The Flowers of Christmas

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Now that I’ve arrived to visit my parents, the Christmas decorating has begun in earnest! One of my favourite traditions is going to the flower shops with my mom and stocking up on flowers and foliage to fill the house. Don’t you just love fresh flowers around the holidays? It’s that extra special touch that brings the decor to life. These tiny boxwood trees have such personality…and planting them in teacups is just too charming!

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Paperwhites are a classic this time of year, made even more stunning here in
these tall glass cylinders. And I don’t usually go for red and green decorations—
but two dozen white tulips might convince me otherwise!

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Winterberry branches have an imposing presence when massed in footed glass urns, while
similarly hued amaryllis adorn the table below. If I had a dining room like this, I’d hold Dickens
inspired Christmas costume parties…we’d sing carols, play charades and dine on hot spiced
rum and figgy pudding.

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The poor poinsettia has gotten such a bad reputation over the years. Indeed they’re overused,
but I admit to having a soft spot for them anyway—especially when applied simply and sparingly
to brighten an otherwise neutral interior.

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Here’s that tiny tree idea again, this time in a more rustic take on the theme with paper wrapping and cut-out snowflake trim. Isn’t it nice to see the same idea reinterpreted for different styles?

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I’ve always been fascinated with topiaries. This arrangement seems like it would be spectacularly easy, too! Just a cone of floral foam, a big armful of carnations, and some strategically placed glass balls. I may just have to give this a try…

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Tell me: do you decorate with fresh flowers around the holidays?

Image Credits: Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Inside Out Magazine Christmas 2008, Martha Stewart (okay, so I basically just mined Martha’s treasure trove for this post…but can you blame me?)

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38 Responses to “The Flowers of Christmas”

  1. c Says:

    i too, love poinsettias, even just using some of the flowers. i also got a teeny tiny tree, a european-stlye christmas tree, have you ever heard of these? it’s the sweetest little thing ever, i’d never heard of one before… glad to hear you made it ‘home’ and now i’m sure it feels like the holidays for you! enjoy and i look forward to seeing more… x c

  2. Betsy Says:

    Someday when I have disposable income I will fill the house w/ garland and flowers…I love the boxwood (?) garland. Leafy instead of piney and it looks good for a long time.

  3. cupcakesandcashmere.com Says:

    i want to live in each one of these rooms. not only do they all look beautiful (i love the one with the miniature trees on the mantle), but i bet they smell wonderful!

  4. cupcakesandcashmere.com Says:

    i want to live in each one of these rooms. not only do they all look beautiful (i love the one with the miniature trees on the mantle), but i bet they smell wonderful!

  5. stephanie Says:

    These are so beautiful and inspiring – I think taking the essence of holiday ideas – a touch of red and green, for example – is a lovely thing.
    And those paperwhites are making me contemplate an excursion to the nursery this afternoon!

  6. please sir Says:

    OH so pretty – love these holiday examples. If only I can get my apartment to look that way…

  7. rachel Says:

    grr…. was my last comment lost?? Typepad sent me to a site asking me to sign in….
    Anyways, back to your post…. these pictures are so beautiful!!
    I love the idea for the paperwhites – I hate when the get tall and flop over. And the poinsetta “trees” are cool too!
    Great ideas and pretty pictures!
    Oh, and I posted a pic of my coffee table!

  8. Leigh Pennebaker Says:

    I’m LOVIN’ the paperwhites. SO beautiful.

  9. 180/360 Says:

    I’d love to try to shape some boxwood into trees.

  10. 180/360 Says:

    I’d love to try to shape some boxwood into trees.

  11. dolce chic Says:

    Such beautiful trees…especially the one in the second photo!
    Hope you’re having a wonderful time in Toronto!

  12. dolce chic Says:

    Such beautiful trees…especially the one in the second photo!
    Hope you’re having a wonderful time in Toronto!

  13. Lecia Says:

    Beautiful images! We do decorate with fresh flowers…tulips, winterberries, ilex….

  14. Lecia Says:

    Beautiful images! We do decorate with fresh flowers…tulips, winterberries, ilex….

