Miss Sparkle


All spring and summer long, Buck will refer to me as Miss Dirtiness. He will suggest with alacrity that I just might want to leave my work clothes in the laundry room before coming up stairs. Would I like to wash my hands before dinner?  If I threw radish seeds in the back of my Suburban-you get the idea. I don’t mind dirt much.  It has been a source of great pleasure-growing things.  It allows me to make a living. I do not believe I have ever become ill from the dirt I have no doubt ingested over the years.  This week my crumbs are of a distinctly sparkly material.  Oh, the glamour of glitter.  High chroma silver is the most sparkly glitter of all; it reflects 98% of all the light that touches its surface.   

Winter light and bright can come from materials that reflect the available light.  These glass and metal snowflakes are indeed sparkly.  A mirror hung in a garden can be surprisingly and unexpectedly effective.  It can create the illusion of greater space, or reflect light in a dark corner.  A tree in the yard that has shed its leaves can be dressed up considerably for the winter with some similarly reflective ornament.         

I like my winter pots at home to have a holiday element.  Glitter picks reflect sunlight when I am so fortunate to have it.  At night, the landscape and holiday lighting are are the more festive with some extra sparkle.  Decorating the shop for the holidays is a bland phrase that doesn’t convey the fact that all of these glittery objects are at one time or another in my hand.  This means I have glitter in my hair, under my fingernails, and in my socks-for weeks. 

I am by no means the only fan of sparkle.  Martha is posed in front of a pink/gold/purple and silver glittering wreath- wearing a silver sequinned jacket on the cover of her holiday issue. Lots of really dressy winter outfits come encrusted with sparkle.  If I did ever decide to wear makeup, I might go for a little dusting of glittered powder in the winter.    

Pine cones are just one of natures most beautiful objects. Sparkly pine cones are good fun. A sparkling garland can pick up and magnify whatever light you can muster on a Christmas tree, winter container, or in my case, dress up my jeans and fleece.  All this glitter talk may seem a little incongruous coming from this dirt girl.  I look at it this way: Sunlight sparkling on the water of my fountain pool surface-one of the best parts of the summer season at home.  With the pool drained, I need to get my dose of sparkle from other sources.    

The papery seed heads of the money plant are beautiful-but I would never plant it in a garden unless I wanted to look at it everywhere.  The same goes for thistles.  I like them much better in this form.  This company makes shiny money plant stems in a variety of metallic colors.  These are easy to spot from a long ways away, and I can store them for next year’s holiday. 

This silver filigree wreath is studded with natural cloves; the combination of materials and surfaces is beautiful.  The art of making holiday topiary and wreaths with silver wire and cloves is an old German art.  A company in New York still makes them, by hand. I know which box holds these topiaries long before I open it; the smell of the cloves had permeated the box.  The fragrance of cloves is to the holiday season what lavender is to the summer season. The silver wire sparkles.  

These vintage glass ornaments have that softer sheen that comes with age.  One of the best parts of the holiday-the tree that comes inside, and gets decorated. The combination of natural evergreen and some holiday sparkle-a tradition growing up that I still practice.   

Paper leaves encrusted with sparkly bits-I am thinking about them for my winter garden.  They help me to be far less grumpy about the winter on the way.

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