Monday, December 6, 2010

Creating natural arrangements for Christmas

Arranging natural materials creatively requires knowledge of balance and proportion.  Some people seem to have natural instincts in this area, but  the skills can be learned from floral arranging books. 

Christmas planter birch magnolia twigs

By using the following four elements you can achieve a stunning Christmas planter.

1. Droopers (Spillers)

While there are many places/ways to start, I usually start with the hanging material  to cover the edges of the pot. These have to be set in almost horizontally  as the cedar in the above image.  You want it to droop gracefully and cover the edges of the pot. 
- Spanish broom
-  pine
-spruce branches
- cedar

2.Uprights (Thrillers)
Sometimes if I have interesting tall materials  I arrange them first to establish height and then work out and down.  Thrillers are always tall and act as the apex of the triangle design.
- dried goats beard stalks
- corkscrew hazel
- yellow - twig dogwood, red dogwood
- spirea with dried seed heads
- forsythia stalks (which are very light and work well with dogwood branches)
-birch sticks

berries spruce pinecones Christmas planter  Designing Home

Twigs make great uprights, and don't forget that small potted trees can be placed in the middle of a planter and other materials can be added to cover the pot. A planter within a planter!

3. Fillers 
Once these two aspects have been arranged you need to fill our the arrangement (fillers) by applying the branches at roughly 45 degrees. I have lots of possibilities in my garden:

- boxwood
-yellow mound cedar
- holly 
- blue spruce
- rhododendron leaves 
- dried hydrangea blooms


4. Accents  

These are the final touches that hightlight and brighten your arrangements.   The sky is the limit here. 

- sprayed grapevine spheres
- brightly coloured plastic ornaments 
- wooden Santas
- plastic ribbons 
- plastic Christmas flowers
- artificial birds 
-woven twig stars

- small colourful lanterns
- large sphere shaped ornaments 
- ribbons

berries, pinecones, pods

fresh fruit or plastic fruit

and even birdhouses!

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