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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Fifth Day of Christmas! A Visit to Willow Tree Gardens and Interiors.

More and more, people seem to be decorating their homes for Christmas very early and pulling everything down on the twenty-sixth. I like to be a bit more old - fashioned and leave my decorations (when I put them up) in place for at least the full 12 days of the holiday (until January 6, when the western church celebrates Epiphany and the eastern church celebrates Christmas.)  If I'm supremely lazy, I remind myself that Candlemas (February 2) is the final acceptable day to take down Christmas decorations according to tradition.

"Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and mistletoe;
 Down with the holly, ivy, all,
 Wherewith ye dress'd the Christmas Hall"

  —Robert Herrick (1591–1674), "Ceremony upon Candlemas Eve"

With that in mind, let's continue the celebration of this twelve-day feast with a visit to Willow Tree Gardens.  (Whew, all of that to justify posting pictures from a few weeks ago.)

Another sedum/sempervivum planted tool box.  While my garden doesn't  have space for one of these too be shown well, I find them delightful in other settings.

It's a bit chilly outside, let's pop in and see what's up.  The annual house has been conquered by Santa and his helpers.


It's amazing that I've visited a lot of places carrying holiday decorations this season and haven't found two trees that are alike.   How do they do that?

There must be a finite amount of sparkly doo-dads and whatchamacallits but each store somehow has different lines of merchandise.  It boggles my mind!


A cowboy Christmas.

Funny that I'm so attracted to wreaths and swags as I haven't put one on our door in years.  This doesn't keep me from buying them.  Maybe this year I should drag one or two out of their boxes.


My church choir is having it's 12th night party at our house on the 10th of January so I can keep pulling things out until then.  

Love this glitzy treatment of the piano.  Makes it a bit difficult to play but hey, one can't have everything, right?

There seems to be a lot of white being used on the trees this year at Willow Tree; trend or happy accident?

"Beach glass" chandelier.  How would this look in a greenhouse? 


How unfortunate that we don't have beautiful red Cardinals in the Pacific Northwest!


Here's that crazy sleigh-flying alien responsible for all of this.  I hope he's prepared to clean up his mess!  Then it's back to Area 51 I mean the North Pole(that's it, the North Pole) with you!

How do they keep the pumpkin from rotting and becoming a mass of goo and how do they keep the succulents from being over watered by the presence of fluid from the rotting pumpkin? Do you suppose it's just piled on top rather than planted inside?  Even so, that is a long-lasting pumpkin!



I'll leave you with a couple of sweet bird ornaments from the following bird-
themed tree.





Whether you lean more to being done on the 26th or to leaving the decorations up until Epiphany or even Candlemas, I hope your holiday was/is full of beautiful sights and sounds that bring you great Joy!  The important question is, have you been out shopping at the after Christmas sales and plotting for next year?


31 comments:

  1. That beach glass chandelier would be a nice lighting accessory all year round!

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    1. I agree. Maybe another visit is in order...

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  2. Another wonderful collection to see and scroll up and down enjoying, thanks. The succulent toolbox is enhanced by that group of cyclamen behind it.

    The piano was certainly decorated by someone who knew nothing about the care and feeding of pianos.Maybe camels on the keys were to keep visitors from beating out a few Holiday songs.

    Styrofoam pumpkin? I read somewhere that painting a real pumpkin would preserve it for a while, but I didn't believe it.

    Reminded me, one of my presents was a hummingbird ornament that I haven't shown and another animal you couldn't guess.

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    1. Oh, forgot the question. The old way when I was a child was to get the decors down by the New Year, else bad luck would come.

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    2. That piano gets dragged around Willow Tree a lot as a prop. It's amazing how many free pianos are on classified websites these days. They aren't as popular as they were when I was a boy in the Victorian era and just about every home had a piano as it was the family entertainment center of the day.

      My mom liked to get all of the decorations down by before January first so that everything could be clean and tidy for the new year.

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  3. Peter, I didn't decorate my tree until the 22nd! I'll leave it up until I feel like taking it down. Thanks for the picture of the succulent toolbox ... I have a red one in my garage that I pilfered from a neighbor's trash and I would love to do that with it!

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    1. Some years it's nice to leave it all up longer; other years it's nice to take it down early. Like you, it depends on when I feel like it. Looking forward to seeing how you plant your tool box!

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  4. Cardinals add such a bright spot to winter bird watching it is a shame you don't have them. Love that tree with the glittery bird houses.

    We leave everything up until New Year's Day. The house looks so different when the tree is put away.

    I did do a little after Christmas shopping, it's a good time to pick up lights and a few new things for next year.

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    1. I've heard that they are slowly moving west and have been sorely tempted to try and find a couple of mating couples to introduce to my garden. Alas, probably not the most environmentally sound idea.

      It was surprising that not only were holiday items deeply discounted but that many stores were already packing things away the day after Christmas.

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  5. Yes, I miss the cardinals that we used to get at our feeders back on the East Coast, the blue jays too. I love that toolbox, I've been wanting to do something like that too. Maybe I should just go here and buy theirs. I think those succulents on top of the pumpkin are just hot-glued in place, not really planted. The NPA group that I joined, the Petal Pushers, put some together at a meeting that I didn't attend, but I seem to remember being told we should bring a hot glue gun. We did have a nice, quiet Christmas. Have fun at your 12th Night party!

