I will never give up my Central Oregon residency of my own volition. Although I must admit to having seasonal envy when I make my fall pilgrimage to Minneapolis each year.
This year the visit was different. I traveled two weeks earlier, leaving in late September which made a difference in the leaf coloration. It was getting a good start when I left. It rained a lot, which put the damper on enjoying warm fall days outdoors. I'm not complaining. The purpose of the trip was family time, not to collect colorful leaves to press or to toast marshmallows at the fire pit.
What I did miss was coming home filled to overflowing with fall/winter landscaping inspiration. It was too early for the local creative juices to start flowing.
In Minneapolis from my observations over the years, has been that once the pumpkin stands open the containers of petunias are tossed and the fall décor takes over. It's not just pumpkins and cornstalks but beautiful arrangements of locally sources dried materials. It is an assortment of branches with berries, dried seed pods, grasses and greenery. As soon as Thanksgiving is over the containers seem to magically morph into a winter theme with maybe just a dab of Christmas embellishments that can be removed after Christmas.
Materials that are still in good condition are retained and the container freshened with the addition of a variety of pine boughs and branches. My favorites are the containers that add the white birch "logs" that are approximately 3-4 inches in diameter and in various lengths.
I have often wondered why we don't carry through with seasonal front door containers. We do a fabulous job of creating summer color spots, maybe we should give a try at something to catch the eye during the winter. BUT PLEASE, NO PLASTIC POINSETTIAS OR GREENERY.
Remember a few years ago when wrapping yarn around public objects was popular? Why not wrap colorful yarn around cut branches for a color spot in a container of juniper branches.
I looked around my yard today and started making a list. So far I have some up with Oregon Grape, blue spruce, juniper rabbit brush, dried weed seed heads, branches of sage brush and ponderosa pine. You just need a few branches of different varieties, not enough to do any damage to your prized landscaping plants.
Check the blog site on Dec. 7 for pictures and hopefully be inspired to celebrate winter with color.
Have you wondered about "Winter Tree Care"? Tune in the Gardening: Get Good at It segment Tues November 26 at 9 am on KPOV-The Point 88.9 FM.