Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back Yard Inspiration

This weekend, Todd and I went to a candlelight Christmas historical reenactment at Ashtabula, a South Carolina plantation built in 1790.  I found it hard to pay attention to the actors, however.  I was transfixed by the use of magnolia leaves as Christmas foliage.  Of course!  It didn't occur to me because I'm new to South Carolina and am unused to the flora here, but naturally you would take inspiration from your back yard and use whatever greenery you had there.  In South Carolina, you've got magnolias.  Bingo!

Inspired, I returned home and cut several branches from one of our big magnolia trees, with a few sprigs of local berries.  I arranged them on an antique wooden box with a few red IKEA accents.  I am very pleased with the result!

We've got this flat-leaf fir tree in the back yard, too.

I cut a few branches, with more berries...

...and tucked them into the old wooden window frame I've got propped up over our main fireplace mantle.

We've got a bank of windows overlooking the back yard in the living room, but they've been looking awfully empty and bare...not very festive. 

I took a closer look at the mahonia shrubs in the yard.  They're invasive and must be cut down soon, but their branches look an awful lot like holly.

See the pointy leaves?

It's close enough for me!  I very carefully cut an armful of branches, pricking my fingers countless times.  Those tips are needle-sharp!  It was worth the effort, though.  I tied the branches together with red ribbon and then strung them up in the empty windows.

I love them!

They're so festive...and inexpensive!  I love bringing the outside in!

I bought a few things, too.  Little rosemary topiaries, cut to look like Christmas trees!  I cut some fabric to tie around the base and put it on the mantle with the rest of the Christmas decorations.

It needs some red, but I'll get there!  It joins my little vintage-y cushions.  Joy:

And Noel:

The mantle needs work...more color, less brown.  But, for having just completed a move, I am pretty pleased with it!

It looks just lovely lit:

I've added the Christmas stocking from my childhood, with engraved ornaments for every year from birth to age 8.  I've also added lots of cheerful fabric.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  ;)

I still have some autumn decorations up.  I brought in a big bough from outside, and set it up on a cabinet with some pumpkins.  Instant fall!

I bought this large shallow leaf dish from Kohl's.  Original price $50, but I got it for $18 + free shipping on Cyber Monday!

I put it in the living room and it's a perfect fit.

I love seasonal decorating!

On a final note...I know I've mentioned this before, but I still cannot believe I have a pack of wild turkeys that visits every afternoon between 3 and 6 p.m.

This is just a few of the pack.  They're quite a multitude...and they're HUGE!

Wild turkeys...can you believe it? 

Just now, too, a huge flock of Canadian geese, honking loudly, circled over the pond and then splashed down noisily.  There's always a new natural delight here.  I can't wait to see what spring brings!

I hope you have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. I love the little sprigs hanging in the windows. That is very festive!