Floral Notes: Dreaming of a ‘greens’ Christmas

From the Cazenovia Garden Club

This time of year, the Cazenovia Garden Club members are gathering greens for all of our projects.

We need to fill village store front window boxes for the holidays and assemble centerpieces and baskets for the sale, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Community Room at the Cazenovia Public Library.

Not all greens are green, though. All arrangements, with or without flowers, benefit from a mix of texture, shape and color.

We grow, or scout, in the landscape more than the average spruce and pine.

Colorado blue spruce, in its many forms and mugo pine add that “something more.” Juniper, in its many shapes, long spiny branches of varieties tall or wide come in blue, chartreuse or gold tipped, even purple hued when cold weather comes. The fluffy soft cuttings from ground hugging “Blue Star” introduce another texture.

There are few chamaecyparis that can take the cold of Cazenovia, but the bright yellow tips of “Gold Mop” and “Gold Thread” are solid performers. They are not bothered by my deer, but to grow the arborvitae “Golden Sunshine,” I must have it securely inside the picket fence.

There is seldom grown microbiota or Siberian cypress, lacy ground covering branches that flush a deep cranberry over the green in fall and winter. But give it room - while it is flat, the branches cover a large patch.

Evergreens can also have leaves, not needles, and my favorite is deer-proof Korean boxwood. Without water, it retains its foliage for weeks and this hardier version of southern climes doesn’t have that “di-stink-tive” smell of the latter, if you know what I mean…

Adding in pine cones, pods, dried grasses, flowers and ribbons makes it complete. We are constantly looking for shapes of wild and cultivated plants that will add something special — driving can be hazardous this time of year.

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