Mixed Emotions

December 22, 2021

While I hate the coming of the first day of Winter, I do love what follows. Today marks the day of the year with the least amount of daylight…the Winter Solstice. Good news is that tomorrow will be another story. From this point on, each day will have an increased amount of daylight leading us directly to Spring. And, that my friends is worth celebrating. Tradition would have us festooning the place with evergreens, lighting candles in doors and building a roaring fire outdoors and gathering together to embrace hope within the darkness. A good idea once again while the newest Covid variant threatens to squash our holiday plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the top:

A simple votive candle placed in a bubbled glass vase casts a magnified and magical glow.

If you are lucky enough to find my absolute favorites, white tulips, buy them. There is nothing else like them to draw our thoughts to Spring. White Fringed and Parrot varieties are particularly special.

I do not need an excuse like the Winter Solstice to stoke up a bonfire, but it doesn’t hurt.

You might take a modern turn at using a supermarket Poinsettia as a cut flower. White for the Solstice would be my choice.  Photo: Gardenista

A hearty warming dish like this Farro Porcini Risotto Comes together quickly and would be a fitting addition to the celebration. I added a little shortcut to this already simple recipe from Martha Stewart, https://www.marthastewart.com/312975/farro-and-porcini-risotto, by using 1/2 jar of  Trader Joe’s Pesto Alla Genovese with the parsley and toasted walnuts and an additional splash of olive oil.

Doing appropriate double duty, this white Helebore variety will play nicely with your other seasonal decorations before being planted outdoors to grace the garden with the season’s first blooms next year.

The perfect finish to any Winter gathering might just be a classic Brandy Stinger… equal parts Brandy and white Creme de Menthe. In this case, on the rocks. Cheers!

except where noted all photos: gp

 

 

Out of the Dark

December 20, 2017

And, slowly moving into the light. The Winter Solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight and the official start of Winter. A depressing thought to be sure until the realization hits that from this point forward we gain a bit of extra daylight each day until Spring. While the ancients celebrated by decking the halls in evergreens and building roaring fires, us moderns might go for a little candlelight and white flowers, a simple reminder of the Spring to come. White tulips of any variety are my favorites on this, my most favorite day of the year, but anything white will do. Forced Paperwhite bulbs or bracts of cut white Poinsettias displayed in simple glass vases will be welcome additions that will last right through Christmas.

 

 

Paperwhite and Ponsettia photos via https://www.gardenista.com/posts/poinsettias-rethinking-traditional-christmas-flower/

Top three photos: gp

Ducks in a Row

December 6, 2014

I’m not quite ready to start decorating for the holidays but it’s the perfect time to get those ducks in a row. While I generally sort and display my vintage ornaments by color, I always play them against white flowers…preferably white tulips of any variety. The time is now to get them ordered and start setting out the white Amaryllis and Paperwhites if I want them in bloom for Christmas or New Years Eve. I might even add to my collection of ornaments this great box of assorted miniatures from Terrain. The colors are amazing… and, any random combination of 9 creates for you a great vintage modern Christmas palette. Picture it…LA in the sixties… a big ‘ol flocked tree in cotton candy pink or peacock dressed in any of the combinations found in this little box of magic. Maybe use one box as is on the coffee table as an accessory, or even a group of them running down the Christmas dinner table for a mod Christmas interpretation. A lot of simplequietmodern fun for a 20 dollar bill.

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 Photos of balls by Terrain and available here: http://www.shopterrain.com/holiday-tree-ornaments/miniature-bulb-set  Tulip and vintage ornament photos: gp