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Turn inexpensive glass cylinders into little winter wonderlands. Place one cylinder inside a larger one, sprinkle fake snow between the two, and add a sprig of cedar (clip from the yard or a ready-made wreath). Pop a votive or pillar candle into the inner cylinder and display on an outdoor table swathed with a white tablecloth.
Spheres of grapevines wrapped in lights become shimmering orbs on a coat of freshly fallen snow. Place these magical globes in birdbaths, urns, or on stairsteps to cast an ethereal glow on your outdoor landscape.
Safety Tip: Use an outdoor-rated power cord. Check the tag on the cord to verify it's safe to use outside.
Add a little Christmas glamour to a rustic entryway during the holiday season. Hold a glass cloche upside down and fill with shiny red ornament balls. Cover the top with a festive holiday plate and carefully flip over. Display your Christmas ornament-filled cloche among gardening gear on a side table next to your front door.
Make a glowing outdoor parfait by alternating layers of cranberries and ice. Use a 2-liter bottle for the mold, and create a hollow place for the candle with a 1-liter bottle (fill the 1-liter bottle with rocks so it doesn't float). Add a few inches of water and drop a row of cranberries into the gap between the two bottles. Freeze the layer solid, and repeat two times. Thaw slightly to unmold and place a lighted candle in the center.
Dress up your exterior for Christmas with winter containers filled with evergreens and natural bursts of color. Make a potted Frasier fir merry with a combination of pretty garden items, such as dried artichokes, pear gourds, dyed eucalyptus, caspia, astilbe seed pods, dried hydrangea blooms, and a pinecone garland.
Glowing frosted globes (available in large and small sizes from home-improvement stores) take the edge off a chilly winter twilight. Scatter the spheres around the garden to create an ethereal winter landscape, or group them in a birdbath or other outdoor winter container for maximum impact.
Safety Tip: Plug the outdoor-rated power cord into a ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlet or a circuit with a GFI outlet on it.
A front porch container overflowing with evergreens and winter plants adds a charming country Christmas ambience to your entryway. Fill a vintage wheelbarrow with wintry noble fir branches. Accent the display with Port Orford cedar, dried eucalyptus, and winterberry holly. Park on your front porch for a homespun welcome.
Light up a wintry night with glowing poinsettias encased in ice. Start with a small bloom clipped at the base. Seal the stem with a flame, and push the bloom facedown into a large plastic cup. Pour distilled water -- it makes the clearest ice -- into the container and fill it one-third full. A second, smaller container in the center weighted down with rocks, creates a hollow center in the mold. Freeze until solid. Thaw the ice slightly to unmold both containers and place a votive candle inside.
Glass vases are the perfect vehicles to showcase layers of materials. Vary the materials and colors according to your own decorating scheme. Put a coarse texture next to a smooth one and put contrasting colors close by.
Editor's Tip: Wrap a vase in layers of cloth or paper when you bring it back indoors to let it slowly acclimate to the warmer temperature so you don't end up with a cracked container.
Prepare a merry welcome at the curb -- a pretty swag of pine tied on with wire adds a flourish to your mailbox. Enhance it with red accents and pretty pinecones. The first snow will only enhance the look.
Instead of abandoning your wheelbarrow through winter's cold days, fill it with a potted evergreen and add strings of lights. Depending upon which Zone you live in, you might be able to plant the tree in the spring.
Line up simple shepherd's hooks with oversize red jingle bells to add a punch of color to an all-white landscape.
Old-fashioned lantern posts are elegant on their own, but for the holiday season, wrap them in lush garland and glowing globes for a shining holiday look.
Welcome feathered friends throughout the winter with a feast of fruity branches and seed heads, including rosehips, red and blue viburnum, golden millet, coneflower, canary grass, broomcorn, and cattail. Top the display with a small tree-form holly, a weather-worthy birdhouse, and a dish of black sunflowers seeds.
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