Mrs. E.’s grandmother used to make her own swags and garlands out of boxwood clippings. Our four remaining plants wouldn’t yield so much as a bouquet garni. Mrs. E.’s grandmother, on the other hand, had a hundred or so very old boxwood planted to form a maze in the lower garden. I imagine the only trick to making garland was having enough wire on hand to handle the haul.
The trick when using artificial greens is to include real flora with them. Especially when the faux stuff will be in the near vicinity of a live Christmas tree.
In the absence of a significant cache of boxwood, I turned to our local Historical Society for an answer. Not about what was historically accurate; they have a number of Magnolia trees that shed prodigiously and are trimmed regularly. My two armloads didn’t make a dent. There they are, tucked in amongst the plastic pine needles and my favourite style Christmas ornaments. Our tree is under the arch, decorated with childhood ornaments, the annual offering from The White House Collection and a homemade tree skirt.
I can almost hear Bing Crosby now….