Staying Late

My come early- stay late routine came to a close beautifully.  The shop garden needed some dressing up for our evening event; we wanted the outside to say welcome, and encourage a festive mood for anyone walking to the door.  

Out at the street, an old iron cistern is stuffed with poplar branches, and finished with a groundcover of various sizes of white lights. Holiday light strings in groundcover, or in containers is an easy, portable and inexpensive way to light your winter landscape. This pot-our greeting. 

A pair of cast stone pots atop the gate piers feature steel spheres wrapped in a single ring of pearl lights.  Poplar branches were sunk in the soil, through the openings in the sphere.  The Saturn pots, as I call them, take the every day in ground landscape lighting at the base of the piers skyward.  

Wrapping the lights on the form can be accomplished quickly; we use the smallest zip tie available. This makes the removal of the lights much faster, when you need the sphere to support a vine, or provide a sculptural element in a container. The light ring reads clearly from below.

Lining the driveway with tables dressed in white linens in mid November has the element of surprise going for it.  This very traditonal symbol of a party to come gets a big boost from being placed outdoors.

Candlelight endows any event or gathering with a little romance.  However many candles you set out, a few more would probably be good.  Votive candles are much like the mini light strings-readily available and inexpensive, they can ornament a party indoors or out like nothing else. 

Straight sided votive holders are just as inexpensive, and reuseable-our trick is to put a teaspoon of water into each glass before we light the candles.  This makes popping the used candles out for cleaning easy.  Adding the votives to larger glass containers, pitchers and vases greatly magnifies the light; we did a collection of glass on each table.

The candlelight did much to illuminate the glass icicles in the lindens.  A few white laser cut plastic lanterns with a votive inside contrast with the icicles.  The walk to the door was warmly and invitingly lit.

A pair of garlic shaped steel tuteurs covered in pearl garland are illuminated courtesy of a light sphere at the bottom.  The surface of the pot is mulched in white recycled and tumbled bottle glass. Very dressy. It was a good day to stay late.


  1. hi, just wanted you to know how much i enjoy reading your blog. your pictures thru out the year are beautiful. i wish i lived close by so i could attend your weekend bash but i’m in va. all of you are so talented. happy weekend!, and i hope your holidays are bright. jd

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear JD, thanks for your letter. I always enjoy hearing that people read. Hope your holidays are bright too. Deborah

  2. Most attractive and creative! How do you disguise electrical and extension cords?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Suzanne, many of the light sets we sell we order with brown cords-that helps a lot. A lot of places carry them. Extension cords can be buried in lawn or gravel pretty easily. Cords that are conspicuous can be covered with cord, twine, or garland. Metallic sinamay works great as well. Extension cords in trees we may run vertically from the lights, and then across to a more inconspicuous spot. Deborah

  3. About two months ago I found your blog while searching for “annual flower designs”. Since that day, I have been absolutely hooked! Many evenings are spent reading old posts and getting super excited about experimenting new things with each season.
    I work for a landscape company and our Christmas season kicks off strong this week- bring on the garland, cut greens, twigs, berries,lights, and glitter!
    Love your blog and all of the great pictures! Keep them coming!! – Briana

  4. I look forward to reading and being inspired by your blog every Holiday Season. Looking forward to another trip up to the Detroit area just to spend some time browsing your shoppe.

  5. it’s just breathtaking!! thanks for taking the time to share your shop and talent with us! look forward to more holiday pics.

  6. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I have got to come by one of these days.

  7. Deborah,

    The rings got me thinking about making a wire sphere frame and then wrapping that with lights. As always thanks for the inspiration.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Sarah, how good to hear from you! You are welcome-send me some pictures for your wire sphere. I hope you can find lights with brown cords-they look so much better at the holidays. Deborah

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