  15. Liz@VioletPosy Says:

    Great minds think alike, I’m just about to write a floral Christmas post. Love the images you used, the green mini trees are adorable and stylish!
    Have a fabulous time in Toronto πŸ™‚

  16. Liz@VioletPosy Says:

    Great minds think alike, I’m just about to write a floral Christmas post. Love the images you used, the green mini trees are adorable and stylish!
    Have a fabulous time in Toronto πŸ™‚

  17. Joanna Says:

    I adore paperwhites and the light green wall and fireplace and greenery draped over it. Gorg.

  18. Luphia Says:

    all of them are so beautiful! the winterberry branches are so festive!

  19. blair Says:

    What a great idea for a post. Glad you are home safely and enjoying holiday decorating. I go home on Saturday to Chicago and cannot wait to do the same. I love paperwhites and what a splendid idea to put them in those large glass cylinders.

  20. Megan Says:

    Great photos! My mom just brought home a gigantic poinsettia today. We’ll usually decorate with 2 of them on the mantle then one on the dining room table. Such a festive flower for this time of year!

  21. Tina Says:

    fresh flowers and foilage bring life in my home in the dead of winter. it’s a weekly splurge for me.

  22. Tina Says:

    fresh flowers and foilage bring life in my home in the dead of winter. it’s a weekly splurge for me.

  23. Paloma of La Dolce Vita Says:

    These images are all so gorgeous! I can’t pick a favorite. I love them all!

  24. Paloma of La Dolce Vita Says:

    These images are all so gorgeous! I can’t pick a favorite. I love them all!

  25. Georgia Says:

    i adore that fireplace display in picture 3!
    fresh flowers are a great idea! i have the lovliest floral shop down the street called MUM. i think i’ll take a gander over there to see what they’ve got.
    have fun decorating!

  26. Georgia Says:

    i adore that fireplace display in picture 3!
    fresh flowers are a great idea! i have the lovliest floral shop down the street called MUM. i think i’ll take a gander over there to see what they’ve got.
    have fun decorating!

  27. Miss Aimee Says:

    all beautiful! I have seen that upside down tea cup light before and just LOVE that! I want one in my girls room! So fun. Have a great time with your parents!!! Merry Christmas!

  28. Miss Aimee Says:

    all beautiful! I have seen that upside down tea cup light before and just LOVE that! I want one in my girls room! So fun. Have a great time with your parents!!! Merry Christmas!

  29. milly Says:

    oh the bay leaf wreaths are my favorite!!

  30. milly Says:

    oh the bay leaf wreaths are my favorite!!

  31. christina Says:

    Anne, you always amaze me. I absolutely LOVE all those ideas. I especially adore planting tiny trees in teacups. So sweet.
    And I always decorate with fresh flowers around the holidays. It’s a must.

  32. Courtney Says:

    Those are all absolutely gorgeous. Nothing beats having fresh flowers in your decor! Paperwhites are so perfectly classic for the holidays, and I think poinsettia have gotten a bad wrap too- I actually really like a single poinsettia bloom in a vase.

  33. flowershopdeals.com Says:

    These pictures are so elegant and inspiring. My fireplace mantle is adorned by silk poinsettias and a christmas reef in the ceneter. I think I’ll make a trip to the flower shop to add some fresh flowers. Great Post!

  34. shill Says:

    seriously, coming here is forever inspirational anne!!!all so pretty…

  35. mary jo Says:

    This is just the most insanely great round-up! Love that carnation tree. If I have the energy on Monday, maybe I will stop by the flower market and give this a try…will let you know if I do–thanks for the inspiration!

  36. Joy Says:

    Love the redware & those 3 trees – simple & inviting! One day I will have enough money to buy more than the barest necessities.. until then, I’ll live through & dream with wonderful posts like this!

  37. lovelymorning Says:

    you are making me need a mantle for decorating, bad.

  38. Tobi Fairley Says:

    The room with the paperwhites is too die for! I am crazy about green and this sophistocated layering of color is so subtle yet so dramatic! Love, Love, Love it!! And the French Settee is fab too! Tobi

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