Wreath of the Day – Don’t Forget Hanukkah

We love celebrating all the winter holidays, and we do many “non-specific” wreaths with a winter theme, or a gilded look, but some of our most successful stress the blue and silver of Hanukkah.  The work below symbolizes the holiday of lights very well.


Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm – Bradley Estate Holly Daze Open House

Saturday and Sundays at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, Massachusetts feature the Bradley Estate Holly Daze Open Houses with each room of the Estate decorated on a seasonal garden theme with family-oriented holiday music and games, hot drinks and festive cookies. Music by local youth and adult artists, and decorations by area garden club members and scout groups. Members of The Trustees of Reservations $5, nonmembers $10, children free. For more information call 508-636-4693 x 5003, or email bradley@thetrustees.org.


Wreath of the Day – Carnival Glass

We store some of our leftover supplies from year to year at our storage unit in Brighton – primarily extra ribbon, wire, tools, easels, tables, and picks. For a while, we had an oversupply of glass balls in a variety of hues. Glass balls can be useful when a shot of color is needed in a wreath, but because we are mostly known for our natural decorations, we use them sparingly.  A buying moratorium was called on glass balls in 2017, which we complied with until we spotted the new carnival glass balls, and also an iridescent peridot color which we felt we couldn’t live without.  Once again we stored our extra glass ornaments, but we are happy to continue exploring new materials in our designs.  Below is a wreath which incorporated the carnival glass balls in a design for a customer who will hang the wreath on her Victorian home.


Wednesday, December 27, 10:00 am, 12:30 pm, and 3:00 pm – Owls of the World – Who’s Watching You?

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster presents its annual Owls of the World event on Wednesday, December 27 at three times, 10, 12:30, and 3. Have you ever seen an owl up close? Join naturalist Marcia Wilson and photographer Mark Wilson as they introduce you to live owls of New England and beyond…including the Great Horned Owl, the Snowy Owl and the Eurasian Eagle Owl. The owls you will see, due to injury or mishap, are unable to survive in the wild. Learn about their field marks and natural history. Everyone is treated to a hooting lesson, as well as tips on attracting and protecting the owls near you. $15 at the door, online $10 for Museum members, $12 for nonmembers. Photo from www.eyesonowls.com. Reservations are required at http://www.ccmnh.org/Events/Owls-of-the-World-2017


Wreath of the Day – Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

During wreath making, we cut ribbon, we cut wire, we cut branches, we trim dried materials – we clip and snip at a furious pace, and by the end of the week our tools are dull and pitted. This season, wonderful neighbors Jim and Jennifer Hill, who own the fabulous KitchenWares by Blackstones store at 215 Newbury Street, played Santa and delivered over gift certificates for free sharpening. Because our tools were in storage and not accessible until just before we started, we decided to take advantage of this kindness at the end of the week, so that next year we will begin the season with the sharpest tools available.  We encourage you to visit https://www.kitchenwaresboston.com/ or, if you stop in for holiday shopping, take a moment to thank them for their generosity. Their sister store is Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill, another spot we highly recommend. The wreath pictured below, with its abundance of lotus pods, pine cones, milkweed and peony pods, and other more exotic dried materials, would not be possible without good clippers.


Friday, December 22, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 7:00 pm – Sparkle!

Sparkle! Enjoy Blithewold’s marshmallow-roasting-Christmas-carol-singing-cocoa-sipping-strolling-through-the-twinkling-garden-paths-fun-for-the-whole-family event at the Gardens located at 101 Ferry Road in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Free Hot Cocoa. S’mores kits are 1 for $2, and 3 for $5 (a part of the proceeds benefits the Boy Scouts). Carol-singing around the fire performances at 6 and 7 pm.

The beautifully illuminated Gardens and lavishly decorated Mansion are fragile and can suffer from too many visitors. This year they’ve set up 3 Sparkle sessions at 5 pm, 6 pm and 7 pm that will help us better control the flow of traffic and help preserve the House and Grounds.

Pre-registration is required:
Member Adult $2
Member Child (3 years and older) $1
Member Family (2 Adults and 2 Kids) $5
Non-Member Adult $16
Non-Member Child (3 years and older) $3
Non-Member Family (2 Adults and 2 Kids) $36

Please select your arrival time during registration. Admission to the Mansion is included. To register call 401-253-2707, or visit https://www.blithewold.org/sparkle-an-outdoor-family-event/


Wreath of the Day – Trouble in Tahiti

Our volunteers are the backbone of this project, and when one of our volunteers goes AWOL, we are not amused. This year Maureen O’Hara, a star delivery coordinator, salesperson, and site manager, was given the opportunity to go to Tahiti during wreath week.  What is the world coming to? In honor of her trip (which we hope never ever happens again in December) we showcase an orchid-filled chartreuse wreath which to us symbolizes a tropical holiday.


Monday, June 11 – Sunday, June 17 – Seattle: Public & Private Gardens In and Around the Emerald City

Join Pacific Horticulture on June 11 – 17 in the Emerald City where our local contact, Greg Graves, has organized an extraordinary collection of exclusive private garden visits. From our base at the boutique Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle we’ll make day trips to neighboring islands, including Bainbridge where we’ll tour Bloedel Reserve, one of the finest gardens in the nation (image below from www.highcountrygardens.com). A day visiting gardens east of Seattle includes the Bellevue Botanical Garden; another day we’ll head south to the legendary Old Goat Farm for dinner and a nursery tour. Back in the city, we’ll visit the remarkable exhibits and gardens at Chihuly Garden & Glass. This tour will be escorted by former PHS board member Greg Graves. Don’t miss this special opportunity to get beyond the garden gate with one of Seattle’s most well-connected horticulturist.

Registration for this tour is now open. For complete itinerary details and information about booking this trip click on http://www.sterlingtoursltd.com/Seattle2018.html


Wreath of the Day – Flower Exchange Moves to Chelsea

One thing is certain during wreath week – we run out of supplies. No matter how organized we try to be, there will be some item – picks for attaching, white pine boughs for augmenting – that must be acquired, and in the past, running down to Albany Street wasn’t a big deal.  When the Boston Flower Exchange left the city to establish new headquarters in Chelsea, however, that quick errand became a 45 minute drive in heavy traffic. Co-chair Margaret Pokorny is to be commended for minimizing the need to make the trek, but she still found herself on the road on a number of occasions this past week. The wreath below shows some of the varied greens we use in our wreaths, much of which comes from our friend Pat Riccardi at the Boston Flower Exchange.


Monday, April 9 – Monday, April 16 – Imperial Gardens of China

Hidden Treasures Tours presents a spring tour of the Imperial Gardens of China on April 9 – 16, 2018.  Arrive in Beijing, then tour the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, followed by a visit to the Summer Palace. You will see Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, take a full day excursion to Chengde-Imperial Summer Mountain Resort, and then fly to Shanghai. While there, you will tour the 16th century Yu Yuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum, and enjoy a full day in Suzhou Gardens before flying home.  The land coast is $1,895 per person based on double occupancy, with a $450 single supplement. Visa cost is $175.  Your tour guide will  be Mary Kroening, the founder of Hidden Treasures Tours. For complete information go to http://hiddentreasurestours.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/GARDENS-OF-CHINA-2018.pdf