14 December 2011

Decking them halls...

It's that time of year again, somehow! I've sort of lost the past few weeks as far as much productivity is concerned, because I had knee surgery and it slowed me way, way down. The good news is I'll be getting new knees; the bad news is, not sure when, but hopefully starting next year.

The other good news is, even if you're challenged by mobility, time or other issues, you can still do some effective and wonderful Christmas decorating without a huge amount of effort.
Amaryllis make spectacular decor when they're in bloom, but even when they're just preparing to bloom they can be highly effective simply by adding a couple of sprigs of greenery, real or synthetic, or a decorative seasonal pick. (those ready-made, corsage like clusters of flowers, foliage, accents, wrapped and wired to a wooden stick).



I love wreaths, whether they're purchased ready-made, or bought just as greens and decorated afterwards. This one is outside our door, and includes multiflora rose hips, a little holly, some flat-stemmed eucalyptus (the real name eludes me) and a sparkly plaid bow.
I work on wreaths in my office so the scent of them fills the room with balsam. This heart-shaped wreath is on one of our house's entry doors. Judging from the popularity of this one when I posted about it on Facebook, the heart shape is very popular with others as well as with me.
I attended a wreath-decorating workshop at Blomidon Nurseries just before my surgery, and was inspired by the staff/instructors as well as by what other participants were doing. This all-natural wreath was simply elegant.
I wanted to try working with sinamay mesh ribbon, so my project at the workshop used silver mesh, and to be different, a turquoise and wine colour scheme. While I wouldn't do my entire house in these colours for Christmas, I was pleased with the result of my labours, and this wreath now graces our living room.

A lot of my indoor decorating is done using prunings from shrubs around our property. A few branches of evergreen holly, some dogwood twigs, and a spray of multiflora rose hips combine with some purchased variegated evergreen in this bucket of branches.
My friend Neville MacKay of My Mother's Bloomers Flower and Gift Shop in Halifax taught me how to do something quick and attractive with greenery. He used a square glass dish, some artificial snow, some big crystal decorations and brilliant red berries with snips of pine and thuja to make a beautiful and easy centrepiece. "Don't over think it," he told me. "Just relax and have fun with it. "
A natural stone vase is the perfect container for another collection of twigs.
For another quick and easy idea, place a potted plant such as a cyclamen into the centre of an undecorated fir wreath, as in the top photo. You can remove the decorative paper that most plants come wrapped in, or just trim it so that it disguises the pot but doesn't take away from the foliage or flowers.
A lovely basket full of evergreens, garnished with rose hips and evergreen cones, makes a lovely table centrepiece. If you don't have access to greenery in your garden, you can harvest from a wild area, but make sure not to damage the trees and take only what you need. If you're going on private land, please ask permission of the landowner first!
The nice thing about flowering plants is that they are their own decoration, although you can add a seasonal bow or group the plant with other Christmas themed items to make a pretty mantle, shelf, or tabletop. 

Some of the more unusual amaryllis don't really need much of anything except an admiring glance. As I noted in my garden column in this week's Chronicle Herald, if you're purchasing new plants for Christmas decorating or for gifts for others, make sure to go to local nurseries or garden centres to get the best quality and selection. You want your plants to last well beyond Christmas, and in the case of plants like amaryllis, to rebloom for you year after year. And remember, if you have cats, dogs or other pets, place your plants and plant arrangements up out of reach so that they aren't knocked on the floor and nibbled on by curious companions. No one needs a trip to the vet at this time of year.

13 comments:

  1. I just passed up a chance to buy an amaryllis at a great price as I don't like that bare stem. Now I wish I'd bought it. Love your idea of just adding some sprigs etc. to the container.

    Hope your knees are soon up to snuff.

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  2. The fragrance of pine must be so amazing around your home. I miss that fragrance since I do not do much decorating anymore. The wreaths are just so pretty. Your arrangements are so lovely. I like the Cyclamen in the pine. Just beautiful.

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  3. Hope you are doing well after knee surgery. I had it done last May, and now I can walk around without pain. If fact we spent November on Vancouver Island and we did oodles of walking up and down hills and along beaches and over rocky shores. No problems at all.

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  4. Isn't everything looking beautiful your way?!! You have been having a wonderful time.

    Best Wishes to you this Christmas season!

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  5. Thanks for the inspiration. I love all the arrangements--especially the wreaths. I hope your recovery goes well.

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  6. Hi Jodi, i didn't know you have something bad about your knee, i just see from my feeds that you're not as busy posting now as you were then. What happened to the knee? I hope you get well soonest. I am not much of a wreath person, but i appreciate your photos of them. I love most the amaryllis, both the variety itself and the decors. That last one i love most! Happy Holidays Jodi.

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  7. First year without Amaryllis here. I am missing it already. I like your display and groupings, very festive.

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  8. What an ingenious idea adding that foliage to the amaryllis pots! Way to go, Jodi! See I can never think of things like that.

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  9. Hi Jodi,

    Your positive spin on life is inspiringly refreshing and I love your Christmas decorations which attest to your creativity.

    My favorite is the basket full of evergreens, garnished with rose hips and evergreen cones. It’s absolutely lovely!

    Take care of those knees and don’t stop creating.

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  10. Jodi
    Merry Christmas !!
    Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health,
    and happiness in the coming New Year.
    - Cheers Gisela
    Toronto, Canada

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  11. Beautiful decorations Jodi!
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year.

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  12. I can almost smell that balsam. I had a white spruce this year and besides pinching, it has little smell. Next year it will be balsam or fraser! Hope your knee surgery allows you to pole vault or, maybe just move a bit more quickly. Happy New Year, almost.

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  13. These images are just stunning, but I particularly fell in love with the top arrangement.

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