As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more arranging Christmas greenery for my entry way urns! Over the years I’ve tried out a variety of looks including Evergreen topiaries and pre-arranged pots from the nursery. However, they never really lived up to those picture perfect magazine photos that I’ve always admired. This year I was inspired to create the arrangement of my dreams, all by myself and the result is festively delightful!
All good design is dependent upon creativity, an eye for detail and a great inventory of materials to work with. Of course the basis for an outdoor holiday arrangement is going to be a luscious variety of greens such as Cedar, White Pine, Balsam and Boxwood. What makes the combination work is the variation of color and texture. It just springs to life!
After you’ve established that you have a great basis in place, you’ll want to gather some whimsical items to show off your personality. I had a bee in my bonnet to feature brown iron lanterns, but I was equally drawn to these fantastic, giant bells. I love that they also have a warm brown finish that would compliment the exterior color of my home, as well as my stone urns and coach lights. Complimentary tones always create a pleasing arrangement. I gathered white pinecones and a variety of wired Christmas ribbon in plaid, solid and patterned.
Recently I was inspired by an arrangement that showcased fantastic, thick birch branches. I loved the look, but I knew when I came across candy apple red bamboo poles that they were calling my name! From the bowels of my basement, I pulled out a box of Christmas floral picks that I have collected over the years. You do know that more of everything is always better, including useless Christmas picks; berries, evergreens, pinecones, holly and decorative packages. You never know just when these items might come in handy.
Gathering the material was the hard part. Getting started was a breeze.
You’ll want to use a wide mouth urn, either filled with dirt or floral oasis (foam that you can get wet). I maintain that Chuck is the worlds most tolerant husband and was happy (or merely willing, whatever) to help me with my project. “We” cut out all of the dead plants from summer in order to use the nice, compact dirt that was already in the pot. Because it has already been rather cold, the dirt was pretty hard. We poured hot water from the tap to soften the dirt up a bit. As an alternative, you can always add more dirt or wedge floral oasis inside the urn.
Now that we have all of our materials ready to go, it’s time to get started.
The base layer should be nice and droopy, a lovely textural backdrop for the remaining greens. I started with individual Cedar branches that I arranged evenly around the perimeter of the urn. I tried to match each arrangement as best I could for a pleasing and even look.
Once I was satisfied with my first layer, I strategically arranged the bamboo. Again, with Chuck’s help (okay, he did the whole thing) we cut down the poles to three varying heights and placed them fairly evenly to allow enough space in the middle for my favored centerpiece.
Next, I selected the White Pine branches because they have a little more body than the Cedar. I arranged them evenly to create a lush secondary layer.
The Balsam has a little more body, so it’s a very good third layer, as it starts to create a bed for my beloved articles of whimsy.
Now we are going to start to fill in with willow branches (that my friend and neighbor, Mrs. Hobbs, was kind enough to give to me). I had sparkly branches and berry picks in red and white that I scattered about, filling in to create depth and interest.
The little scraps of greenery that I had leftover made a perfect nest in the center of my arrangement, adding height for my centerpiece. I played around with both, but in the end I selected the bells as festive embellishment. I chose a patterned bow for a little interest and tied it onto the bell. In addition, I made two large, coordinating, floral bows to tie around my coach lights. Good design is all about re-enforcing your theme.
After scattering a few more pinecones about the base for dramatic effect, my arrangement was complete.
More do-it-yourself- family projects, more beautiful homes, more creating meaningful experiences…..