After decorating for Thanksgiving and Halloween literally at the eleventh hour, my friend Adam from Crown Flora suggested we get an early start to Christmas. I’m not ashamed to admit that in the past I’ve done nothing more than throw up some lights, buy a grocery store arrangement and throw the old hook and wreath on the door. But then again we had the worlds’ most hideous porch and nothing could make rotting wood and chipped layers of paint look good.
But this year the front of our house looks a little more like what the inside looks like and I really wanted to make it stand out. I lacked any creativity though so Adam came to the rescue and suggested that I let him do everything…ummmm yes please. So on Saturday he showed up with products and greens and we decided to put it all on Instagram Live for anyone to see, but we sort of forgot to charge my phone and I also didn’t really tell anyone that we would be on so no one really knew…. in retrospect we should have done it as a YouTube video.
Anyhooo, I’m going to summarize all of Adam’s tips for creating your own urn for the holiday season with real greens and trimmings.
You’ll first off need an urn. Adam picked out a fiberglass one for me and filled the bottom with gravel to keep it from tipping. The top pot he filled with new soil and moistened it.
He brought along a bunch of trimmings that had been freshly cut and dipped in a wax coating to help with the elements: incense cedar, two kinds of boxwood, magnolia leaves, branches, dyed tree mushrooms and pine cones.
Because my urn rests up against the brick, he only filled it half way around, which is cheaper and less time consuming. He started by putting in the cedar first, it flops over the sides in a really pretty way and smells amazing too!
Next he placed the boxwood, sort of at random and not perfectly uniform because he said it added dimension to the arrangement. The magnolia leaves were next, again mixed in with the boxwood, some higher some lower. After each step Adam took a step back to assess.
Then came the branches which added height. He placed those in the centre as much as possible. He added in the giant pine cones in a trio bunch on the side and then placed the mushrooms all around.
Had we not been so busy chatting he would likely have been able to create the whole look in less than 10 minutes, but we did chat and we did take photos so it was a bit longer overall.
Adam had a few tips:
(1) cedar over pine because if it dries it isn’t as messy as needles
(2) wax coating will help protect the greens
(3) water the urn every week or so
(4) the arrangement should last about 3-4 months in a cool climate like ours here in Toronto
(5) for the door wreath, buy a suction cup hook instead of a hanging one that can ruin your door frame
(6) have at least 3-5 different things in your urn to give it dimension and achieve a fun look
(7) quality matters when you buy your greens because the cheaper stuff will turn brown quicker and may not be as fresh
(8) don’t vandalize your local park for branches and greens…this was directed at me after I suggested a few times on IG Live that viewers could just go for a walk….ooops lol
We had a lot of fun doing our little video and watching Adam in his element. If you’re in Toronto, he will have the bunches of greens for sale in a pack like mine and the boxwood wreaths for sale at his Crown Flora Studio. I would greatly encourage you guys to stop by and chat with Adam directly if you have any questions, or even join his IG LIVE chat this coming Wednesday here. They will be hosting their annual Christmas Market the weekend of December 16 & 17 but you likely won’t want to wait that long to create your arrangement.
If you’re not local, you can try to find the greens at your local garden centers and corner shops too, just make sure the quality is good!! As for urns and containers, you can buy those there too, or you can do what I did in my back yard and head to your local IKEA. They have great containers! Just be sure to drill a hole in the bottom for drainage if it doesn’t already come holey.
Adam offered to let me make a YouTube video with him this week to show you guys a DIY wreath! so stay tuned for that too!!