Sunday, March 2, 2008

Christmas Au Naturale

There are a few spots around this house that are presenting new "Christmas dilemmas" that I feel compelled to try and solve. I have a banister, where before there was none. I have a porch with a railing where before there was only an primeval aching emptiness. I have these sort of stone pillar rail stoppers that are crying pitifully for some sort of ornamentation where before...yeah, I didn't have these things before. So I did what I had to do. I drove to Target.

On the way to Target, I passed Horticultural Services, which despite the really stupid name choice, is a fabulous, full service greenhouse. I mean I can think of a few worse names for a green house like maybe "Complicated Lawn Care" or "Biological Root, Leaf and Plant Engineers", or maybe "Clinical Specialists In The Cold Damp Earth", but Horticultural Services is also pretty bad. It sure doesn't inspire dreams of a dewey garden or irresistible birdbaths does it? But it is a great store and I made a mental note to stop by on my way home and look at their urns to hopefully find something to put on top of those stone pillars.

I wandered around Target for some time and did find a few wreaths that were very plain which I felt suited the house. They also had some completely natural items like pinecones, dried fruit, colorful dried berries and nuts, but they were really expensive (six bucks for a plastic box of pinecones?) so I passed it up.

I eventually landed back at the greenhouse and as soon as I pulled up I regretted every second I had spent in Target searching for new Christmas decs. Horticultural Services had everything I wanted, fresh evergreens, bright red and green fruits, swirly gold sticks, fresh wreaths, gorgeous natural arrangements and a great selection of urns.

I gathered huge armfulls of their evergreens and twigs and watched as they wrapped it all up in brown paper with a bit of twine. A bit of twine! Brown paper! I love twine! I love brown paper! This lovely, simple packaging more than compensates for the less than thrilling name - Horticultural Services. When I got home I unloaded everything on my table and arranged my new urns. You wanna see how I did it???

Here we have forlorn urn.

Here we have fresh ever green branches tied in neat little bundle with twine. Be still my heart (flutter flutter).

I just started jamming...I mean uh artfully arranging the evergreens in the urn.

I put the more "bushy" evergreen in the bottom to sort of fill up the pot and then I added the more "drapey" greens on top.

The intersections of all the stems created a sort of "web" for the...

...real live sticks. These red sticks are a dogwood.

These twisty yellow sticks are catwood?

I jammed in uh...I mean I...artfully arranged the sticks.

And threw in some fruit.

The second urn was even better.

Until I discovered that I only had one apple left.

First I tried this big green rubber ball, but it seemed slightly out of proportion to the urn.

Next I tried this smaller KU Jayhawks basketball, but the color wasn't right.

So I found this old, crappy wiffle ball under the couch, but somehow... it made me feel depressed.

These limes will have to do.


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