Go for the greens

November 21, 1997

Go for the greens


Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and the December holiday season will be here soon.

You want your decorations to be as homemade as Mom's apple pie. It may not be too late.

Troy Gifft recently demonstrated flower arranging and created doable holiday decorations at the annual Crossroads Garden Club Greens Show at Women's Club in Hagerstown. He made holiday decorating look easy, and that's just what you need at this busy time of year.

Autumn arrangements

Gifft, who studied floral design at Washington County Career Studies Center, created a fall-colored arrangement in a small pumpkin "vase" that wouldn't take much space on a table full of Thanksgiving favorites.


* To make the arrangement, wash, hollow and seed a pumpkin. Cut a piece of oasis to fit inside, leaving almost an inch protruding above the edge of the pumpkin. Use floral pins - wooden spikes about three inches long - to anchor the pumpkin lid to the pumpkin at a jaunty angle.

Gifft used Diamond Baker, a sturdy, shiny fern, with stems freshly cut to about three and a half inches, stuck in the oasis around the rim of the pumpkin. He filled in with yellow, "Butterscotch" - a brick and gold colored variety, and ivory chrysanthemums, using smaller buds up higher.

When all the flowers were in place, Gifft gave the pumpkin a light coat of shining spray, which also can be used on houseplants.

* A peck-sized basket had a tall, small-blossomed sunflower at its center, and was filled with a loose array of fine, airy ferns and yellow and white chrysanthemums. Purple statice scattered among the lighter-colored flowers stood out brightly. Gifft said both the fern and statice dry beautifully.

"You don't need a lot of chemicals to dry flowers," he said.

He hangs all kinds of flowers to dry on a rod behind his work table in his Hagerstown flower and gift shop, TG Designs, which opened in May. Co-owners Gifft and Todd Gossert donate a portion of each sale to a local charity of the customer's choice.

Greens for the holidays

* With a combination of artificial and natural components, Gifft created an elegant swag.

To make the swag, pull silk magnolia leaves and white and burgundy blossoms from a ready-made swag, and place them - with the magic of hot glue - on a length of silk evergreen. Dried plants - Dusty Miller, coxcomb, roses and German statice - can be placed along the garland, and the piece can be accented with a yard of gold wire ribbon.

* Gifft took a round, silk wreath and gently shaped it into an oval.

The wreath is made with gold wire ribbon, wrapped around a branch at the bottom, creating little looped "humps" along the right side. Gifft hot glued silk magnolia leaves and blossoms and an assortment of dried plants inside the loops.

For the bow, use a five-and-a-half-yard length of the gold wire ribbon - leaving a yard and a half for the bow's tail. Loop it, securing it with a pipe cleaner and fasten it at the wreath's left side.

Add a few bunches of artificial grapes, and finish the creation with a delicate accent of gold and glitter aerosol sprays.

For about 10 years, Gifft and Gossert have opened their Hagerstown home - formerly on Medway Road - at Christmastime, sharing their decorating talents and love of the season.

TG Designs Holiday Showcase started Thursday and will continue today, Saturday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. at their new home at 13526 Pennsylvania Ave., at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Maugans avenues.

More than 30 trees will be on display, thousands of lights, candles, snow all set up in a festive holiday display.

TG Designs will run a shuttle service from the shop to the home display. Park vehicles at TG Designs, 19231 Longmeadow Road. The TG Designs shuttle van will run continually.

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