In A Vase On Monday – Holiday Welcome


Time to deck the halls, fa-la-la-la! By tradition, I decorate the front porch using the same containers every year, usually the week following Thanksgiving. There is only so much one can do with holiday evergreens, but I try to vary the ribbons and added decorations. img_6460

Above is the basket that hangs under the porch light to the left of the front door. I used dried Annabelle hydrangea flowers (H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’) for the base and stuck in sprigs of Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘Blue Princess’). Faux poinsettia bracts and a red cardinal complete the arrangement.

img_6463To the right of the front door, I place a wooden bucket filled with white pine, Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), ‘Blue Princess’ holly and winterberries (Ilex verticillata), finished with holly-themed ribbon.


img_6461Below is a little curiosity that I picked up at Trader Joe’s this weekend, an amaryllis bulb encased in wax and set in a coiled wire stand. According to the tag, it is maintenance free and will bloom without having to be watered. The only thing I have to do is turn it periodically, so it will grow evenly. What will they think of next? My spouse predicts it will get top heavy and topple, so it may have to go into a pot at some point. Time will tell.img_6457

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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85 Responses to In A Vase On Monday – Holiday Welcome

  1. louise237 says:

    Nice Christmas ambiance. Red makes the difference.

  2. Widdershins says:

    Very festive 😀 … but that poor bulb 😦

  3. Utterly Appealing pieces of Art in your Garden. Your hands make Magic.

  4. Christina says:

    A lovely Christmas welcome to your home, beautiful. I’m equally intrigued and mystified by the bulb, once it flowers I think it will need some water – you will have to keep us informed!

  5. Love your basket especially the Cardinal perched on top. 🙂

  6. Alice Pratt says:

    The basket & barrel decorations are so pretty! I have Blue Prince and Blue Princess Holly, as well, with lots of berries. Planted them as very tiny bushes almost 30 years ago. The Amaryllis looks like it is dipped in silver! Which color(s) are the flowers going to be?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Alice! Your hollies must be huge by now. I have to prune mine back hard every few years. They didn’t indicate what color the amaryllis would be. The wax coats came in silver, gold and red. Time will tell.

      • Alice Pratt says:

        Hollies are close to the house, so I need to trim them back, often, didn’t know, back then, that they would love where I planted them! Robins devour the berries! Mr Toad must be wondering: ”what is THAT?”

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Mr. Toad is slowly warming up to his new companion! 😉

  7. Cathy says:

    Those really are warm and welcoming displays at your door Eliza! I hope your Amaryllis does flower well for you – it certainly looks striking in its wax coat. Mine are all taking their time this year!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. I was so curious about how the amaryllis would perform, I had to buy it to see. In a way, it is somewhat perverse and speaks of the stereotypical, no-fuss, no-muss American culture.

  8. Anne says:

    Beautiful arrangements and so welcoming!

  9. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Holiday Welcome — Eliza Waters – 307

  10. Cathy says:

    So nice to see some really chunky festive displays – I have done a wreath for our door but am not sure where I could put anything bigger. Green and red always make such a good combination, don’t they? You can buy amaryllis like that in the UK too but I must admit I would not willingly purchase one – so will be interested to watch your adventure instead! Thanks for sharing

  11. Very festive…(Suzanne0

  12. Chloris says:

    Oh you have used a basket too, I love your arrangement, very festive. And what a great idea to have a large bucket of greenery to welcome guests. I might just copy that.

  13. Jewels says:

    Lovely Eliza, so festive! ❤

  14. Kathy Sturr says:

    Beautiful Eliza! One – just one – of the things I miss about Winter up North – filling my window boxes and baskets with greens for the holidays. My winterberry isn’t quite large enough yet to provide berries for arrangements and the birds, and was already stripped before I left. It is one of my favorites in winter arrangements along with birch or lichen-ridden branches. I would have had to pick up that Amaryllis curiosity at Trader Joe’s, too! I may get to one between now and Christmas and you can bet I’ll be looking for it. (wink)

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Kathy. We had an inch of snow this morning, so it adds to the Christmasy feeling. I love when all the tree branches are lined in white.
      Don’t you just love TJs?

