Making it Meaningful

Making it Meaningful

How is your December going? Ours is passing by in a blur of greens, wire, ribbon, laughter, carols, cookies, and flowers. The past week was filled with all kinds of custom orders. This gives us so much pleasure. Making special things for customers that we have formed a relationship with over the years brings home just how special this little organic business is.
A giant, handmade wreath, made with love for a special customer

From giant, handmade wreaths to custom swags, to grapevine creations with vines the crew pulled from my own yard, to grave pillows stuffed with greens and berries I harvested myself, it all adds up to such a meaningful endeavor.

I said to Leslie “Why don’t you make a wreath with starfish?” and this is what she did. Gorgeous!

AND, we are having so much fun. With many designers, all with different talents and styles, the creations we are showcasing this December are simply stunning. 

Our new designer Leslie made this awesome vine wrapped wreath
Succulents and greens in a wall basket with eucalyptus? We can do that. A handmade boxwood wreath that exactly fits on your door? No problem. A fragrant, full Fraser fir wreath handwrapped with grapevines, adorned with white pine cones and pods? You got it. How about a terrarium for someone who loves nature? Oh yes, we have plenty to choose some, but would be thrilled to customize one for you. 
 
I just put up my Christmas tree on Sunday and she is a real beauty! The whole house smells wonderful, the lights are on, my cat Buddy has found his spot in his basket below the tree, and this week I will slowly, ever so slowly, add the ornaments. At Natureworks we still have CT grown trees and they are full, fragrant, and really high quality. We even have some REALLY big trees- the nicest and grandest Fraser firs you have ever seen. If you want a long lasting tree, grown and pruned with great care here in CT, and twirled with joy and enthusiasm right here at Natureworks, come in this week!
Amber made this perfect boxwood wreath by hand. The blue star bow, cones and berries offer an elegant look.

Houseplants? Succulents? Unusual colors of poinsettias? We’ve got them and we would LOVE to combine them with the right container, macrame hanger, or basket for gift giving. Diane picked up an entire van load of succulents and air plants late last week and my talented staff has been “playing with them” for days. You benefit!

 

With Christmas less than two weeks away, we are starting to get in long lasting
flowers to mix in with our greens for indoor arrangements. This is a really fun time of the season, when our creative juices swing into high gear. We keep the flowers in our cool greenhouse, and sprinkle them into the teeny, tiny arrangements, faux bois log planters, fireside baskets, and tablescaping arrangements. Think variegated Safari Sunset protea, blue thistle, dark burgundy red miniature carnations, white star of Bethlehem, all colors of Hypericum berries, sweetly fragrant wax flowers…you get the picture. We gladly take orders for parties, centerpieces, and gift giving. If you have a special container that you want filled, feel free to bring it in. The shop is full of arrangements ready made and we continue to make them fresh daily. The little ones are super popular as grab bag gifts!
 
As we draw closer to Christmas, we start thinking about bringing cut green indoors-

Here is a fanciful example of how to combine greens and fresh flowers. Japanese umbrella pine, blue spruce, blue sea holly (Eryngium) are embellished with dried milkweed pods. Because this arrangement is in water, it will last a REALLY long time…

decking the halls with boughs of holly, placing mantle roping above the fireplace, draping greens from the chandelier over the dining room table. Remember, if your greens are in water (in a vase, in floral foam) they can be brought indoors anytime and, as long as you keep them moist, will last for weeks and weeks. But when you simply place greens about your home out of water, they won’t last as long. Lots of folks ask me what lasts the longest and what doesn’t shed. Boxwood, holly, and umbrella pine are my top three. Let us help you figure out how to “rig it up” so that the look you want is as long lasting as possible. 

 
This Thursday night on Facebook Live at 4 pm I will be demonstrating various ways to make table arrangements of greens and fresh flowers for different situations in your home. I am especially excited to show you how I make my mantle roping arrangements, something that only happens the last two weeks before Christmas. 
This is a handmade wreath containing many different textures and colors of evergreens.

The greenhouse is where the magic happens when it comes to making wreaths, roping, and arrangements. It is also where we display all of our ribbons. Even though I have demonstrated bow making a bunch of times in my videos, most folks simply pick out their ribbons and say “can you please make the bows for me?” Of course! We only charge for the ribbon (by the yard) and will happily make any bows that you want. Do you want to overlay two ribbons together? No problem? The greenhouse also contains all of the berries, baubles, dried flowers, cones, and pods that we use in our designs as well as many of the containers. 

We have porch pots in every size and shape. Check out the silver Allium pods that we added for a bit of “bling”! If you haven’t filled your porch pots yet, you are in luck. The weather will warm up this weekend and the soil will defrost- don’t miss this window of opportunity. We have fresh cut greens galore to make it happen.
One of the nicest ways to add meaning to the holidays is to give a gift that enriches someone’s life for well past Christmas. As you know, we raised over 1000 monarch butterflies this year. So many folks were interested in learning to do it, and we held

lots of training classes. If you know someone who would love to learn to do this, why not give them a gift of a raising box, our “bible” How to Raise Monarch Butterflies by Carol Pasternak, and some milkweed seeds. We actually have quite a few excellent books on butterflies in stock. Another excellent book on the subject that we highly recommend is The Monarch-Saving our Most Loved Butterfly by Kylee Baumle.

 
At Natureworks, we feel that giving someone the gift of knowledge, helping them to create a healthy, vibrant ecosystem in their yard, no matter how small, is a gift that will grow and grow. Perhaps you can inspire someone to start growing their own food, or fresh herbs. Imagine getting a raised bed kit for Christmas? What possibilities that offers for years to come. Another good way to encourage a healthy yard is to help our pollinators. We have mason bee houses, the special little book all about them, as well as the wonderful book Feed the Bees. Did you know that our native mason bees start flying in March? They fly when it is much colder than Eastern European honeybees. It is recommended that you put the houses out early, before Natureworks opens on the first day of spring. Let us help you put together a gift package that will be an inspiration to recipients both young and old.
Give the gift of a healthy, organic ecosystem by encouraging our native mason bees. We have many styles. This one is for kids–it’s a build it yourself insect hotel! 

So don’t buy into the stress of this time of year. Enjoy every frosty morning, every sunny day, every pink sunset with bare trees silhouetted in the distance. Shop locally. You will find this philosophy takes the edge off, allowing you to slow down and really experience the gifts that the merchants in your community have to offer. We all put our heart and soul into making it special for you. Natureworks is open for two more magical Thursday evenings till 7 pm and we will have the wine and cheese out for you when you stop in. Whether you are looking for natural home decor, a sweet little terrarium, houseplants and succulents for your newly launched young adult, local honey, fun ornaments, bulbs for the winter windowsill, we’ve got it. We can’t wait to help you put together gifts that are thoughtful, meaningful, beautiful, and totally different from anything you would ever find in a mall or a big box store.

 
Stop in this week. I look forward to seeing you…
 
 
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