seasonal arranging

December is usually a pretty light work month for me  which is nice because I get to focus on other things. This past weekend I had got to cross an item off my bucket list when my sister, nieces, daughters and I hit NYC to see the  Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Show with the Rockettes  and we had a fantastic time.  We have also already decorated the house and tree and made our annual visit to Symphony Hall to see the Boston Pops, so I am well into the holiday spirit.

Tonight I will be speaking at the Bet Shalom Garden Club in Needham  about seasonal arranging, so it was time to get back to the life without sparkly dancers in long kick lines and peppy christmas music.

This time of year is probably the toughest time for seasonal arranging. It has been c-c-c-cold ( a few nights in the teens and single digits) and  three snow events  , with the most recent one giving us about 4 inches. Add to that  the stuff I force and grow inside is not yet ready and I find myself  hunting for the elusive spark of inspriation that will start the process of creativity.

I put on my boots and headed out to the garden, and immediately was reminded that nature does all the work for me and there was loads of beauty to work with. I cut

stems of red and yellow dogwood

these beautiful stems of Flamingo willow IMG_20161212_144416193

chamaecyparis and euonymous’ gold splash’IMG_20161212_144352163

branches of Harry Lauders Walking Stick (complete with mysterious animal hairs I really don’t want to think about)1481639281889-1924477952

the last few flowers on the daucus carrota ‘Dara’ from the pot I had thrown in the garage in November and some foliage from a “not dead yet” scented geraniumIMG_20161212_121656992

cardoon and santolinaIMG_20161212_121632586_HDR

blue spruceDSC_0006


stems of ilex vercilata ‘Wintergold’IMG_20161212_121716424

pinecones from  mugo pine

and some branches of a Korean boxwood called ‘Green Velvet’ that curiously get these lovely yellow edges,randomly as far as I can tell. No one seems to be able to define why . It is not all of the leaves on any plant, nor for that matter every plant, nor does it seem to have to do with stage of growth or temperature . Must be garden fairies at work I guess.IMG_20161212_144554647

Once inside I still felt I lacked a direction so I headed back out and stumbled upon a rose called ‘Carefree Spirit’ ( you may have heard me mention in one of my talks) that was sporting this amazing redish foliage , glossy and perfect despite the cold. Violia! IMG_20161212_144325110

DSC_0016Back inside I hit the office where overwintering plants live and cut a few stems of coleus and a few leaves from the Red Shield Hibiscus

IMG_20161212_144335859_HDRonce I had all the foliage ready , I headed out to the market and spent $4.99 0n a bunch of white alstromeria , and put it all together. I ended up keeping the winterberry out as I like the reds and golds alone IMG_20161212_164718272_HDRDSC_0038DSC_0032DSC_0037DSC_0025now I have the rest of the day until I leave for Needham to wrap presents while singing Christmas carols with my new friend Winston. He loves Christmas music! One more reason I believe I was meant to be his bestie !

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