sinamay.jpgIt doesn’t take much to add a little holiday shimmer to a winter container arrangement. Anything that sparkles is very festive.  Sinamay is polyester fabric that can be found shot through with metallic threads.  It holds its naturally curvy shape no mater the weather.  Not great with swags and bows?  This material does the work for you.  I fold it over, and run a wire through the bottom near the crease edge.  Once I pull the wire as tight as it will go around the centerpiece, I get plenty of curls and curves.  That shimmer is great during the day, and especially effective at night in pots that have lighting.  A little glitz and glam has its time and place.  It takes but a second to remove it after New Years.  Should you decide to leave it on all winter, the metallic threads will dull down after exposure to winter weather.

silver-eucalyptus.jpgNew for me this year is eucalyptus with a metallic finish.  The centerpiece in this pot is 2 parts whitewash, and 1 part silver metallic. This is just enough shimmer to brighten the daytime look.  I am sure the look is quite sparkly at night, given the lights in the topiary form.

The arrangements have a subtle glow, given the late day sun, and read well from a distance. The pots are placed at the end of a driveway, where they frame the natural landscape behind.

winter-container.jpgThe side door pot has the same combination, with the addition of some white flocked picks.  The dry natural stems have just a hint of silver flake on them.  The overal effect-shimmery.

winter-pots.jpgThese pots have plum eucalyptus mixed with copper.  The effect is subtle enough that I wouldn’t be afraid to leave them in the arrangement all winter.  Michigan winters are particularly dreary.  Anything that reflects what little light we have is a visual treat.  The snow and the cold are ok, but the gloom is just about intolerable.

copper-eucalyptus.jpgRed bud pussy willow has a naturally copper cast.  The copper metallic leaves by themselves are a little overwhelming, but in a mix, they shine

pair-of-holiday-pots.jpgThese winter pots have pale green glittery picks in between the pussy willow and the white berry picks.  They are the perfect note for a holiday party.

sparkle-picks.jpgThat glittery layer speaks to the holidays coming up.  Once the holidays pass, those picks can be removed.  The more somber winter arrangement will look great through March.  Spraying wiltpruf on fresh cut greens does improve their longevity.  Wiltpruf is a water and was emulsion which slows the rate of evaporation from the needles.  Cut evergreens that dry out look bad.  The most effective professional grade antidessicant is called VaporGard.  Growers at my local market spray their ornamental cabbages and kales with it after transplanting them out of the field.  It does indeed prevent wilting.

holiday-decorating.jpgThese light strings on metal poles Rob calls lightsicles.  Certain of the mini lights have plastic light covers over them in a random pattern.  They look great hung from the eaves of a house, or from a tree.  For the holidays, we loosely wrapped a sinamay ribbon around the poles, and pushed the glass lights through the mesh.  The ribbon reflects natural light in a very subtle way.  Light strings are very hard to use in a design, as the daytime look is so much about the wires.  Using lights with brown cords, or garland lights that have the bulbs placed close together can help.

lighted-bars-and-sinamay-ribbon.jpgThis little bit of sinamay ribbon allows the light to shine through at night, and covers the steel pole and wires during the day. The chartreuse ornaments are plastic-a perfect material for outdoors.

lighted-bars.jpgIt’s time for the sparkles.



  1. excellent looking tapered pots and lattice containers, if I don’t say so myself! Buck

  2. Starr Foster says

    Lovely Deborah. I especially like the mixed evergreen combination you used under the red pussy willow and eucalyptus, as well as the whole combination. Also the way the greens flow down in the pots on the porch by the pretty light sticks with balls.
    The wreaths you just got in today were absolutely beautiful. I I haven’t seen better anywhere, ever.
    Glad to hear about Wiltproof and Vaporgard. Do you find the latter at hardware stores? Next year I will try some greens in my outdoor pots, thanks to your inspirations!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Starr, you can buy Vapor Gard from Ken Day, at the farmer’s market. Wiltpruf is available at any garden store-maybe Home Depot too. Our wreaths are so beautiful this year-each and every one of them. Thanks for writing, Deborah

  3. Absolutely fabulous!

  4. Another set of wonderful inspiration photos for outdoor containers. Have sent my Rochester Hills family to you. I hope they made it over thanksgiving when they had southern guests. Thanks for all the work these blog posts require.

  5. Love the incorporation of the sinamya ribbon into some of these outdoor arrangements. I would never have thought of it on my own but now….imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…right?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Michelle, materials are just materials. I only made you aware of it. How you choose to bring your containers to life will be all your own. Deborah

  6. Michelle Moore Gardening says

    I wait for your blogs like a child waits for Santa. Thank you…

  7. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing talents with the cyber community! I so look forward to seeing what you are doing and reading your beautiful prose. I get so much inspiration from your postings and feel we are kindred spirits …I also am a professional gardener currently in the holiday decoration season. Wonderful time of the year, but exhausting at the same time. Your posts help bolster my spirits. Thank you.
    Janet draper, Smithsonian Institution

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Janet, thanks for your letter. You are right-the holiday season is exhilarating and exhausting. I wouldn’t miss it for anything, although it takes just about all the energy I have. There is always something to show for the work, but what really keeps me going are the people. Deborah

  8. Do you sell the lightsicles? And if so are you able to ship them?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Kerry, we do have lightsicles available to ship. email Margarita at with your address and zip for a shipping quote. They come in 3′ for 89. 5′ for 110. and 7′ for 145.00 The green sinamay ribbon (11.95) is available too. Thanks for reading. Deborah

  9. Howard Blume says

    oh my gosh …
    you continue to execute impeccably stunning 12 months out of 12 months

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