Last But Not Least

winter-lighting.jpgWe did finish the majority of our winter and holiday work 2 days before Christmas. That meant we had a little time to lend a hand to Rob.  Like anyone in a holiday design related business, putting together a holiday home comes last. It was looking like he might run out of time. That would not do; he is someone who gives his utmost to gardening people getting ready for the holidays and winter season. My group was happy to take it on.  A multi colored light garland he had looped over the door was brought back to the shop to be attached to a grapevine garland.  Harvested and rolled grapevine is springy and airy, and holds its shape in the fiercest of winter weather. We added several more all white light garlands, and ran the entire affair up the shag bark hickory in the front yard.

winter-lighting.jpgIf you think it looks as if we ran it way up this tree, you are right. Above the second story. A huge capacity, state of the art extension ladder and four people made it happen.  One climber, 2 people at the base of the ladder, and one runner on the ground walking in circles.  The light garland does a good job keeping the house company.  There is also something about the sheer effort of it that was cheery and grand. With holiday decor, I care about the effort someone has made as much as the result.   I knew Rob would think it looked swell. It is asymmetrical, surprisingly light and airy, and unexpected-all good as far as he is concerned.

light-garlands.jpgAll the different colors, shapes, and sizes of bulbs made quite the light statement. The front of the house-glowing.

light-rings.jpgHis light rings are well known to anyone who frequents Detroit Garden Works.  We took a 3′ and a 5′ ring, and added a string of multicolored garland lights to the interior steel wall of the hoop.  This form may be very very familiar to him, but this treatment is a one of a kind.

light-rings.jpgWhat’s to like about them?  The lighted sculpture is striking.  They are simple to install. Pick a spot, push the prongs into the ground, and plug it in. We have plenty of clients who run them all winter.  Why not?  This picture was taken at 5:15 in the afternoon-which at this time of year is better described as 5:15 in the evening.

poplar-branches.jpg2 pots had the remains of a summer planting in them.  That couldn’t stand. Mixed greens and an a bunch of fresh cut poplar branches makes the pots look appropriately dressed for winter.

HW 2014Another client made a last minute decision to order up a few winter pots. Might he have a little color? A mass of yellow twig dogwood appears all the more substantial by varying the heights of the twigs. The color of the plum eucalyptus is brilliant and saturated against that yellow.

winter-container.jpgWe have had a very fortunate late fall and early winter, as in moderate temperatures, and no snow. Once the snow comes, it is difficult to work outdoors.  Even if your effort is late, it will last a winter’s worth.


  1. Cara Kazanowski says

    So happy to see colored lights on Rob’s rings. Three years ago Rob put colored lights on my three-foot ring, which hangs inside the house above my front door door and coordinates with my outdoor light poles & Christmas tree. I keep my ring up until Spring.
    Deborah, I’ve really appreciated your holiday posts, which are like very special Christmas cards.
    And thank you, everyone, at DGW!!

  2. Beautiful! What do you have for the mixed greens? Love the combo.
    Also, what are the Pom Pom looking things?

  3. So nice that you all rallied so that Rob also could enjoy the fruits of his own vision and creativity. The super tall ornamentation is one for the whole neighborhood to enjoy.

  4. So glad Rob got a bright display.Hate to think of the shoemaker’s children getting short shrift! Even though I don’t do much outdoors in the winter, I love seeing what others do!

  5. thoughtful and very creative. rob is a genius and you are a gem to always recognize him and his labors
    happy new years deborah!

  6. I LOVE those rings. LOVE them. Maybe some day.

  7. Brian and Mark from Cleveland says

    Thank you for sharing the above post as it reminds me of the story about the cobblers children. I’m so glad that you have each other and look after one another, and that you share a little bit of yourselves with the rest of us. Happy New Year!

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