Collecting from Winter Walks

A simple winter arrangement of collected evergreens from our yard

An incredible arrangement of collected foliage from the woods and garden

A few warm days make me want to get outside and enjoy a good walk. Whether you simply walk around your garden or take a walk in the woods, there is probably a rich harvest for a winter arrangement. Foliage arrangements are a good substitute for flower arrangements indoors and especially in winter. The ones shown here are very different and illustrate the diversity of the looks and sizes that can be achieved. The evergreen arrangement features variegated shrub ivy and is filled in by starting with branches of magnolia to break over the container. The larger arrangement features several branches of American beech whose leaves hold on in winter, and pine branches that have been shaped by the designer. If you have to wire, make sure it can be hidden to help shape the branch. Some of my favorite materials for winter arrangements other than the above materials are the bare branches of winged elm, contorted willow, fantail willow, red stem Japanese maple, and dogwood branches with the white button buds. Almost any evergreen material will work, but for accent materials it is hard to beat variegated Japanese aucuba, all types of evergreen leucothoe, pine, boxwood (both green or variegated), and many course textured evergreens. Good foliage arrangements are composed with great care using the principles of floral design. If you are not an expert, even a few branches in a vase can brighten the house on a dreary day.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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