Foliage bouquets on a winter day can be a lifesaver. The traditional bouquet is generally filled with blooming plants that are terrific eye candy. After the blooms have faded, the leftover foliage is no longer appreciated. This is true even in the garden.
Most gardeners tend to plan and plant for color on those hot summer days. The evergreens quietly take a back seat to the colorful parade that beats its drum loudly. When autumn arrives, the garden is put to bed and it is only then, the evergreen foliage stands out. Humbly saying “look at me now”. Snowfall then graces the foliage of these evergreens making them sculptural magnificent.
FORAGING FOR FOLIAGE
One of my favorite things to do in winter, is strolling through my neighborhood during or after snowfall. The mature evergreens that are part of the natural landscape, tend to pop out of nowhere. Taking the time to wander and observe nature in winter, allows one to see what can be foraged. Foraging outdoors for vines, branches with berries, or branches with winter fruits are all quite interesting. Each of these options might be found in your own backyard. All can be found in the woods or at the edge of a stream. The diverse foliage found in nature are the perfect seasonal accent. Pruned to the perfect size, they are useful in arrangements inside and outside the home.
PRUNING FOR ARRANGEMENTS
The delight of a container filled with assorted branches in the midst of winter is amazing. Here are a few tips for knowing what to prune:
- Prune any crossing branches. This will prevent the winter winds from creating a wound that could allow pests and disease to affect the plant. Clean your pruners after every cut.
- Make sure the cuts are not visible to passersby. This could leave an unsightly gap in an otherwise perfect specimen. If you can prune in different places every year.
- Cut off enough to use as you lightly prune or shape your plant material. Make certain that you are using the appropriate type of pruners, shears or lopers. The wrong tools can either mess up the tool or severely damage the plant.
- Make all of your cuts a clean-cut. Stems should not be mashed or shredded. Sharpen and disinfect your pruners as you move from shrub to shrub.
- Do not leave your shrubs with bare knees. Most evergreen shrubs should be wider at the bottom than at the top. Shrubs are not square in nature – just a friendly reminder. Know your plant material.
- Select branches that are supple, have interesting foliage and most importantly have no disease.
Here are a few tips to remember when arranging:
Select your container with its placement in mind. No tall, oversized containers for the dinner table. There is nothing worse than trying to have a conversation through a bodacious bouquet.
Try low and broad containers. I try to use something that can be recycled or reused. If you cannot see the container, that simply allows you (the arranger) to play more.
Bigger leaves in the back or at the bottom lays your foundation. . Building out and up is key. Make sure that your arrangement is not top-heavy. If you have to move it, you do not want your work to topple over.
No blooms or berries NO PROBLEM! There is enough foliage in the winter to create unique arrangements by using the branches and boughs.
Get outside, forest bathe, gather some cuttings from the winter garden and create!
Dreaming of forest bathing, pruning and snow!
Teri, Cottage In The Court
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I embrace and share the beauty that surrounds me.by