WARM, WARM WISHES AND JOY FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Greetings from Virginia
Many thanks to my clients, contributors, readers and
friends for being a part of my 2011. You are so very appreciated. While
economic forecasts remain conservative I wish you all good health, love
and prosperity in 2012. And, a big welcome to my new subscribers.
For those who are just now beginning to un-decorate and
who wish to recycle those ubiquitous red, wreath bows...stuff the ribbon
loops with scrunched up plastic bags before storage so that the loops
remain fat and round rather than flattening out. They will retain their
shapes and be ready to re-use next year. From Pinky Rice,
Aldie Horticultural Society.
Greens and Garlands
This was a very busy holiday season beginning with the
"hanging of the greens" in Aldie, always during the last week
of November, when members of the Aldie
Horticultural Society decorate the village so
beautifully. And in Middleburg, during the first weekend in December, the
Garden Club hosts its traditional Greens Show for Christmas in Middleburg.
As a first time participant in both clubs I drew the
"garland jackpot," first with the task of creating a garland of
Hemlock and Ilex berries, festooned with a big red bow, for the wall at
the Aldie Mill for AHS. And second, my Greens Show "project"
was a garland of back yard materials of Skip Laurel, Nandina, dried Water
Lily Pods, Boxwood, dried Sedums and Pheasant feathers, re-purposed on
Saturday evening as a centerpiece for a Middleburg Hunt
"breakfast". (The hostess said she kept it alive right through
Truth be told, you really do learn by doing. The garlands
winning the first, second and third prizes for the Garland Class
were exquisite creations of Boxwood accented with kumquats or glass
balls! (I managed to garner an honorable mention. Next year after
following all these superb examples, hopefully, will be better.) The
entire show was fabulous, professional and deemed the best ever. Kudos to
Show Chairperson, Meredith Whiting and MCG President, Linda Taylor. The
members of both AHS and MGC, who take their horticulture and design very,
very seriously, provide a constant source of inspiration, education,
warmth and generosity .
Adding to the chaos and fun, friends from New Jersey who
are our annual house guests arrived, joining us to ride in the Christmas in Middleburg
Hunt Parade Review and then hunt on that first Saturday in
December. And, on December 19th my wonderful sister-in-law arrived from
Florida to spend Christmas and New Year's with us. While everyone else
was in high gear with lofty decorating aspirations by the end of November,
I must admit that I didn't really have time to "fire" until
just before Christmas Eve! And then I had to kick on. Fortunately, I have
never been an "over-the-top, in-your-face, Christmas tinsel and
bling" kind of gal, much prefering subtle, quiet elegance.
Definitely a "less is more" approach. And, for a week or ten
days everything looked sublime.
Alas, Christmas and New Year's have quickly passed, the
tree is down and out, all the decorations are safely tucked back in their
now the house feels jarringly naked.
Keeping with the spirit of quieter times, our
entertainment this year was confined to several lovely parties and to
Christmas and New Year's Eve with very close friends. What could be
With that in mind...
White roses, spider mums and lilies paired with Lenox
"Snow Lily" china created a simple but elegant setting for our
New Year's Eve festivities.