holiday open houses and walking tours feature decorating ideas you can
replicate at home.
Virginia, historic homes tours in Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and
Gloucester offer the opportunity to do just that. You can walk
Colonial Williamsburg’s Duke of Gloucester Street now through Jan. 1
where you will see doors and windows decorated with fresh fruit- and
floral-embellished wreaths and swags. Early December, the Dudley
Digges House on Main Street in Yorktown is festooned with fresh
wreaths, swags and crescents made from garden materials by
York/Poquoson Master Gardeners.
Here’s how to
make a couple of those decorations:
arrangement using fruits and flowers should last approximately 10
days," says Tina McManus, decorating chairperson for the 26th
annual Christmas Open House sponsored by Ware River Circle of the King’s
Daughters and Sons in Gloucester.
replenish the flowers to make the arrangement last throughout the
cylinder-style glass vase on a pedestal, or something similar in clear
1 four- to
six-inch round piece of floral foam — or shape your own rounded form
from a floral foam brick available at craft and floral supply shops
Fruit to fill
the vase (three to four pieces); for example, pears, apples,
pomegranates or anything else that goes with the theme of your event
floral sticks to embellish, optional
or pine, cedar, nandina, astromeria and white lilies with buds barely
One large bunch
assorted flowers in desired colors from your garden or a floral shop
— Soak floral
foam circle and drain. Cut greenery and allow stems to condition, or
soak in water at least overnight.
— Fill glass
vase with fruit, leaving room to set the floral foam partially into
the vase, about two inches.
— Insert stems
of pine at the bottom of the floral foam, creating a circle of pine.
As you work, establish width and height of the arrangement.
— Overlap with
more pine and begin inserting cedar.
with the cedar until the entire ball is loosely covered. Insert lilies
into the floral foam, making sure the look is balanced or
— Add flowers
and nandina, and arrange to your satisfaction.
windows on the Dudley Digges House in Yorktown are festooned with
matching decorated crescents. A wreath is hung on the front door and a
soft swag goes on the front gate.
are wooden "smile" shapes with nails to support fruit and
evergreens in a traditional Colonial style, according to project
coordinators and York Master Gardeners Jane May and Merrilyn Dodson.
Magnolia leaves provide a dark-green background for each crescent.
Gardeners buy a ready-made plain fir wreath and adorn it with
pomegranates, lemons and magnolia pods. Boxwood sprigs and dried okra
pods are wired in among the fir boughs. Florist wire, staples and hot
glue guns are used to attach foliage and accent pieces, which can
include china berries, holly, red berries on stems, lavender stems and
lemons and magnolia pods provide interest shapes and color
contrast," says May.
decorate a wreath for a door that is used often, choose fruit that you
can mount securely.
to cut the fresh foliage as late as possible and spritz it with water.
The fruit may need to be replaced during the season."