outside in the garden

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Astragene, with thanks to Garden web

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Xmas greens
Yesterday we went to the garden center and got some bunches of greens: prickly blue spruce, juniper with its gray-blue berries, and boxwood, a broadleaf evergreen commonly used for hedges. Because it is so leafy, it makes excellent filler and becaue it is a broadleaf, contrasts nicely in texture with the juniper and spruce. We also got some outdoor ribbon and florists wire.

First we made a wreath for the front of the house, wiring branches of greens onto a circular form made during the summer from bittersweet, a winding vine that is pretty easy to form into a wreath shape. Using natural material for the form makes it uncessary to completely cover it, and the vines contribute to the appearance (not the case if you use a wire or worse, a styrofoam shape).

Then we made table decorations, putting florist foam into a little container made for the purpose, and setting in stems of the variou greens. To do this, first you pop the foam into a bucket of water and let it sink and soak up water, then you put it into the little green base. it rises above the base by a couple of inches, to make room for inserting stems sideways around the edge. You work from the outside gradually toward the center, trying to balance the length and variety of snippets. Once you have placed a stem in the foam, it's best not to remove it, as it will tear up the foam - much like pulling an arrow back out of the flesh. (eww, sorry)

We had some spruce branches left over, partly because they are so bristly they're hard to work with, and put 'em in a bucket of water out by the front steps.

Today is porch day. We have broad outdoor ribbon in a fire engine red shade that will be wrapped around the porch uprights, giving the effect of candycanes. Nice!