Create your own boxwood tree
"You'll be surprised, it lasts a lot longer than you keep your holiday decorations up," said Alice Beaudreau, floral designer at Mount Williams Greenhouse at 1090 State Road, where recently guests were able to take a class on how to make the traditional mini trees.
With a few basic items and a little bit of patience — and about a pound of the sturdy, woody boxwood branches, which you can get at any local florist — Beaudreau says you can bring nature back to your tablescape.
"You just have to start slow," she says of the process (when asked how long it takes her to create one of these adorable mini trees she says "about 15 minutes, but I've been doing this for 35 years."). She suggests giving yourself about an hour.
"It's really like a topiary," she says. "The boxwood takes shape really well."
To make sure you're happy with the final shape of the tree, she suggests working on a raised Lazy Susan so you see every angle. Once you've made the tree, Beaudreau suggests decorating it with other natural decorations, such as pine cones, berries and raffia. Or, you could go the more traditional route with small 9-mm ornamental balls and battery-operated lighting.
Keep your creation fresh by misting it with water every day, or just adding a few drops to the base. An added bonus to this holiday decoration: The leaves wont fall off as time goes on, they'll just change color, according to Beaudreau.
Make your own
What you'll need:
Dish to hold the tree (can be a floral dish, metal pot, clay pot or Beaudreau suggests a family heirloom dish)
Pre-soaked Oasis floral foam (purchase at local florist or craft store)
Boxwood branches (about 1 pound)
Decorations such as ribbon, pine cones, berries and small battery-operated lights
How to make it:
1.) Take a rectangle Oasis floral foam and shave the top of one end to make it look like a cone — this will create your tree shape. Pre-soak the foam once you've shaped it.
2.) Put the foam in your chosen dish, with the shaved tip of the "tree" pointing up. Use the floral tape to wrap around the foam and the dish so the foam will stay put in the dish without moving around.
3.) Starting from the top, begin putting boxwood branches into the foam. You can snap off the boxwood branches by hand as you begin constructing the tree.
4.) As you work your way down the tree foam, remember to insert the branches at a slight angle, with the branch pointing up toward the top of the tree. This will give your tree a more natural shape.
5.) Once you get about a quarter of the way down, switch to the bottom of your tree to fill in the base before finishing the middle of the tree.
6.) When all the boxwood is used to fill in the tree, check all sides of it to make sure the shape looks right and adjust by adding or subtracting branches
7.) Decorate the tree with ribbons, flowers, pine cones of your choice.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.