Clumsy

Garden Clippings for November 24, 2018

Clumsy won’t work as an excuse.  Even the clumsiest can put together a few evergreen stems in a container and call it a festive Christmas arrangement.

If you have a decorative outdoor pot, look for a plastic grower’s pot that can be used as an insert.  Or consider using a fun container such as a discarded work boot or out-of-style purse.

Fill the container with soil.  If your festive container is going indoors, consider buying a brick of oasis which will make your craft much easier to put together.  If the arrangement will remain outdoors on the front porch, you can use a light topsoil.

Evergreen stems from your own backyard landscape are a good source of material for festive arrangements.  Yews, Junipers and Spruce boughs are easy to find and easy to work with.  A few broadleaf stems of Boxwood, Euonymus or Cotoneaster will introduce texture to your creation.

If you can’t find your own evergreen boughs, visit a neighbour or friend and steal some of theirs.  Or spend a few dollars to buy a bunch of fresh Ontario grown evergreen stems.  You will find that the nicest evergreen stems are imported from British Columbia.

Start by cutting 20 to 30 evergreen stems, each about 6 to 8 inches long and of the same variety.  Remove half their lower needles so the stems look like miniature trees.  You will find that using many short stems will produce a nicer craft than using fewer big stems.  Start by poking the stems into the brick almost horizontally, beginning at any point, then going clockwise until your bottom base row is complete.

Once the bottom base row of evergreens stem is in place, the rest becomes easier.  Add another row of additional stems pointing slightly upward.  Repeat until your container is nearly full and you cannot see the brick or soil.

Add a few different evergreen stems for interest, colour and texture, but don’t go overboard or your creation will begin to look messy.

Finally, accessorize.  Red Dogwood stems, pine cones or small sections of birch poles are natural choices.  Unpack a box of old Christmas decorations and find something that can be repurposed for your arrangement.  Hydrangea Flowers that have lost their summer colour might look amazing in your arrangement.  If you don’t like their brown colour, spray paint them in gold, silver or red.

To finish off your crafty project add pizazz with festive ribbon tied in a bow with long tails that cascade over the edge.  Don’t be afraid to change the accessories a few times in December to give a fresh look.

If you are keeping the arrangement indoors, you will want to mist it often to prevent it from drying out.  Keep it away from heat sources and consider bringing it outdoors through the evening or daytime while you are at work.