Christmas Container, Part 2: Boughs and Bilbo Baggins

img_0668.jpgSaturday, I began putting together my holiday-themed container. Since it was very cold outside, I put some newspapers on the floor in our mudroom and worked there. Before starting, I brought in all the things I thought I’d put in the container. Potting soil, two bunches of spruce branches bought for $1 each at Lansing Hardware, a $20 bunch of curly willow from Squire House Gardens (my splurge on this pot), and some pine branches, red-twig dogwood sticks, and sumac fruit from my back yard.

img_0674.jpgAs instructed by Kathy Oss of Squire House Gardens, I filled the bottom of the container with a mixture of potting soil and compost. I started working around the edges with the spruce boughs, cutting each branch at an angle and jamming it into the dirt. I packed them in tightly, and then inserted the pine boughs among the spruce for textural contrast. With the greenery set, I added the curly willow and my red-twig in the center, again trimming the branches before putting them in.

img_0678.jpgAt this point, my husband looked into the room and commented that, “it looks like something out of The Hobbit.” It did have that mystical forest look–not exactly what I was aiming for. I inserted the sumac, which gave it more of a holiday feel, but still didn’t pull it together.

When in doubt, take a break. So, I put the pot outside to freeze and cleaned up the mudroom.

img_0698.jpgSunday afternoon, I considered the options. I did not want to spend any more money on the project. We have some left over lights, but that seemed like too much bother. We also have a fairly large collection of ornaments, so I started looking for something there. My mother recently gave me a bag of her old ornaments and that’s where I found this Santa figure. Shades of Bilbo Baggins! My mom had four of the ornaments, which have that 70s retro thing going for them. The bag also contained two strands of wooden beads that matched the Santas. I hung the Santas on the curly willow and dogwood and strung the beads through the greenery.

img_0710.jpgSince the pot is on our porch, I hope the weather won’t be too hard on it. It’s, as Minnesotans say, “interesting,” and I think it will make a great addition to our holiday decorations.

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