Monday, December 7, 2015

Oh, Christmas (Boxwood) Tree

Fresh boxwood tree topiaries, made here at Blooming Hill during the Topiary and Tea Workshop, ready for decorating.
Our "official" Christmas tree, decked out in the living room and looking very  magical and "fairy-ish"  in the early evening light of December.
It's Christmas tree season and all sorts of pine boughs, holly berry sprigs and other types evergreen branches are being transformed into some kind of holiday decoration for front doors, tabletops and fireplace mantels all across America.

Getting set for the outdoor portion of the workshop and tea
Since it is the season to be jolly, we also, thought we'd get in on the "bring the outdoors, inside movement" to Blooming Hill and go beyond lavender (because we are more than just one dimensional, you know) with a Topiary and Tea Workshop this past weekend, in honor of jingle bells, sugar plums, hot cocoa and caroling.
P. Lorenz, on a mission to cut enough fresh boxwood, a few weeks ago, at our friend, Charlotte's, charming historic home.  Boxwood, planted by her mother long ago, line up along the front and sides of the house as well as in the backyard, creating outdoor rooms painted in leafy emerald green all year long.  However, at this time of the year, the boxwood is especially beautiful. We collected tubs upon tubs of boxwood for our 'Topiary and Tea' event, then took them back to Blooming Hill to give the boxwood enough time to soak up as much water as the branches could hold, in order to prolong their suppleness and freshness. Peter seemed right in his element pruning the boxwood.  Given free reign, I think he would still be there cutting and reshaping it.

The day was sunny, easy, breezy and beautiful, just like these cover girls who dressed for the lovely December weather.
Everyone can use some sort of holiday tree to "green up" their family room and what could be more appropriate than a fresh boxwood tree topiary to make, take and enjoy at home?  So, we put the word out and lots of our friends came to take part in the festivities. We had a wonderful time helping them create their own little piece of whimsical holiday greenery that even Santa included on his own "must-have" list.

Working hard, or hardly working but having fun--all the same while creating the perfect boxwood tree.
You guessed it.  No one is really listening to his instructions on how to build the perfect tree.  Yet, he persevered and when some trees were "finished" they really weren't until P.Lorenz applied his own pruning signature to them--whether it was with a scissors or a hedge sheerer.  I was a little worried he might just go for the electric clippers but there was no need as each tree turned out beautifully, with or without his stamp of approval!
The day was all sunshine and lollipops, rainbows and and cheeriness, full of friends making new friends while exercising their Christmas creativity.   Boxwood clippings seemed to be everywhere, being transformed into conical shapes coiffed in red and green ribbons, glittered balls and silver and gold trimmings.  The fresh air of early winter and bright sunshine, mixed together, completed this outdoor party before we all went inside for cranberry orange scones smothered in Devon cream, star anise cookies with sugary lavender icing, dark chocolate truffles and lavender-infused ice cream all topped off with our own blend of piping hot citrus and lavender herbal tea to relax chilled fingertips and warm tired toes.  John Denver used to sing of a "Rocky Mountain High."  Well, we boast of a "Blooming Hill High," sugar-coated in our own kind of sweet treat happiness with a view of the Blue Ridge out our back door.

Holiday "Au natural" greenery artists at work
A few of our guests who beat the topiary rush into the "tea room" enjoyed their own peaceful moment and quiet conversation along with their tea and scones.
A Yule Log burned brightly in the fireplace while our life-sized Christmas tree played host to our guests and glowed with colorful ornaments and glittery lights in our cozy living room turned festive tea room.  For at least a little while, our guests forget their lists of "things to do" and "places to be" and shared with each other Christmas stories of past, present and future, all in the spirit of the season with holiday music floating above the tables.

Making boxwood trees was so much fun, we think we will do it again!  If you missed it, you may want to put it on your "must-do" list for next year.  We know we'll be here and hope you will be, too!
After it was all over and our guests had taken their boxwood masterpieces home, Peter and I sat down to make a couple more trees and, of course, Tucker the boss supervised, as usual.  Happy Holidays and enjoy your festive greens and trees, whatever they are made of and however, they are decorated.

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