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    1. Hot glue gun! I tend to forget that some consider living plants as 'decorative material' and do not mind that their treatment of it is not permanent.

      I didn't know that cardinals did not frequent the PNW. I saw a robin Saturday. Does that mean that Spring is coming?

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    2. A hot glue gun - who'd have thought? Doesn't it burn the plants? I suppose that, after pumpkin season, the whole business could be lifted off and put in a pot.

      When I was at Van Lierop, they had several old unplanted tool boxes for sale.

      The Tacoma home and garden show is just a few weeks away. Want to go?

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  6. Sure! Why don't you spring for that beach glass chandy?!?
    I'd sure enjoy being an honorary member of your church choir and attend the 12th Night party!
    What a charming place to browse. Thanks for bringing it TO

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    1. Surprisingly the beach glass chandy wasn't expensive at all. It's not wired, just a decorative thing. Rebecca, if you want to come, I'm sure the church choir would be delighted!

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  7. I'm a decorations down right away sort of person. We got home (from 11 days away) on Saturday evening and first thing yesterday morning (well okay, more like second thing...after coffee and lazing about a bit) everything was taken down/put away. There's something so sad to me about it all lingering. Of course the house feels bare so I take the opportunity to buy a big bunch of cut flowers.

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    1. And by the time the cut flowers have faded, it's 30% off houseplant season, right? One of the great things about using real as opposed to artificial greens is that they can be disposed of instead of having to box them up to store them away for another year.

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  8. Love your analysis of the succulent stuffed pumpkin as I've also been wondering how they keep them from rotting. It's voodoo, I tell ya, voodoo! But I do love the tool box and all those Christmas trees. Just glad I didn't have to put any of them up!

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    1. Alison had the answer - hot glue gun those puppies on top and you're good to go. Voodoo is probably closer to how it's done. I'm looking forward to taking the decorations down and being done with it!

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  9. I have quite a few unusual containers waiting for inspiration, but I never quite seem to get around to them. Love all the glitz...especially the mostly white tree with the owls and the piano in the next photo. There's a new baby in the family (named Calla Tess, how can she not have a green thumb) and until they recover enough to come to dinner, the decorations will remain (well, most...we already removed the branches that were beginning to shed).

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    1. How exciting for you and what a beautiful name!

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  10. I am backing, taking another close look at the trees. Cowboy hats, boots, copper leaves, horses and cows, saddles and sleigh bells. What a combo! I could have been a cowboy_theme.

    Elves and ladders and paint buckets have replaced the red ladders with Teddy Bears climbing of 25 years ago but they kept the bubble lights.

    It's all fun. I am enthusiastic about decorating once it's too late. The owls and ivory colored balls with glitzy pine cones were my favorite.

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    1. I feel the same way about once it's too late. It was like pulling teeth to decorate before Christmas when everything was so busy; now it's a joy. Since I've got that 12th night church choir party on the 10th, I just did a little more decorating and enjoyed it. Who cares if we have Christmas decorations up until Valentines Day?

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  11. I am a late-to-decorate, late-to-take-down person, too. Ben's birthday is in the middle of December, so I try not to let even my modest amount of Christmas decor impinge on his birthday celebration. I love those outstanding wreaths, too, but I only have one door and it seems as though every year someone asks me to buy a green wreath as a fundraiser...done!

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    1. You can always hang wreaths on interior doors... just sayin'.

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  12. Now I'm perturbed at myself for chastising my late mother for once keeping the Christmas tree up until Valentine's Day. (In my defense, it was a fire waiting to happen.) I was utterly unaware of Candlemas. I admit that, prodded by a friend, I did sneak a peak at an after-Christmas sale on holiday decorations but, as I already have more ornaments have I have room to store, even after clearing some out last year, I resisted. When your house has neither a basement nor much of an attic (and the garage is your husband's personal domain), you have to be selective. Still, I'm thinking when it comes time to decorate next year, I'll just pull up your December posts as a tutorial.

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    1. We saw some pretty spectacular decorating ideas at all of those nurseries didn't we? Since we have both a basement and large attic, there's space to store seasonal things. Someday, we may move out of this big old house and then there will be lots of re homing of stuff!

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  13. I am a "put your gifts away because the tree is coming down kinda girl) we undecorated as soon as all of the guests were gone on Christmas Day. I love to start the new year with everything all cleaned up. We bring out lots and lots of candles after Christmas is put away and we have bright happy cozy evenings throughout the rest of winter. Nice to read garden books and get cozy by firelight. Happy New Year

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  14. My decorations went up right after Thanksgiving. they will come down after New Years day. A month is probably long enough. I am not tired of them yet, though.

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  15. Wow, what stunning displays! I need to keep this in mind for next year and take some inspiration from it. Beautiful.

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  16. Lots of beautiful trees and other decorations. Christmas in my family is pretty low-key. Since I've moved around so much, I haven't even bothered with decorations the last few years. Although, when the little oranges start showing up in stores, orange peel roses start showing up around my house. I like to take the peel off in one long strip, and it seems a shame not to do something with it afterward.

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  17. Wow, what beautiful displays these places put together. My favorite is the junque-too-box-succulent-masterpiece.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.