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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


      Showing posts with label holiday gifts. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label holiday gifts. Show all posts

      Tuesday, December 10, 2013

      THE WOODS IN NEW YORK CITY

      Greens and lichen from the woods of New Hampshire, schlepped to New York City after a Thanksgiving visit to Jen & Mark Hopkins in Canterbury. Jen and I cut arbivitae, pine, spruce, fir and princess pine from her back forty. I wrap short cuttings onto a sturdy 12" frame with thin wire, aiming for a wild look.
      Back in my Manhattan living room, I invert a low green bowl on my glass coffee table
       and lay the wreath over the bowl. Don't tell me how uneven it is. I like it that way.
      After placement, I insert a few loose cones, lichen and pieces of thin birch bark among the greens.
      Sure you can add a big fat candle to the center, keeping it well away from the greens, but next week I'll show you my favorite design. 

      Wednesday, December 15, 2010

      Baby, it's cold outside.


      Yeah, yeah, it's cold. Everytime someone complains to me about the weather I remind them that I'm the one who works outdoors. That's a conversation stopper. Because I do this for a living, I know how to bundle up. Layers galore. And this year I have a secret weapon: a truffle.

      "What's that?" you ask. It's short for butt ruffle and it keeps one particular part of the body nice and toasty.



      Bending over, mulching someone's back yard garden, rear end pointed up in the air, unprotected by your jacket? Wear a truffle.

      Reaching above your head, attaching evergreen garlands to doorways and railings, creating an exposure gap between jackets and pants? You need a truffle.

      Maybe just walking around NYC where the wind has no mercy? A truffle is good for what ails you.

      Knitting is a popular sport these days, but it isn't one of mine. Fortunately, friend Sara (creator of the truffle and fellow gardener) knows me well enough to choose the perfect wool for yours truly: green, brown, and no itchy wool!

      Half shawl, half wrap-around skirt, the truffle is a gardener's dream. I expect to wear it daily between now and next April.


      There are still 10 days till Christmas. Get out your knitting needles and make your favorite gardener happy. Keep her butt warm!

      Monday, December 21, 2009

      PRUNING EVERGREENS

      all photos©Alan & Linda Detrick, Ellen Spector Platt design.

      A firm believer in the value of lazy gardening, I prune conifers only as I need them for decoration or for mulch. As I cut for wreath, garland or mantelpiece, I shape the shrub thereby skipping the step of dragging trimmings on the compost pile. Here I've combined fresh greens with home-made snowmen for a winter theme.
      What You NeedTo make the snow men you'll need tube socks (a pack from a street vendor provide more than enough), uncooked rice (buy the cheapest kind), rubber bands, orange pipe cleaners, small cones, fabric glue or hot glue gun, assorted buttons and narrow ribbons.What You Do
      Pour the rice into the sock, leaving about four inches empty at the top. Close and secure with a rubber band. Turn down the cuff to hide the rubber band, forming a little hat. Tie a piece of ribbon at the neck and another one at the waist.
      Glue a cone at the top of the hat, small buttons for eyes and down the front. Cut a piece of pipe cleaner, poke it into the sock and glue in place.
      To make different size snowmen, cut off part of the top before filling.Start decorating the mantel with greens. To make greens stay fresh much longer, fill some containers with wet floral foam and stick in the stems. Add other large cones, pieces of bark and bare twigs, whatever you can come up with.
      Place the snowmen and maybe some candles. IF USING CANDLES KEEP THEM WELL AWAY FROM ALL OTHER MATERIALS TO PREVENT FIRE. IN THESE 2D IMAGES IT'S HARD TO SEE, BUT THERE'S A GOOD SEPARATION BETWEEN THE FLAME AND OTHER STUFF!!!!Happy and merry to everyone.


      Monday, November 30, 2009

      shameless self-promotion


      It's the time of year when people look for gift suggestions, and Shirley Bovshow at www.GardenWorldReport.com has recorded a show featuring several garden writers (including yours truly), each with a garden related gift idea.

      For those of you who don't know my life's story, my first career was on Broadway. I still love to sing, and recorded a CD of (mostly) show tunes about flowers and plants. Shirley was kind enough to include my CD Green Up Time on her show and asked me to assemble a slide show to accompany the music. I collected 20 images that fit the green-up theme, then scrambled to record a video intro on Mike's cell phone! (Be kind, I need to work on my video skills.)

      I hope you like the music, and if you decide it would be the perfect gift for the gardener on your list, please feel free to order from my website.

      Watch live streaming video from gardenworldreport at livestream.com

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