Let's forget, for now at least, the bags of miniature iris bulbs sitting under the kitchen table waiting to be planted. And the two dozen daffodil bulbs. Not to mention the three dozen or so pass-along yellow iris rhizomes I brought home from my mother's garden today. They'll all get planted really soon...I promise. For this week, though, springtime plantings are on hold in order to give the house and garden a festive makeover before the arrival of the snow.
In the past I've had a local landscaper design my urns. I wanted a "wow" factor I could never seem to achieve. This year I'm determined to deliver the "wow" all on my own. The two pictures above are of an urn on my backyard deck. The yew came from backyard clippings. Fir boughs, cedar branches and bright red dogwood twigs were collected in the country at my in-laws' place. I added a few dogwood branches from my Cornus Alba "Elegantissima" as well. My newly sheared euonymus provided plenty of leathery evergreen leaves with bright orange fruit pods. The red "berries" and white branches are from previous urn designs. I kept them figuring they could be reused some day (today! yay!)
The second backyard urn features the same material as the first but arranged in a slightly different way. The cedar and euonymus are more dominant along the front of the urn creating a "skirt" effect. I also added several dried astilbe blooms from the garden. I didn't think the stems would be sturdy enough to stick into the ground but they were.
There are more of the same materials in the window box with one exception: I found some juniper clippings put out by a neighbour for trash collection and just had to have them.
I'm very happy with the designs. I think they have good height and beautiful colour contrasts. There is a fullness to the urns and window box that was lacking in my earliest efforts (the reason I got a pro to help in the first place.) I can't help but be extremely pleased that these designs didn't cost me a cent! Materials for urns can be crazy expensive! You can bet I'll be poking around neighbours' yards for clippings in the future. Finally, I'm happy I can say "I did that! It's an original design by me!" Funny how I found a creative outlet in some branches nobody wanted.
So things are looking a little more festive around these parts. The question remains: what do you think? Have I delivered the "wow?"