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It's time to go green

Tips for making festive holiday centerpieces

Tips for making festive holiday centerpieces

November 08, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

Holiday centerpieces can brighten up a room or become a conversation piece at parties.

If you've got a little Martha Stewart in you, you can create your own centerpiece. It's not as difficult as you might think, and you can use items around the house if you're trying to cut back on new decor purchases this holiday season.

At this year's Crossroads Garden Club Greens Show at the Women's Club in Hagerstown, Denny Warrenfeltz, co-owner of Roostervane Gardens in Funkstown, will show how to create holiday floral designs with holiday carol themes. The show is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16.

Warrenfeltz recently demonstrated how to create two centerpieces, which can be seen at www.herald-mail.com. One piece he created from scratch featured an angel so it could tie into carols such as "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" or "Angels We Have Heard on High."

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He used oregonia, otherwise known as variegated boxwood, to create a tree shape for one piece. English, American or Korean boxwood also could be used - though, he added, English boxwood has a strong odor that some people might object to.

Floral shops and crafts stores will have many of the needed materials. However with the economy lagging and people looking to cut costs, Warrenfeltz says people can find many materials around their homes.

Use holiday ornaments to decorate your greens display, whether you place the ornament in the greens or set it by the base.

For fresh greens, check with your friends to see what you can share from each other's yards.

Even herbs can be used for greens. Warrenfeltz suggests using a mix of fresh herbs to provide a variety of textures, such as rosemary, sage, oregano and lavender. You also can use dried flowers from your garden such as yarrow, tansy, or hydrangea.

More tips from Warrenfeltz:

Start by soaking a block of floral foam in water and placing it in an inexpensive cereal bowl. Tape the foam firmly to the bowl so it won't come loose. Poke flower stems or other floral elements into the foam. Once you've finished the arrangement, place the bowl inside a nice flowerpot or decorative container.

To water your arrangement, gently pull the greens at the top apart - like parting hair - and let water run down the center from the top so it streams toward the floral foam. If you spray water on the arrangement or water it from the side, the water might discolor, mildew or disintegrate some of the decorations.

Water the arrangement every couple days, depending on the room temperature. The drier it is, the more often the arrangement will need to be watered. If the dcor is all fruits and greens, you can mist it occasionally to keep it fresh.

Silk flowers are cheaper than fresh flowers. To make an arrangement last longer, fresh flowers can be replaced with silk flowers of the same variety once they start to wilt.

Use floral picks - green-colored, specialized, wooden skewers - can help hold decorations in place. Some floral picks come with wire attached; tie small ornaments or pine cones to the pick using the wire, then stick the pick in the floral foam.

Make your arrangement work for multiple holidays by switching up the embellishments. Gourds, pumpkins and ears of corn can be used for fall decor, then replace them with Christmas ornaments.

You don't have to fill in the shape of the arrangement entirely with your basic greens. Fill in gaps with dcor you add, whether it's an ornament, fruit or flower like baby's breath. Baby's breath will dry in place so its stem doesn't have to go into the floral foam.

If you go

WHAT: Greens Show, a fundraiser sponsored by Crossroads Garden Club

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16

WHERE: Women's Club auditorium, 31 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown.

COST: $10

MORE: Holiday floral design program by Denny Warrenfeltz of Roostervane Gardens. Refreshments and door prizes. Raffle of filled gift baskets.

Proceeds will be used to maintain the club's Federal-period gardens, provide fresh flowers that club members use to help nursing home residents create floral arrangements for their rooms, and fund donations the club makes to groups such as the Nature Conservancy and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said Mary Anne Kamas, greens show chairwoman.

CONTACT: Reservations required; call 301-739-0870 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays.

Online video

Watch Denny Warrenfeltz create two floral holiday centerpieces.

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