This past Saturday morning my sister and I headed up to the Holly Jolly Market in Otsego, MN. The market is held in a greenhouse so not only are there really fab vintage holiday goodies (and trust me, if you are local you shouldn’t be missing this one each year), but they also sell spruce tips and other evergreens at great prices. I bought a dozen spruce tips for $21.99 plus a few random greens for $5.99 per bunch.
If you’ll remember back, last year I didn’t manage to get my front window box decorated for winter. We were on our Adriatic cruise for two weeks in November and when we got back on the day after Thanksgiving the dirt was frozen rock hard so I just decided to skip it.
This year I was determined to get on it early, before the dirt was too frozen to work with. I really thought November 9 would be early enough. Nope. The dirt was already partially frozen. So I followed a tip one of my readers shared with me and I poured hot water on it to thaw it out a bit. It worked like a charm and I was able to get those spruce tips sunk into the dirt.
While at the Holly Jolly Market I was admiring some deep red dried hydrangeas in one of the booths, so I asked the vendor how she managed to retain that rich color. Her trick? Spray paint. As soon as she said it, I remembered that a couple of years ago one of my readers also recommended spray painting my dried hydrangeas.
Funny enough, in addition to red, the vendor also had some sprayed some with the Rust-Oleum color called Eden which just happens to be the same color I used on my Adirondack chairs, remember?
So when I got home from the market I dug into my spray paint stash and came up with a red, and the left over Eden from the chairs.
While we were at the market it was a beautiful, sunny morning and the temperature was above freezing. The forecast wasn’t great though. It was supposed to start raining by 3 pm, then turn over into a wintry mix. The temps were predicted to start going down and keep going down with a high only in the teens Fahrenheit expected by Monday.
I knew I needed to get the window box done that afternoon or my dirt would be even more frozen. By the time I got to the spray painting step it was drizzling and getting colder by the minute. So if you’ve ever wondered if you can spray paint dried flowers that are wet with rain, in temps just above freezing … well, turns out you sure can.
In fact, it created a kind of cool effect, don’t you think? Although I don’t suggest trying this on furniture 😉 I also don’t suggest doing this while wearing your favorite new parka, especially if you accidentally shake a wet and freshly painted blossom 😦
I’m quite sure that my neighbors thought I was nuts standing out in the rain cutting flowers off my hydrangea bush, holding them up and hitting them with the spray paint.
But it was definitely worth it in the end. I got most of the spots off my parka, and the hydrangeas look fantastic.
Once I had the spruce tips, the hydrangeas and some twig lights in place, I added this giant jingle bell that my sister gave me a couple of years ago.
Things still looked a little bare, so I threw in three galvanized snowflakes that I’ve had for years.
They have battery operated lights in them and I always used to hang them on either the house or the carriage house, but honestly they always looked a little odd at night. If all you can see are the lights, well … they just look like a random collection of oddly placed lights.
By the time I got to this point I was soaked through, starting to get cold, and it was starting to get dark so I called it quits for now.
I think I still need to add some twigs with red berries or something to add another layer of color up high. I may have to take a walk in the woods and see what I can find for that.
But in the meantime, I’m feeling pretty good about filling up my giant front window box for less than $40.
How about you, are you rushing to get some outdoor decorating done before the temps plummet even further? Or are you lucky enough to live in a warmer climate where you can decorate outdoors at your leisure?