Holiday Help from P. Allen
“Nothing speaks to the holiday season quite like the fragrance and beauty of fresh greenery,” says renowned garden and lifestyle designer P. Allen Smith, who fills his Garden Home Retreat near Little Rock with Noble fir wreaths and boughs from his signature holiday collection, available online and at garden stores around the state. Using ribbon, ornaments and other natural elements, Smith personalizes the décor to fit his home, and offers tips to help you do the same.
1. Begin with three 18-inch wreaths, a thumbtack, floral wire and desired embellishments: here, brown velvet ribbon with a wire edge, silver ball ornaments, brown bells and white decorative snowflakes were used (all available at craft stores).
2. Insert the thumbtack in the center of the top of your front door, and secure floral wire around the thumbtack and down to where you want to position the first wreath, looping the wire over the top portion of the wreath and securing in back (ribbon will eventually cover the wire).
3. Loop the wire around the bottom half of the wreath and run it from the back of the wreath down to the back of the next wreath, looping it around the top of the second wreath and securing it in back. Repeat the process to hang to the third wreath.
4. Once wires are secured, repeat the process with ribbon to hide all the wires.
5. Add ribbon in the four quadrants of each wreath: take an eight-inch length of ribbon, crimp it in the center and add wire, connect it to the wreath, and then cut the ends to create a ribbon tail.
6. Top with your desired embellishments, either wired or simply placed securely into the wreaths.
1. Begin with euonymus or rosemary topiaries in plastic containers, glass cube vases, sheet moss and multiple sizes of limes.
2. Place the topiaries in the glass cubes and surround the plastic container with enough sheet moss to hide it.
3. Top with limes in a variety of sizes. Key limes are useful for filling in gaps between larger limes.
1. Begin with a trio of snowflake-shaped wreaths, a hot glue gun and embellishments; here, cardboard gingerbread men, trees and stars, white and silver decorative snowflakes, and silver ball ornaments were used.
2. Place the wreaths on a work surface and hot glue the embellishments directly to the greenery.
3. Hang the wreaths and insert snowflakes or other items to achieve the desired look. Holiday cookie-inspired décor was used here; cookie cutters tied on with ribbon or raffia, or holiday candies adhered with hot glue, are other kitchen-appropriate favorites.
GARDEN HOME-STYLE GIFT
1. Begin with a potted orchid from a garden center (this one is from the “Just Add Ice” P. Allen Smith Collection sold at Sam’s Club stores statewide), floral wire, a gift tag, a medium point-marker and desired embellishments; here, chartreuse ribbon, silver ball ornaments with wires attached, a silver snowflake and a cinnamon stick were used (all available at craft stores).
2. Take an 18-inch length of ribbon, create two loops and attach a wire in the center to hold the loops in place. Cut ribbon tails and insert the wired ribbon into the pot.
3. Place the snowflake securely between the ribbon and the orchid.
4. Write the recipient’s name on the gift tag with the marker. Insert the wires of the silver ball ornaments through the hole on the gift tag and place the two elements into the pot.
5. Top with a cinnamon stick.
1. Begin with a centerpiece of fir boughs, floral wire and embellishments; here, chartreuse ribbon, white and silver decorative snowflakes, silver ball ornaments and cinnamon sticks were used (all available at craft stores).
2. Create single-loop ribbons by taking a 14-inch length of ribbon, forming a loop, securing the loop with floral wire and cutting the two tails. Insert the wired ribbon into the centerpiece, following the direction of the greenery.
3. Insert embellishments into the centerpiece as desired; here, cinnamon sticks were used as a mild fragrance to complement the dinner table setting.
4. Top each place setting with a wrapped gift and nametag serving as a place card. Embellishing the gifts with the same elements as the centerpiece helps create a unified, festive look.
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