Master Gardeners will teach you to fashion holiday masterpieces from materials found in your own backyard! While this workshop is FREE, space is limited so you must pre-register at your preferred library location.
Join Bedford Extension Master Gardeners and Bedford Public Libraries for
HOMEMADE HOLIDAYS, A CENTERPIECE DESIGN EVENT!
- Forest (540-425-7002) Saturday, November 4th @11:00 AM
- Big Island (540-425-7000) Monday, November 6th@2:00 PM
- Montvale (540-425-7006) Tuesday, November 7th@ 5:30PM
- Stewartsville (540-425-7008) Tuesday, November 14th @5:30 PM
- Moneta (540-425-7004) Thursday, November 16th @5:30 PM
- Bedford (540-586-8911) Saturday, November 18th @11:00 AM
PLANTING FOR HOLIDAY GREENERY
Decorating the home inside and out with holiday greenery is a time-honored tradition both here in the South and across the nation. Evergreens, prized for their rich green color, brought a reminder of eternal life and the return of spring. Druid, Celt, Norse and Roman civilizations used them for Winter Solstice and Saturnalia celebrations. German and English settlers cut cedar, fir, and spruce for their traditional Christmas trees and decorated them with berries, dried fruits, and other natural plant material found close by. The never ending circle of the wreath was considered a symbol of eternal life, strength, victory, and honor and was fashioned from a variety of local plant cuttings. Evergreen boughs cut for swags, garlands, and centerpieces are longlasting, fragrant, and can be dressed up with magnolia, holly, ivy, and mountain laurel to name just a few of our southern favorites. Sprigs of Lavender, Rosemary, and Bay along with driedfruits, flowers, and seed pods can be tucked in for interest in our modern day decorations.
One of the best places to look for holiday greenery is your own backyard. Often those holiday favorites are right under your nose. Firs, Cedar, Holly, Magnolia, Boxwood, Pine, Juniper, and Mountain Laurel are commonly found in our local landscapes. Arborvitae, Gold Mop and Leyland Cypresses, Nandina, Winterberry, Sumac, Red Twig Dogwood, and Rhododendron are great trees and shrubs with attractive foliage and grow well in our area. Interesting seed pods, grass and flower heads, pine cones, moss, and Sweet Gum balls are often right there for the taking and will add much to your holiday creations. Prune carefully when you take your cuttings so as to preserve the plant’s natural form.
Since Fall is the best time to plant those trees, shrubs, and perennials, take a fresh look at your landscaping or lack thereof and add some of these favorites. They will add interest to your yard and provide shelter and food for our birds and native wildlife. Be sure to pay attention to sun, moisture, and soil requirements to make sure your plants do well in their new homes. For information on planting, check out VCE’s Tree and Shrub Planting Guidelines at https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-295/430-295.html Also, Boxwood Blight has been detected in our area so be careful if you intend to use any cuttings from this shrub. Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/PPWS/PPWS-29/PPWS-29-pdf.pdf
By Sue Becker, Bedford Extension Master Gardener