Happy Holidays From Richard K

Five Golden Rings


Richard K has been reading Dirt Simple for some time now;  I know this, as I hear from him from time to time.  A committed gardener and reader from Cypress, Texas.  This past summer I got the chance to meet him in person-he was in the Detroit area on business.  What a treat it was to meet him face to face!  I heard from him Monday after posting pictures of the front of the shop just before dawn.  He left a comment saying that he had taken Rob’s idea for holiday light rings, and run with it.  He strung his hoops with gold lights-5 golden rings!  How perfect for the holidays.  I asked him to send pictures-which he did.  To follow are his pictures, and his comments about his holiday decorating-I am sure you will enjoy this as much as I did.  


My Five Golden Rings glow beautifully hanging from the trees.  They are captivating.  Simple, yet striking.  Next to gardening, Christmas is my next favorite hobby.  I love everything about it, especially Christmas trees and of course, the lights.


Here is another section of my yard which showcases my “Who-ville Pine” and my glowing orbs.  Since we do not have pyramidal conifers in my part of Texas, I had to make my own!  The glowing orbs continue to fascinate my family as well as our visitors!


 A full on view of the house.  Very traditional.  Wreaths in the windows, garlands on the balcony.  I don’t put lights on the house because it is a bit tall.  The glowing orbs out on the lawn are simple, yet striking.




 The driveway gate has a four foot wreath adorned with old fashioned blowmolds.  I really can’t stand these figures set out in the yard, but yet I find them charming when they decorate a wreath!  Ping-pong balls cover the bulbs of some unfortunately colored LED lights and soften the light to a warm glow.  I like to say that this is for our kids, but this bit of kitsch is a favorite of mine!


 The front porch is a bit more formal with white cyclamen and columnar junipers adorned with snowball, pearl and twinkle lights.  A Moravian star illuminates the boxwood wreath and boxwood garland.  Giant jingle bells adorn the wreath.

A black iron urn is ready for the holidays.


Our favorite garlands.  We made these years ago from spruce cones and crystals.  These are draped in every front window downstairs.


  And finally, our mantle.  Silver and white … one of my wife’s favorite color schemes.  Another favorite of ours is mercury glass … one can never have enough.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Richard K, your house and home dressed for the holidays is really beautiful. You have collections of various things-spruce cone garlands, mercury glass, blowmolds, and lighted orbs.  How you display your collections is interesting, and engaging.   As for your gold rings-this new collection looks  gorgeous hanging from your trees.  5 gold rings-very well done indeed.  Thank you so much for sending me these pictures, and agreeing to let me share them.  Happy holidays to you, too.


  1. Fabulous!
    Rob told me about Richard’s rings last night and sent the link to check out the pictures – it’s fantastic.
    It may be worth knowing that Rob didn’t stop at mentioning the rings – the Who-ville pine land and blowmold wreath got a big shout out and I can see why.

    So, a little story? Each year, a committee in Sylvan Lake awards a number of homes a “1st Place” sawhorse for various styles of exterior decorating: Best Colored Lights; Best White Lights; Best Religious, etc. They cruise the community to locate over-the-top decorations, and days later, a giant white sawhorse appears in the winners’ front lawns.

    With Rob so busy at DGW and me so unengaged with the holidays until the after the sawhorses have been awarded, we’ve gone award-less year after year.

    But that hasn’t stopped us from fussing over it. Each year, we joke that the committee should award Rob for his efforts at home with a NEW sawhorse – something like “Best Subtle/Understated Elegant.” (This year, we even tried to make sure each of the tiny tea lights hanging in delicate glass bottles in the front oak tree were all lit simultaneously during the review…) No such luck. Every year, the sawhorses are doled out and Rob scoffs and says something like, “they’re ugly sawhorses anyway.”

    Richard K, I suspect we are now going to be hunting down vintage blowmolded pieces all year. (And I will be secretly plotting an orb-land.) I think you have inspired us to change our sawhorse fate next year, just once.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Richard and Deborah!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Meg, thanks so much for this story. The fun part-you and Rob being inspired by Richard’s work. I am quite sure this means there is a sawhorse in your future. I myself have often wondered why Detroit Garden Works never gotten a sawhorse for “Best holiday entrance display to the Sylvan Lake community from a non-resident” ! (For those of you who do not live in my area, my property is in Bloomfield Township, even though our mailing address is Sylvan Lake) However, the making a fuss is the most important thing. I am sure there are plenty of neighbors who appreciate yours and Rob’s efforts more than you might know. Deborah

  2. You can imagine that I was quite thrilled this morning when I logged on Dirt Simple to see my Christmas display featured on the website! I’m happy to share my “holiday glow” with the world.

    I am always amazed at the power these tiny colored light bulbs have over us humans during this time of year. Illuminating the night is the perhaps the least of their purpose: they inspire us, they remind us, they lift our spirits, they deepen our faith. They foster community, they create happiness, they warm us. They glow.

    I always have a great time putting together my light display and, as you can see, I get inspired from the best out there …. Detroit Garden Works!. Next year my display might be completely different, but this year I am thoroughly enjoying my Five Golden Rings!

  3. I have often wondered what it is about the holiday lights that is so magical. Surely it must, in part, have something to do with illuminating the absence of sunlight at this time of year. As a child being raised in Minnesota (which has even less day light than Michigan), I always looked forward so much to the personal holiday home light displays in my neighborhood. We would always dedicate a night to getting in the car and driving around as a family and looking at all the homespun creativity on display. Saddest Christmas of my childhood? — the oil crisis/embargo year in 1973 when there was the national call for energy conservation. A concerted effort was made to NOT put up Christmas lights as an austerity measure. We were all crushed. What would have made everyone ok? Driving past and seeing Richard’s Who-ville.

  4. Beautiful job Richard! You set the bar high, but what great job. I love getting so many creative ideas that I hope to be able to attempt when the stars align. Thank you for sharing Richard, and Deborah.

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