Monday, April 1, 2013

Grace Your Door With Spring Blossoms

Blooming Branches
Take a few simple cuttings and bring Spring inside

Are you ecstatic when our Spring landscape of trees and shrubs starts to bloom with bursts of color? Spring is the perfect moment to collect cuttings to create Sping-time displays in your home. Last year, Country Gardens editor, James Bagget, asked me to do just that. I used vintage watering cans as vessels for all of the arrangements showcased in the current 2013, Spring issue of Better Homes and Gardens' Country Gardens magazine. I kept the arrangements simple by focusing on the beauty of single blooms.
Photo: Michael Partenio
I loved creating this idea: gracing front doors with decorative vintage watering cans and blooming pear. You too will find vintage, metal watering cans irresistible, especially when they have a painted patina. 

If you have a door knocker or a large nail on your door, this is very easy to make: If your watering can measures 10" in diameter, you will need between 8-10 yards of rope (1/4" hemp available at most local hardware stores).
1- Start at the very front and bottom of your watering can: hold the first 12" of your rope flat  and upright against the can front.
2- Now, while covering this first 12" to secure in place, wrap and layer the rest of the rope around the bottom 5 times (while winding upward) to make a wide band.
3- Finish by bringing ends together in front and knot, leaving long decorative ends.
4- Wrap rope around the side handle in the same manner while leaving excess rope for hanging.  Now wrap the other end of rope around the nozzle ending with a tie to hold in place. Place the can on the door. Then add water along with 1, 2 or 3 branches.  The weight of the water will keep the can in place.

Forcing Branches
You can cut  a several branches from your tree or shrub at any time once the branches have buds. You will have more success the further along the buds are. The closer they are to opening, the sooner they will bloom for you. After you remove each branch from a shrub, use a shape knife to cut the bottom of the stem on a diagonal. To speed up the blooming process, place the branches in warm water and then before a sunny window.

Look for more great garden and floral decorating tips and ideas in the Spring 2013 issue of Country Gardens Magazine!

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