“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks. Dressed in holiday style.”
The holidays really are my favorite time of the year. On any given day, from late November through Christmas, I can be seen dancing (and loudly singing) to Christmas music, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, and watching every holiday movie I can get my hands on. I happily hang every ornament, decorate the dining room table to the nines, and wrap presents for hours on end. I am one of those people who wander the streets of Grand Rapids, in search for the prettiest decorations. Yes, the holidays and I are the best of friends. Being a florist means that I’m even more eager to decorate the house with garlands of evergreens, wreaths on every door, and flowers on every surface. So with that said, let’s start with a little outside decorating.
What you’ll need:
• Urn or planter
• Red berries (2 branches)
• Feathery Grasses (5 long stems)
• Blue Spruce (1 medium branch)
• Ponderosa Pine (4 short branches)
• Balsam Fir (3 medium branches)
• Douglas Fir (4 long branches)
• Scotch Pine (2 short branches)
• Juniper (2 medium branches)
• Hemlock (4 long branches, 4 medium branches)
A few notes:
Honestly, you can use any evergreen branches your heart desires. I like having different textures, colors, and lengths, but use what you like and what is available.
I tend to pick branches that are somewhat straight. If this was a floral arrangement, I would pick a handful of flower stems that were more whimsical, but straight evergreen branches tend to bend and go where they please. When I tried using a few branches that were whimsical, it made the whole arrangement look messy and like it had a seriously bad hair day. But that’s just my opinion.
Lastly, as you place the branches, you may find that a branch may need to be trimmed in order to not be the exact height as branches next to it. The key is to never have any branch be the exact same height as another branch.
1. Remove any foliage (needles or berries) from the bottom 2 inches of all the branches. Having these few inches of clean branch makes placing them in the dirt a lot easier.
2. Fill your planter with dirt. I didn’t fill the planter all the way to the top because leaving a few inches allows the branches to lean against the planter and have some support.
You also don’t need to use a black plastic insert inside your planter. I use one when I want the cleanup to be super easy or when I need to switch out arrangements quickly.
3. Take 1 – 2 of the douglas fir and place them in the dirt to the back right of your planter.
Take 1 long hemlock branch and place it with the douglas firs.
4. Take 2 branches of your ponderosa pine and place them across from the douglas fir at the front left of the planter, hanging over the edge.
These two clusters (step 3 ) will help guide you in placing the other branches.
5. Take 1 – 2 branches of the scotch pine and juniper and place in the empty spaces around the outer edge of the planter, hanging over the edge.
6. Fill in the planter with any remaining evergreen branches (balsam fir, blue spruce, douglas fir, hemlock, etc). Keep in mind the asymmetry and the flow of the tall branches on the right to the shorter branches on the left. Always walk around your planter and look at it from all angles. Try not to create a “flat” arrangement” but instead a “round” one.
7. Once you have placed all of your evergreen branches, take a few of the longest feathery grasses and place them near your first cluster of douglas fir (step 3). Then take the remaining few grasses, cut to any desired length, and place them throughout the arrangement
8. Take your berry branches and nestle them in amongst the evergreens.
9. Stand back and admire your work!