Holiday Hanging Baskets

Why should the seasons of spring and summer get all the fun when it comes to hanging baskets? A holiday basket can be made incorporating materials from the landscape along with some ornamentation to make a hanging display for porch or patio. The arrangements are a unique and festive welcome to guests who arrive and an enjoyable everyday sight for you. View from indoors looking through the window as it hangs in an entryway or on a deck.

Holiday Hanging Baskets

These holiday baskets use natural materials featuring aromatic boughs of evergreen. The gift that keeps giving they are inviting and attractive from November through February. As Jack Frost adds his natural touch in the cold months the basket will glisten and dazzle. Their appeal and glitter is enhanced by the natural movement of a hanging arrangement versus a static pot or planter.

Position basket in a pot at table level to make arranging easier

Place the basket to be arranged in a pot on a table to make arranging easier.

Light weight potting soil is added to the hanging basket first to provide the foundation for the stems and branches. Once placed outside this is the soil that will freeze and hold the branches and stems in place for months.
Next, as we do with spring planters, work from the center to the outside of the pot thinking “Thriller” in the center, “Filler” as the next layer and then finally “Spiller” as we work to the outside rim of the basket.
Branches for the basket should be cut at a 45 degree angle making them easier to press into the soil until firmly in place.

This basket “pines” for your attention

“Thriller”: Branches of Birch, Scotch Pine, Willow, Red or Gold Twig Dogwood are examples of “thriller” centerpiece visual vertical placements in the center of the basket. These are the first additions to the basket working them into the center of the arrangement.

“Filler”: Working towards the outside of the basket we now fill with evergreen branches. Fraser Fir, Scotch or Austrian Pine, Douglas Fir, Colorado or White Spruce branches make great filler branches making up the bulk of the basket. These aromatic evergreens provide the gravitas for the visual mass of the holiday arrangement.

The addition of some LED lights gives the basket glitter

“Spiller”: White Pine with its long needles and nostalgic look provide a perfect addition as their pendulating look will crook or spill over the side increasing the size of the basket well beyond its borders. Adding some Cedar or Juniper provides visual interest whether used to augment the filler portion of the basket or as a spiller.

This basket will “spruce” up the place!

Finally comes the ornamentation portion of the project giving the basket your personal touch. Pine cones or Berry stems provide a natural means of ornamentation. Unbreakable plastic color ball ornaments can be wired to the branches using multi-color or a themed single color. Florist wire available in many bright colors is easy to work with and can weave throughout your arrangement adding additional interest. The addition of LED lighting in the basket will make it glitter in the nighttime hours, especially when nature adds the frosty touch.

Check it out…as easy as One, Two, “Tree”

LED lights are available in miniature so they subtly add to the feel of the basket without sticking out. You can avoid outlets or extension cords by purchasing some battery operated sets to nestle between the branches or your basket.
Deck the halls with some Holiday Hanging Baskets this season. “Season’s Greenings” and Happy Holidays with a little help from Mother Nature.

Have a plant move in for the holidays

Late December is a time for visiting relatives who bring strange smelling casseroles to the house. The windows are shut tight due to the winter solstice  and chilly temps outside. Maybe the aroma is produced by the relatives themselves from the cigar of Uncle Lewis and well…we all know about cousin Eddie. Foliage Houseplants 2We all need a little fresh air to go with our holidays and some live plants might just be what you’re looking for.

Adding some houseplants to the home and office can’t hurt. I’m sure there are some EPA estimates somewhere about the quality of indoor air versus outdoor air. Think about it, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of the photosynthetic process. Studies have found they absorb more than just carbon dioxide having the ability to absorb other indoor air pollutants. Even soil and roots can play a role in removing air-borne pollutants. Plants also help add some moisture to the air as well as oxygen. Visually they’ll improve both your mood and the mood of your guests as we Ho-Ho-Ho through the holidays.

Before you throw the Poinsettia in the trash claiming it to be poisonous consider the following. Poinsettias as a living plant can improve indoor air just like a houseplant. They are not deadly beauties and have had a bum rap as highly poisonous. Poinsettias (12)Accidental ingestion will not kill you and any normal kid or pet would spit out their nibble after the first bite or two because they taste awful. I’ve tried them and believe me, stick with the eggnog. You would have to eat a whole lot of leaves to reach the point of potentially toxic compounds. In most cases adding it to the buffet would lead to some nausea, no different than Aunt Bethany serving up her jello mold.