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Quick Arrangements

If guests are expected and you have no flowers, just pick a few sprays of evergreens from the garden.

yew berries

Photo: Derek Harper (geograph)

Yew berries in a low bowl or bottle can make a lovely quick arrangement during the winter holidays.

A tall arrangement can be made by sticking some pieces of yew or holly in the top of a wine bottle. You can stick a candle in the bottle also, if you have one. Borrow some Play-doh® from a child to stick around the base of the candle if it is too small to stand upright, or stuff more sprigs of evergreens around the candle base. You can even tie a red ribbon around the neck of the bottle if you are motivated enough. If you are decorating a buffet table, use three of these tall bottles lined up together for more impact.

You can also cut lengths of ivy from the garden and twine it around the bottles, or line it along the table. Ivy is a great favorite, mostly of non gardeners who don’t have to keep it in check and have plenty of it, and it is useful as a filler with flowers year round.

For a low arrangement, fill a shallow bowl with pine cones, colored balls and sprigs of evergreens such as holly. If you have access to smooth sumac, the sumac leaves and clusters of berries are excellent for winter arrangements. Smooth sumac is not poisonous but can cause a rash, so wear gloves when handling it.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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