Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Window Boxes

One of my favourite things about moving to the country is using Mother Nature's bounty to decorate and now that I'm a country girl, I can peruse the garden centre flyers and mock their outrageous prices for items I can find behind my house for free. 

I also thank my lucky stars.

When it came time to decorate our new window boxes, built by the Artist this summer, I searched the internet for a little inspiration but there wasn't a lot to be found. So with secateurs in hand, and an empty wheelbarrow, off we went to the spooky woods to see what we could find. 

We found a few treasures, and on a cold and high wind alert Sunday afternoon, the Artist did some fine arranging while I did important stuff like cutting the branches and keeping the camera warm.

And, let's not forget, I danced the shutterbug.

Just for you.

Note: Security dog on yard patrol is not required, but it adds a nice touch to your photos.
We started by placing several layers of styrofoam in the boxes. You could just use the dirt from planter boxes used for summer flowers but you must then plan ahead and make these before the dirt freezes. Keep in mind, a planter of dirt placed in front of a roaring fire for many hours will not thaw. Really. Save yourself the effort and go directly to the hardware store. 
Then we added lots and lots of white pine along the front and sides of the window box. Luckily, our neighbours lost a branch during a windstorm the week before, so we had pine o'plenty. (Lucky for us, that is, the tree not so much.)
Before we got any further carried away with adding greenery, we added lights throughout the pine.
Along the back, we added spruce branches for height.

Next, the Artist nestled some of his favourite, red dogwood branches, in between the spruce and pine.
Then we added some milkweed, which I dusted with a hint of gold spray paint to give them a little extra oomph.
Then we added some watchyamacallit. There was lots of it in the woods, and I liked the extra texture that it gives. 
I searched high and low for red berries. In my books, it isn't a Christmas arrangement without red berries but they don't flourish in my neck of the woods and were difficult to find but determination prevailed.

Next year, I plan on taking my binoculars to search for them, or I could get new glasses. Who knows, maybe I'll flip a coin.
I just hope in the end, I have a lovely display and an Artist to make it for me. 

~Let it snow friends!~



Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

Beautiful Andrea! I have window boxes too and every year I think I will decorate them... this year I did manage to fill my porch pots with clippings from a large pine branch that blew down last week. :)

I like the graphic quality of the dogwood branches, nice touch. And well of course you need to add the red berries and something sprayed with gold!

Happy Holidays,

Unknown said...

Andrea, this is BEAUTIFUL!! And just what I needed to inspire me! My planter boxes look pitiful! Shameful in fact. But I just couldn't get my brain around what to do with them. Thanks for the excellent post!

Deb said...

Isn't it great to be able to find all this stuff on your own property?

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

This is so me, too!
One of my fave things to do is tromp through the woods and find decor.
That window box is outstanding!
Just what the Gothic Farmhouse wanted for Christmas. I know. She told my Cottage Farmhouse :)
xo, misha

p.s. I told Annie only 19 more sleeps until Santa.
She asked if she could snooze 3 times a day to make it come faster. Ah, kids!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Andrea, love the rustic feel of your window boxes. The elusive red berries that you speak of tend to grow in wet and swampy areas. I keep my MUCK boots close at hand when on the hunt. Styrofoam, what a great Idea! If the soil in the window boxes freeze before I have a chance to fill them, I pour hot water in them to loosen up the soil, a trick my mother taught me. Your home looks so warm, cozy and inviting.Have a great day, Julie

ain't for city gals said...

The red berries complete the whole thing! The Artist did a great job...

Anke said...

Your window boxes look beautiful! You guys did a great job using what mother nature provided!

Jackie said...

Love!! The best part is that you got it all from behind the house.


Cheryl said...

Very pretty, looks beautiful against your house color.

Genny said...

Wonderful arrangement. The watchmacallit is perfect in the box. I totally agree with you about the berries. It's just not Christmas without the green and the little red berries.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Oh I so want window boxes now!
Yours are beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

What a nice touch of Christmas for the old farm house. The A. did a great job! The "whatchamacallits" are goldenrod gone to seed - they look good in the arrangement, and I love milkweed pods...need to research an alternative to spray paint though...that subtle touch of glitter really adds to the arrangement, what else could be used instead? Do your readers have any more "natural" ideas to add sparkle? As for the red berries - maybe pick up a male and female bittersweet vine to plant somewhere on the property this spring.
I bet there are Christmas cookies baking in the kitchen...please save some for me!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Just beautiful! I'm berry in love with your display!