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A Winter Garden + Best of the Web


The temperatures upstate dipped below 10 degrees this week, so I’m ready for a weekend full of warm and cozy everything. I’ve been dragging in wood for the fire and bringing down all the wool blankets so we can rest up and stay warm. I’ve got a boatload of work to finish before our holiday break, but before I dive back into to-do lists for the next few hours, I’m letting myself soak in the beauty that is this amazing winter floral arrangement (with mushrooms!) that Anna from Swallows & Damsons created for us. If you want a creative way to dress up your mantel, entryway or dining table, check out the full how-to after the jump! Until Monday, have a safe and restful weekend! xo, grace

Photos by India Hobson



I love these woven shopping baskets, via Remodelista.

Jess’ Crafty Gift Guide is full of fun DIY ideas and tools, via OhJoy!

Joy the Baker’s recipe for Sweet Potato Waffles looks delicious.

This retro-style wall hanging at The Jungalow is a fun alternative to traditional holiday decor.

I love Man Repeller’s look at how magazine covers got more inclusive this year. (There’s still a long way to go, of course.)

Jewel-box colored rooms at One Kings Lane are a great dose of color.


Must-Reads: Solidarity Sundays (entertaining for a good cause), The Beauty of Self-Care: Lesson 10 – Detachment

Home Tours + Decorating: A Cheerful, Creative Home in Kansas City, MO, In Philadelphia, a Victorian Home With An Urban Farm, Storytelling Through Drawing in a Philadelphia Row Home, A West Chelsea, NYC Jewelry Designer Treasures Home Most of All, 15 Rooms That Unabashedly Celebrate Bold Color, A Vintage-Filled Home in Greenville, SC Designed To Feel Like a Retreat, A 1920s Home Built with Charming Architectural Details

DIY Projects: DIY Oversized Cross Stitch Wall Art



There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep—then they appear. -Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter 

Magical winter, when the land is bare and toes are frozen. When outings outdoors are brief and purposeful and the air smells of pine, cinnamon and spice. My Imagination thrives when my resources are limited. The last rose stubbornly holding on in the garden, uncovering lichen branches from under a hard frost or unexpected berries fruiting when all else is bare. I feel more grateful for each humble branch, expanding my repertoire to include anything that’s on offer, moss, feathers, fungi and dead bracken.

A winter garden arrangement is to play with these gatherings, a tiny frozen world where mini beasts or mythical creatures might dwell.  When I was a child my Mother used to give me a tray covered in icing sugar and I’d use my miniature farm houses, animals, sticks and leaves to create a magical snowy wonderland. I’m reinventing it for Christmas this year in floral form, hoping to keep the mystery and imagination alive. -Anna of Swallows & Damsons

Photos by India Hobson


-‘Beatrice’ roses


Step 1. Choose a shallow dish or trough. I opted for a long concrete planter that would fit nicely down the centre of a table. Place a sausage of scrunched chicken wire cut to size in the vessel and secure with strong tape. Fill your container with water.

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Step 2. Cover most of the chicken wire with moss, using wires bent into hair pins and poke into the moss to secure.

Step 3. Greening up. Start adding the tallest branches/stems of foliage in a line down the centre of the mossed base. Stagger the heights as you might expect to find growing naturally outside. Bring in slightly shorter stems at each end and a few towards the front.

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Step 4. Choose a delicate flower to follow the lines you have already created with the foliage. I began by using hellebores to weave in between the branches making sure that each stem is poked right through the moss so that it reaches the water in the container.

Step 5. Before the arrangement gets landed with the more extroverted flowers, add the Fungi to the base of the arrangement. I simply use a sturdy wire pushed slightly into the mushroom and then poke into the moss.

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Step 6. At this stage it should be clear where any gaps are so I use the bigger headed statement flowers to fill in space. I stagger the roses in one area and then place slipper orchids on the other side to balance them out. I find it more effective to group the flowers like this, rather than spreading them evenly throughout the arrangement.

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Step 7. Lastly I balance colors and shapes by adding smaller headed flowers and succulents. More hellebores, ranunculus and astrantia are dotted throughout the arrangement. I wire a tiny succulent in the same way as the mushrooms and add this also to the moss base.

And so I created a tiny seasonal garden with the most curious flowers and fungi that winter has to offer. Whose leaves and stems are ‘a little shy and a little rum’ so much so that I think I might just hide here amongst them until Christmas.

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via Design*Sponge