christmas

redesign the bathroomWhen it’s re-purposed of course! I’m not a big fan of an exposed trash can in the bathroom. I personally think they should be hidden under the sink. So when my son gave me this beautiful teak set for Christmas a few years back I came up with a new use for the beautiful wood can. Now it holds a botanical arrangement on the counter. I quite like the scale and the way it contrasts the wall. A big fan of texture I searched out some unusual dried botanicals that would really make a statement. Add a maintenance free (very real looking) fake plant and voila! You have a fantastic focal point for the sometimes boring counter. You’ll notice in the photo that there is a nice piece of coral. This was rediscoved (pun intended) last summer when moving my parents to their new home. It used to sit on my dresser when I was a child and I was delighted to A) find it again and B) put it to good use! Funny how things look new again when you move them to a different room, arrangement or home. What everyday items are waiting to be re-purposed in your home?

Where does the time go? It’s seems only last week that I posted here yet it appears it was way back in November! The Christmas season called me away and had me decorating, creating fresh seasonal arrangements as well as offering advice on staging homes.

I just had an e-mail today from a client who shared that her husband wants to leave up the decorations just a little longer. I think we can all relate to how bare our homes look once we pack everything away for another year. Take this opportunity to create a new look with the items you have hiding around the house that you might have forgotten about. While I was storing some of my everyday items to make room for Christmas decor I came across some things I had tired of last year and so tucked away in a drawer in the basement. At the time I tucked them away I was thinking of donating them to Value Village, decided against it and stored them instead. Now I see them again they look new to me. Sometimes we need a rest from things we treasure in order to appreciate them again in future.

If you don’t remember quite how you had your everyday things arranged before you stored them for the season don’t despair. Seize this opportunity to rearrange, reuse, redesign your space. Perhaps your next great accent piece is hiding in a closet or resting under the bed. Shop your home for your new look. The best part is it’s free!

Have you ever wanted to splurge on one of those gorgeous full and fragrant Christmas urns that you see at the front door of the quaint little shops in your hometown? If you have ever potted a plant then you are probably able to create one of these for yourself. This is the time of year when garden centre’s offer free workshops and sometimes even how to videos on their websites to entice you into their stores.

Get yourself signed up for the newsletter of your local garden centres website and look for their open house or workshop announcements. Remove the existing flowers from your pots but leave the old dirt in there and soften it up with some water or move your pots to the garage so it doesn’t freeze solid. Pack a pair of gardening gloves, a plastic bag and your pruning shears in the trunk of your car. While running your usual errands in and out of town keep your eyes open for colorful dogwood branches, pine boughs, pine cones, and berries that may be growing wild in the ditches on the sides of the country roads. Gather some of these materials (without trespassing of course) for use in your urn. I love to use hydrangea heads from my garden. They can be painted with silver or gold paint if you’d like or leave them natural.

Once you’ve attended the workshop you can decide what materials you need to purchase and combine them with the ones you’ve already collected to create a made-by-you masterpiece. Add a little sparkle, a grouping of 3 inexpensive plastic ornaments wired together and tied to a branch, a big bow, or some twinkle lights for the Christmas season. Be sure not to stab them into the dirt if you wish to remove them from your arrangement once Christmas is over. They may be frozen in!

Water your arrangement often until it freezes for the winter. If it’s still warm or your pot is in a sunny spot the greenery will turn brown quickly, so timing is everything. If you can’t plant right away because of the warmer weather, place the ends of the greenery into a water bucket in your garage to keep them fresh until you’re ready to work with them.

Get ready for the compliments that are going to be coming your way when guests arrive for your Christmas gatherings and find out you made them yourself!

Connon Nurseries

Ho Ho Ho, The season is upon us!

I just had my first call this year regarding Christmas decorating. Hard to believe when you look outside at the gorgeous sunny and snow free day we’re having. The stores are full of the latest Christmas decor and have been for a number of weeks, so selection is great. If any of you are considering updating your Christmas decor this is the perfect time to start going through your items, testing your twinkle lights, discarding the ornaments and garlands that have seen better days, and making a list (pun intended) of what you’d like to replace them with. Just a word of caution when going through your ornaments – please – give it some thought before you discard any sentimental pieces that you never actually use. No matter how much you might dislike them today – you may regret not having that one reminder of Great Aunt Nelly once she has passed on.

I hope to share some Christmas decorating tips with you in the next few weeks. Stay tuned….