Tuesday, December 9, 2014

And the tree...


Sometimes I get these ideas and the vision that forms in my mind seems so achievable. Why wouldn't it work? I rarely stop to ask that (logical) question and just forge on, as though it will. However inevitably, part way in, I'm left saying "what was I thinking! This will never work!" This is one of those times...

Those piles there on the garage floor, that's our Christmas tree, or what I planned to make into our Christmas tree. The greens were picked up around the neighborhood after a particularly windy day (an oddly frequent occurrence this year), the Blue Atlas Cedar branches were pruned from a lovely tree an abandoned commercial lot with a boarded up building. I tried to find some to purchase but none of the local nurseries seem to be selling BAC branches this year.

This is our tree in the making. It's a tomato cage tree!

I know, weird right? But I wanted an extremely conical tree this year. The kind you see in cartoons but not so much in real life, I also wanted it to be a mix of green and blue. I started by wiring on the green branches and then overlaying them with a few BAC branches. I also contemplated tossing the whole thing part way through but instead pushed on, figuring this would just have to be the year of the Cousin Itt Christmas tree.

The finished tree, and yes, it is a bit Cousin Itt-ish, but I like it. It is pretty close to what I envisioned.

If Flora can decorate with succulents then I dibs the leucadendrons.

I'd bought them for the Thanksgiving table and then decided they'd look good on the tree.

I also added the tin icicles I bought last year and a just a few of my vintage ornaments.

Oh, and of course the glittery snowflake at the top...

Yesterday I shared the mantle display...

And told you about the pine-cone light giveaway.

Just when I thought the holiday decor was complete Santa (AKA my dear friend Bridget) showed up with an armful of cut leucadendron stems...

Perfect compliments to the tree ornaments...

She brought a big beautiful banksia bloom too...

It's a nice, natural, counterpart to the amber glass cones on the mantle.

Oh and remember that osmanthus wreath from last week? It looks better with little ornaments on it.

So, that's the holiday trimmings for 2014, what are you up to this year?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

36 comments:

  1. So clever! A tomato cage tree! What an imagination you have. I can do that. And make some ornaments with succulents and large paper clips. At 22 dollars a piece at Flora Grubb, think of all the money I'll save by making my own. And you are so nice to give to give us the idea (or pattern) for free! A Christmas gift. Many thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I'm thrilled at the notion I've provided inspiration, and I bet you come up with some pretty classy paperclip succulent ornaments.

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  2. LOVE IT. I picked up greenery on my walk yesterday, and it seemed like such a good idea when I was at Fernhill Park. I'd even had a plastic bag in my pocket & started filled it up. Then I found the best huge branch, but couldn't manage that. I was a few doors down from your house & seriously considered stopping by to borrow pruners, but decided to head for the barn door. I mean to go back today & see if it's still there.

    I so want to be like you when I grow up. Class, style, good grace--you've got it all.

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    1. There is so much great material out there just lying on the ground, glad you've collected some. Also you're always welcome to borrow clippers/pruners whenever the need arises. Alternately you're welcome to store your treasures here until you can retrieve them later in a vehicle.

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  3. Glad you didn't throw in the towel. I am in awe...your are so creative and I love the colors and textures you put together. I think you should write a book with all your great ideas!!!

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    1. You are very kind, and darn creative yourself (from what I've seen on your blog...).

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  4. You've created a splendid holiday display Loree! I'm absolutely entranced by the mantel decorations, although your tree also shows a lot of imagination. I've been thinking of using Leucadendron from my garden in my wreath this year but I'm going to take a short-cut and use a pine wreath purchased from my local garden center as the base for my additions. My tree is up, a smaller one than in prior years but blanketed in ornaments collected at intervals throughout my life so special just for that.

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    1. I think that's brilliant (your wreath shortcut), it will allow you to have a full looking wreath without having to cut so many stems.

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  5. You made your own Christmas tree! How many people can say that?! Wow.

    Love the leucadendron and banksia touches.

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    1. How many people would want to say that!?

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  6. Not weird at all, just fabulous!! Very creative and stylish of you Miss Loree :)

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  7. I love it and I really love the color of your fireplace!

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    1. Thank you, I still love that color as much as the day I painted it almost 10 years ago. (I think that makes me boring...)

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  8. Admiring of your idea and execution! If the tree begins to look too "Itt-ish", try a thin ribbon or something similar spiraling horizontally around, the way lights would be strung.

    The leucadendron decorations are gorgeous.

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    1. I had notions of making a leucadendron garland to wrap around it, or then cranberries with dried lemon slices. Ran out of time for either...

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  9. Your tree is fantastic! What a great idea.

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    1. Thanks Emily, coming from you (super crafter) that's high praise!

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  10. I love the leucadendrons! Do you know what Banksia that is? It looks almost like the Banksia dryandroides in your Berkeley Horticultural Nursery post.

    I like the tree, very creative!

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    1. I can see where you'd get that but having seen both of them in person the foliage is very different. A FB friend posted a photo just yesterday of one I thought was extremely similar but now (of course) I can't find it.

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  11. You always do an incredible job of decorating your house for the season! Your tree idea was great - if a form works for a wreath, why not a tree? The finished product is gorgeous! That Bridget is a keeper - beautiful leucadendrons and banksia!

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  12. You are so original,I´d never thought about making a tree like that! but it looks great!
    And the leucadendrons are just perfect for the decoration. Ohhh, those australians who can pick those branches from the countryside must be very lucky.Although I suppose it happens to them what happens to me with pine cones...I'm so used to seeing them that I don´t pay attention to them.

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    1. I know right? Imagine having a whole garden full of them...but you're right. Familiarity breeds, if not contempt, then at least ambivalence.

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  13. The tree is perfect! How nice of Bridget to give you all those leucadendrons to match. As we came home from the coast yesterday I was in agony over leaving all the beautiful greenery that had blown out of the trees, but between the gale force wind and the drenching rain, they had to stay where they were. We'll be content with the aluminum tree once again, and prune the cedars and pines for a little green for the mantel this year.

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    1. Oh that sounds lovely (prune the cedars and pines), a great mix of textures. And any year with an aluminum tree is always a good one in my book.

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  14. Our yard is littered with fallen branches just waiting for inspiration to strike. I won't really get into it until this weekend, but the wheels are turning. We can always depend upon you for some off-the-beaten-path inspiration.

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    1. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  15. Clever cookie. So creative, it all looks so wonderful. How long will they stay looking fresh before they dry up? I don't think I'm even bothering with the tree this year. Maybe I'll whack a bauble on an indoor plant. If we were having Christmas at our house I would, but it's at my sister's, so maybe next year.

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    1. The leucadendrons? I'd say fresh for about a week. They're fully dried now but still beautiful. "whack a bauble"....OMG, I love it. And yes, you should!

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  16. fun tree! we can't have real holiday greenery indoors (the kid's allergic) but i'm making a wreath for the front door from limbs cut from the Christmas tree lot! Thanks for that suggestion! And we just moved. No fireplace/mantle. *makes a boo-boo face* But, I guess that just means it's time to get creative with the stocking-hanging. It also means I can't pinch your style, which I totally would have! Lovely mantle!

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    1. I'm sure you'll come up with something lovely robin, you seem pretty creative!

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  17. Well, if you ever wondered what you might do in a different life, add floral arranger and interior decorator to your list. You have a gift for this sort of thing, my dear.

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    1. Your very kind Pam. I actually started the interior design program at Washington State, but ended up leaving school.

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