  15. Got me in the holiday spirit!

  16. Well done, Eliza. Very pretty.

  17. Kris P says:

    Your basket and bucket are very festive, Eliza. I’ve been seeing those wax-covered Amaryllis bulbs all over but frankly never considered the water issue. You’ll have to show it again when it blooms.

  18. Laurie Graves says:

    My oh my! That top arrangement is a stunner! And you’re right. What will they think of next. Let us know how it progresses and if your husband is right.

  19. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    So festive – love the colours

  20. AmyRose🌹 says:

    You really do have the touch when it comes to arrangements, Eliza! These are so good! Wow! As for that Amaryllis bulb, my 2 sense say it will topple. I know how big they get! 🙂 ❤

  21. Anca Tîrcă says:

    You have made me think I should start making my own Xmas arrangements!Lovely combination of plants!

  22. Wow, fantastically festive. I love real Christmas greenery. Believe it or not, they sell Poinsettia bedding plants here for use outside.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      When my sister lived in FL, I’d send her balsam greens. I still do, though she lives in SC now.
      I’d love to see a bed of pretty pink poinsettias, like the freckled or white edged ones. I bet they’d be quite lovely en masse.

      • What a wonderful sister you are! I have been down here five years and the concept of Poinsettias in the garden is still weird, mine are in baskets like yours.

  23. Alice Pratt says:

    Looks like you have atleast two “stems” on the Amaryllis! It looks like a healthy bulb. I would be so tempted to drizzle some water on the top once in a while. How about: ”An Amaryllis on Monday?” Maybe being “hugged” by the wax, makes them grow? 😍

    • Eliza Waters says:

      I am very curious about the whole thing, I must say. Once it is done blooming, I will ‘dissect’ to find out if there is a sponge or something in the bottom. There must be something, I would think!

  24. So pretty! I love this time of year!

  25. Christy B says:

    I love how you filled the bucket beside the door ~ so pretty! Happy to have just found your blog 🙂 Season’s Greetings!

  26. arlingwoman says:

    Someone gave me an amaryllis one year and I put it in my garden, where, unbelievably, it grew and flowered three years running. Not bad. Beautiful arrangements, as usual! I just created a loose, blowsy wreath from some found white pine branches….

  27. MK says:

    Season is no obstacle to your ability to create a beautiful arrangement. Or in this case, two! You go girl.

  28. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Very festive indeed! Cynical as I like to think I am, visions like yours still elicit glee and a few fa-la-la’s. Wolcom Yole!

  29. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve done a beautiful job fashioning festive containers. I love the use of hydrangea to underpin the hanging basket. I rarely go to Trader Joe’s but happened by there yesterday and saw similar Amaryllis. They also had rows and rows of white hellebores in pots being sold alongside all the poinsettias. Have never seem them sold as a commodity this way, only at garden centers.

  30. That amaryllis in the wax is fascinating – I may have to drop by Trader Joe’s and pick one up!

  31. Lovely festive baskets! If only I had some pine trees. Love the addition of the red cardinal on top too. I can’t wait to see how the amaryllis grows.

  32. Val Boyko says:

    I love the ambience … and can almost smell the pine needles. I was also intrigued about the TJ amaryllis Eliza. Once it blooms is there anything that can be done to preserve it for the following year? xo

  33. rickii says:

    Very festive holiday welcoming committee.

  34. Trail Walker says:

    Love that beautiful basket (the top arrangement). Your post is very inspirational. I’m not particularly gifted in decorating, but definitely appreciate the beauty of what you do. I’m sure I could learn a great deal from your blog.

  35. ladyfi says:

    How gorgeous and festive!

  36. Brenda says:

    That bucket arrangement is beautiful and I imagine it smells like heaven. It also reminds me that I want to plant some holly next year. As for the amaryllis, I will be curious to see how it does, but it looks as if it cannot breathe in all that wax. Poor baby, I’m glad you rescued it.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Brenda. Being outside, and of Fraser fir, it isn’t as scented as balsam would be, which I love. Our inside tree is always balsam for that rich scent!
      Re: the Amaryllis -It did feel like a rescue, for sure!

  37. Heather says:

    So pretty! And for once, I have a similar set-up 🙂 I have some cedar clippings and red berries on my front porch with a few fallen birch branches, and some simple red berry sprays inside. It feels good!

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