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DIY: Christmas Window Boxes

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DIY: Christmas Window Boxes

November 26, 2013

Last week our Novice Gardener, Meredith Swinehart, installed three DIY black window boxes on the front of her San Francisco home. She filled them with plants. But with the holiday season officially underway, she’s ready to decorate for Christmas with the help of our partner The Home Depot.

String lights were a given, as was some seasonal greenery. But as Meredith wandered the nursery aisles at her local The Home Depot store, she found herself drawn to succulents and black plants. At first, she tried to ignore the urge, knowing it was not the traditional holiday look. But when have we been traditional?

Could Meredith create a holiday window box with atypical ingredients? Inspired by the challenge, she set to work.

Photography by Liesa Johannssen. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker’s camera.

Holiday  20  Window  20  Boxes  20  Decorated  20  with  20  Succulents  20  and  20  Cedar  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Meredith couldn’t help but notice that her holiday arrangement appears inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. (The Tim Burton film is her favorite holiday movie.)

Wrapping  20  White  20  Christmas  20  Lights  20  around  20  Birch  20  Tree  20  Branch  40    20  Gardenista

Above: To start, Meredith found some small birch tree logs and wrapped them with Brite Star LED Clear White Battery-Operated Dome Lights; $10.99 for a 20-light set.

Wrapping  20  White  20  Christmas  20  Lights  20  on  20  Manzanita  20  Branch  40    20  Gardenista

Above: She wound three light strings around a manzanita branch.

Wrapping  20  Copper  20  Tape  20  Around  20  Christmas  20  Ornaments  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Meredith loves finding new uses for utilitarian products. To make ornaments, she used Corry’s Slug and Snail Copper Tape; $7.42 for a 15-foot roll. She wrapped the tape around a set of plain Christmas ornaments like those in the Martha Stewart Living 70mm Christmas Ornaments Set; $5.98 for a pack of 18. And voilí : copper Christmas ornaments.

Incense  20  Cedar  20  Boughs  20  in  20  Window  20  Box  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Meredith added boughs of cedar to the mix. The Home Depot sells a variety of Fresh Christmas Wreaths and Garlands, including balsam, pine, and fir. To secure the branches in case of wind, Meredith used Gardener’s Blue Ribbon Sturdy Twists Plant Tie Wire; a 100-foot roll of wire is $2.97.

Window  20  Boxes  20  Decorated  20  for  20  Holidays  20  with  20  Lights  20  and  20  Cedar  20  and  20  Succulents  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Meredith wanted to display the lighted manzanita branch in the center of the three boxes, so she planted drought-tolerant ground cover there: Dwarf St. John’s wort and ‘Silver Carpet’ dymondia margaretae.

Holiday  20  Window  20  Box  20  Painted  20  Black  20  with  20  City  20  Reflection  20  in  20  Window  40    20  Gardenista

Above: She perched the lighted manzanita branch on the ground cover, flanked by succulents and other drought-tolerant plants. (Meredith has accepted that she’s not an over-waterer.)

Holiday  20  Window  20  Boxes  20  with  20  Black  20  and  20  Red  20  Plants  20  and  20  White  20  Lights  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Coprosma ‘Martini Midnight’ instantly reminded Meredith of pomegranate seeds, which remind her of Christmas. The black-purple “flower” in the back is Aeonium ‘Zwartkop,’ a succulent.

Boxwood  20  Decorated  20  with  20  White  20  Christmas  20  Lights  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Meredith wrapped white lights in and around dwarf boxwoods; a variety of Boxwoods are available at The Home Depot. She bought 1-gallon plants for $5.98 apiece.

Holiday  20  Window  20  Boxes  20  Decorated  20  with  20  Cedar  20  and  20  Copper  20  Balls  20  and  20  Succulents  40    20  Gardenista

Above: This bromeliad was too perfect as a Christmas star; Meredith couldn’t resist it. It’s a Dyckia hybrid ‘Arizona’ x ‘Brittle Star’ and is as spiky as it looks; gloves are required here. Meredith likes the simplest pairs, such as G & F Women’s Washable Suede Pigskin Leather Garden Brown Gloves; $12.97 for three.

Decorating  20  Holiday  20  Window  20  Boxes  20  with  20  Cedar  20  and  20  Succulents  40    20  Meredith  20  Swinehart  40    20  Gardenista

Above: Meredith added white dried tallow berries for good measure (their wintry look reminds her of toasted marshmallows).

Three  20  Black  20  Painted  20  Holiday  20  Window  20  Boxes  40    20  Gardenista

Above: The three completed holiday window boxes.

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