Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Winter Decorating with Road Kill

Winter Decorating with Road Kill, decorating Winter Pots

Hello fellow readers,

Busted! My buddy Paulette from Blairstown caught me picking up road kill the other day. My philosophy is, if you can’t find all that you need in your own digs there’s nothing wrong with a little roadside cleanup. Road kill is Paulette’s witty description of wintry finds such as the white pine branches she caught me with. She went on to share another spot where downed branches could be scarfed up that she had already pilfered from. Glad to know I’m not the only one, but please no pilfering on other’s properties without permission. That’s a tongue twister!

It’s fun to add a festive wintery touch to your window boxes and outdoor pots which will carry you through to spring. They are one of my favorite potted gardens to prepare. It reminds me of going on a scavenger hunt as a kid plus the plant material is free. Adding greenery to your inside holiday décor is lovely too.

White Pine mixed with Spruce or Hemlock branches serve as a perfect first layer for your pots or window boxes. If you have open wire boxes like mine you can use ornamental grasses cut from your garden or the loose moss on rocks that looks like a bad toupee to create a nest on which to nestle the branches. While not the optimum time for pruning, I save part of the task to use berry laden holly as my next layer. Harvest and arrange other finds such as dried hydrangea flowers, butterfly bush branches with intense new growth that look like star-bursts, clippings from your barberry with berries and anything else that tickles your fancy. Its true hydrangea flowers were scarce this year due to last winter’s one-two punch, so pine cones are also a good choice. Or if you wish to add some glam, there are nifty outdoor ornaments you can use that look like the shiny glass Christmas tree balls from way back when. Pretty.

Getting back to your road side finds. Yesterday Ellie kept sniffing my branches as we walked home and it occurred to me perhaps another canine had marked them as his own. Note to self, road kill may be best used as outside decorations only.

Garden Dilemmas ask Mary Stone, Stone Associates, New Jersey Landscape Designer, Winter Window Box Decorating

Decorating with Road Kill

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Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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