Red and Green

red and green 2015 (3)Popular wisdom says that red and green is the traditional color scheme for the Christmas holidays. Maybe it is. The December landscape in my zone is notable for its evergreens, and deciduous plants that bear red fruit. There are many theories about how those colors came to be associated with Christmas-most of them reference practices dating back to the middle ages. Insofar as holiday decor is concerned, there are lots of ways to say red and green. For those that appreciate a little variation on a much loved and traditional color scheme, there are infinite shades of red, and infinite shades of green.  The lime green of this flocked pick is striking in a sassy way.  The accompanying maroon red of the eucalyptus is muted, even a little moody.  The combination of the respective shades of red and green is interesting. Not at all what I would call the traditional Christmas red and green.  Each color is all the better for its visual relationship with the other.

red and green 2015 (1)On a cloudy day, the daytime color relationships are even more muted. Come dusk, that will change.  The topiary form is strung with red and lime green lights and glass garlands that will pick up that light. Every so often, a cluster of shiny lime green glass balls have been wired to the form. The greens in the bottom have 600 white lights, courtesy of two strings of garland lights. What at this moment has a very reserved appearance will amp up after dark.

red and green 2015 (2) The lights and glass balls on these forms have to be updated once in a while.  The winter weather is tough on them. This updating serves another purpose. Every year, little changes in the color and materials makes the winter pots look fresh. The dark red decor mesh is not a traditional red. It invites a second look.

red and green 2015 (4)My clients were surprised and pleased about this rendition of red and green. Though I have been doing their holiday pots for a number of years, no two seasons look quite the same.

red and green 2015 (6)The one pot off their second floor terrace is always viewed through the glass of the door wall. I think the brighter red is called for. I like it, paired with the maroon red of the eucalyptus. To follow are some pictures of other year’s red and green schemes.

Dec 19, 2011 028

Michigan holly

Creed 2 (12)

michigan holly 2

wreath 2014So should you like your Christmas pots any color scheme at all, as long as it is red and green, you still have plenty of possibilities to choose from.

red and green 2015 (5)They always ask me to place a little something on the gates into their neighborhood.  Here I always opt for the brightest version of red and green that I can muster. As in, Merry Christmas!



  1. Thanks for the wonderful photos on Christmas day!
    What a great gift for your readers!!

    Merry Christmas to you and all the artisans you work with.


  2. Beautiful designs !

  3. Your work is brilliant. A total inspiration.

  4. Tom Baldinette says

    Lovely as always! Very inviting. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Tom.

  5. Dianne Young says

    Deborah, I really love your work. As you well know, winter in Michigan can be filled with a great many very dark, grey days. Your uses of lime green, silver fir turned with the silver side up, lighter green mesh, and variegated greens are genius, because they help light up the containers and the surrounding landscape so vividly, with or without the strings of lights turned on. I also love the use of varying shades of reds. Your creative use of different color tones really adds richness to all of your arrangements.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Diane, thank you so much for your letter. You have responded to the work in a very specific way-love that. all the best, Deborah

  6. Dianne Young says

    I’m curious about your use of containers. How do you choose pots that you know will not freeze and break in our cold winters? And what is your source of freeze-proof pots?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Diane, certain materials are frost proof-provided they are handled properly for winter. Stone, wood, concrete, steel, and iron are frost proof. I have owned a retail store, Detroit Garden Works, for almost 20 years. We sell all manner of containers, including frost proof ones. best, Deborah

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