, from Chris: "I do love to make seasonal bouquets...year round...but during the holidays, I gather evergreen and coned boughs, red berried branches, moss covered twigs, etc. I then arrange a bouquet in a water filled, white or green vase and intersperse it with sword fern fronds and set these around the house!! They smell wonderful!!!"
And from my Langley neighbor Marcia: "My woodsie yard has an abundant variety of greenery, cones, berries, etc. I bring a bunch onto the front porch and some goes into the house to dress the sideboard... the rest makes up a wreath for the inside door and a swag for the porch door... simple and cheery!"