White Christmas

  Ten years ago the stars aligned such that I was alone for Christmas.  My only family, a brother and sister-in-law, had plans to go to the Caribbean for Christmas.  I could hardly blame them-they live in Colorado.  JoJo and BabyHead, my cats, both lived at the shop; we decided to spend the day together.  Miraculously, it snowed more than 6 inches Christmas Eve.  The outside of the shop was incredibly beautiful early that morning.  We three had some Christmas breakfast treats, after which I carefully assessed what I wanted to photograph before I spoiled any of that snow with my footprints.  Needless to say, neither cat had any interest in accompaning me.  After lunch, the day was bright and overcast.  I took another round of pictures. It was a fine Christmas day-utterly quiet, and beautiful.  Snow is unlikely for this Christmas.  Temps in the 40’s, and rain is not exactly conducive to a white Christmas, but we did provide some winter white for a few of our clients that cannot do without it. The white faux berries and eucalyptus in this window box is the closest we could get to winter white, barring some help from the weather.

Whitewashed eucalyptus is that pale blue color that reminds me of snow.  The birch twigs have been sprayed with a metallic platinum paint.  By winter’s end, they will be a pale grey.  The colors are soft, but wintry.  I would imagine this pot will look all the better with some fresh snow.  While white in the garden is a standout, winter white usually covers every surface.

This box is flanked by hydrangeas, the winter remains of which are the tawny flower heads. Consequently, lots of greens and lights went into the box. The branches in this box are faux stems; their bright white color reads very well in front of the dark window glass. 

I made this pair of wreaths for a client who specifically asked for a green and white holiday scheme.  Any combination of colors can look great for the holidays.  Orange, yellow and red fruit in a wreath looks perfectly holiday-like.  Red and green can be tricky, as it is the traditional combination of choice.  However, dark red and chartreuse is a festive and fresh take on a usual scheme.  The chartreuse here-dyed and preserved reindeer moss bits.  Some opaque white glass ornaments, a flocked faux pick, and a pair of faux snowballs is a strong contrast to the magnolia.

These faux white branches are encircled with a number of sparkly white faux picks.  White on nearly white, in several layers, makes a stronger statement  from a distance.  Next week I will try to photograph everything we have done this season at night.  I am sure the sparkle on these picks will glow after dark.   

These pots have centerpieces that are a mix of white birch and platinum branches.  The magnolia garlands over the carriage lights have some of the same twigs, some faux berries, and some glass ornaments.  The materials are mostly natural, and accented with white. 

When the snow finally appears, these pots will celebrate the season in a muted way. 

A pair of grey knitted birds have a grey and white perch on the wreath.

These stout white birch branches extend up into a skylight that runs between the porch roof, and the front door. This spot will never see snow, as the covered porch is probably 18 feet deep.  This does mean that the cut boxwood that is stuffed into these pots will stay green a very long time.  The winter sun can be hard on cut greens.  

This mix of white birch branches and white manzanita branches makes a strongly wintry statement above the ground plane. 

 This client is not so fond of cut evergreens, but she does like the whitewashed eucalyptus.  Natural curly willow encircles the bleached sticks, and softens the lookof those stiff sticks considerably. 

The white and pale blue is especially effective with the stained cedar shake siding.

 There are great wintry white plants available.  This variegated clubmoss-selaginella krausianna variegatus-is great in shady pots over the summer.  It is especially obliging as an interior plant with some diffuse light.

How I envied my Texas friend RK for the pots of cyclamen on his front steps!  But they adapt well to my house over the holidays.  They will bloom a long time over the winter, if they are happy. 

My favorite white of this season-a pot of Helleborus Niger. I did buy some, and will try to keep them going until spring.  What a bonus that the flowers fade to green. Some years a white Christmas just takes a little ingenuity.