Winter Welcome

Give a garden-style theme to your outdoor decorations by incorporating hand tools, terra-cotta pots, and watering cans into wreaths, arrangements, and swags.


+ enlarge image Use silvery gray and white herbs and berries for a snow-kissed look.

Give a plain fresh wreath a garden-grown personality by using what you can find in your own tool shed--an old or new trowel, small terra-cotta pots, and a narcissus bulb that's already finished blooming are all you need to create a wreath with character.

What You Need:

  • Purchased evergreen wreath
  • Raffia
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • 2 small green apples
  • Old garden trowel
  • Fresh or dried artemisia
  • Chinese tallow-tree berries
  • Preserved green oak leaves
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Medium-gauge florist's wire
  • Leftover paperwhite narcissus bulb
  • 3 miniature flowerpots

Instructions:

1. Cut the artemisia stems into pieces that are slightly shorter than the longest evergreen branches in the wreath. Apply hot glue to the bottom portion of the artemisia stems and insert them into the evergreens. The stems should point in the same direction so the artemisia leads the eye clockwise around the wreath.

+ enlarge image Step 2

2. Glue bunches of Chinese tallow-tree berries (also called popcorn berries) into the wreath in the same way. Add preserved oak leaves and fresh rosemary for contrasting textures.

+ enlarge image Step 3

3. Use florist's wire to attach the trowel to one side of the wreath. Wire the narcissus bulb at an angle above the trowel, and cover the wire with a raffia bow.

+ enlarge image Step 4

4. Wire the miniature flowerpots to the opposite half of the wreath. Wedge small green apples into two of the pots. If you use a pot with no hole, you can drill one using a masonry bit at slow speed.

Fill a wheelbarrow or wooden garden wagon with greenery, pinecones, and pots of fruit for a festive display in your yard or on your porch. Lay long branches of evergreens in the wheelbarrow so they spill over the front edge and extend out from the back. If possible, use several kinds of greenery for a variety of textures and shades of green. Here the combination is western cedar, Douglas fir, red huckleberry, white pine, and variegated privet. Anchor the branches with terra-cotta pots nestled into the greenery, and fill the pots with apples or other fruits. Add large sugar pinecones, and bundles of sticks or birch twigs.

+ enlarge image You can make this pinecone swag as long or as short as you need.

Pinecones and terra-cotta bells make a graceful, country-style swag for your porch or a lamppost.

What You Need:

  • 5 or 6 large sugar pinecones
  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Medium-gauge florist's wire
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • 40 feet of rope
  • 3 small terra-cotta pots
  • Fir or pine boughs

Instructions:

1. Using a 9/64-inch drill bit, drill a hole in the base of each sugar pinecone. Insert one end of a 4-inch piece of wire into the hole, and secure it with a drop of hot glue. Twist the other end of the wire around itself to make a loop.

2. Cut the rope into 5-foot lengths, one for each cone. Thread one length of rope through the wire loop on each cone.

3. Cut the remaining rope into three pieces of varying lengths. Knot one end of each piece and thread the remaining end through the hole in the bottom of each terra-cotta pot.

4. Gather all the ropes in your hand and adjust them so the cones and pots hang at different lengths. Tie the ropes in a knot.

5. Wire evergreens to the ropes along the length of the swag.

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