Saturday, Jul 23, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Kelly Heidbreder

Decorations found in the produce aisle

If you're looking for a spectacular last-minute centerpiece for tomorrow's Christmas dinner or New Year's Eve, you might be looking in the wrong place. You may be able to find the main elements in the produce section of your supermarket. Your holiday table will have Williamsburg flair.

The pineapple, the symbol of hospitality, is an essential ingredient of Williamsburg Christmas style. And don't forget the citrus. The colors of bright yellow lemons, green limes, and oranges will also brighten a holiday decoration.

Get some poinsettia bracts, hot red-pepper berries, red pomegranates, dried pods, and a few colorful feathers to add even more bright colors. Nuts, stalks of wheat, and dried flowers from your garden can add a beautiful gold color to your arrangement.

All of the ingredients you are gathering are signs of abundance. Sharing abundance is said to bring even more, so your holiday decorations will be a good-luck charm for all who receive them. Get a little fancy and add some pineapple to the hostess gift if you are going to a holiday party in the next few days.

The abundant evergreen boughs will make the framework or base of your arrangement or swag. Your favorite florist may have fresh winter greens to complement your fruit. Fragrant cedar, boxwood, and glossy leaves such as magnolia and holly will really make the colorful fruit shine.

Wrap your evergreen stems on a wire frame and secure them in place with wire. This creates a canvas for your arrangement. Next, add a layer of complementary greens such as cedar or juniper. If you are making a centerpiece, be sure to pick a container that will hold water. Fill it with floral foam soaked in water, then add the evergreen branches. You can also use a holiday basket lined with plastic. Securely tape a wet block of floral foam in the center.

Once the green base is finished, it is time to add the fruit. As you decorate your Williamsburg-style wreath, remember that they are usually symmetrical.

Use a fresh pineapple as the center of a table arrangement, adding limes around the bottom. Alternate red and green apples around the wreath and decorate with a natural raffia bow.

For another Williamsburg-style centerpiece, start with a pineapple. Stick three picks into the bottom of a pineapple, then push the picks into the floral foam. The picks will keep the fruit in place. Medium-weight wire will also hold it tight. Tuck more winter greens around the base of the pineapple, then decorate the base with three small green apples and three larger red apples. Use the picks to keep everything in place. Finish it off with a bright bow and you are ready to share abundance with everyone you know.

Five yellow apples can become an arch over your front door, but getting apples to stay in place on your holiday wreath can be tricky . Look for heavy-duty green floral picks at the craft store. The pick has a small wire attached, so you can spear the fruit with one end, then use the wire to attach it to the wreath. Swags and arrangements decorated with fruit can be heavy, so be sure to secure them tightly to your home.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at:

kheidbreder@theblade.com

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