Holiday Decor

December 3, 2012 | Sherry

While Alex was in Toronto checking out the One of a Kind show my thoughts turned toward the upcoming holiday season. Each year around the beginning of December I like to make my family's abode festive and cheerful. It's a challenge to brighten up our home, coming up with a little something new or a twist on an old favorite each year. I  get a lot of inspiration strolling through Marders, the Bridgehampton, NY nursery.  I  don't like to have to store too many items or spend a great deal of time hauling stuff out of the closet and basement only to return them several weeks later. Collecting plants and things found in nature keep things simpler.

 The flowering Amaryllis is a winter perennial and I like to have lots of the bright flowers on tables, the mantle, in the guest room and in the kitchen. There is nothing like a shot of red to enliven any interior, particularly when the skies are dark at 5pm. This year, what I have seen and like a lot, is the bare bulb placed in a tall glass vase. I have colored stones at the bottom which hide the roots and add color and interest. This eliminates the need for dirt; a tall vase keeps the long flowering stems from snapping off when in full blossom and looks clean and modern. And the best part is that you can do it yourself fairly inexpensively.

Select a glass vase narrow enough to keep the amaryllis bulb in the neck or use a forcing vase. Fill the bottom of the vase with water. Place the bulb in the vase, making sure the water just touches to bottom of the bulb. Here you can add bright stones or gravel or even sand. If the bulb already has some root and top growth move the vase into a bright room, but keep it out of direct light.  If you don't like red you can find many other colors available. The bulbs will bloom in four to six weeks and can blossom for weeks. Have fun with the project. You can be creative with the containers and the "fillers".

Below are some sources and ideas for creating your own arrangements:

Bulb in a cylinder vase with green glass rounds in bottom

Bulb in a cylinder vase with green glass rounds in bottom

Example of  a forcing vase.

Example of  a forcing vase.