Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | November 17, 2013

Greens and Holly

Yesterday I took the whole day off for my 63rd birthday. I watched a Anna  Karenina DVD, took it easy, read and then Gene and I took Sassy for a run at one of our favorite spots, Wau-kee-nea, part of the South West Michigan’s Land Preserve. We splurged and ate a sandwich at Crane’s Orchards and watched the sun go down for a glorious sunset. My real birthday dinner, with family, is this coming Sunday.

Berries medium close use

I filled our vintage copper boiler with greens and Winterberry Holly.

Today my dear hubby and I drove into the Allegan Forest to cut greens and more Winterberry Holly. I decided to take advantage of what might be the last pleasant day weather-wise to cut, collect and decorate – the outside of our house that is.

Sassy on turck bed w greens

Our dog Sassy, “watching out” on the tailgate with greens behind her.

It’s really early for me to even be thinking about “Christmassy” decorations but for some reason it just felt right. Also deer hunting season starts soon and we don’t dare go into the woods during that!

White pine on bench

White Pine branches sit waiting on a garden bench.

We cut Juniper branches, White Pine branches and more Wintergreen Holly. Here’s what I did with them.

Berries in cart use

Our garden cart holds the berries until I can get the containers designed.

House from 109thgreens and berries

Our house with wooden whiskey barrels at the end of the brick planting boxes.

Whiskey barrel corner filled

A close-up of the whiskey barrels filled with green and berries that add a touch of holiday cheer to our driveway and a surprise to all who drive by.

We also worked in the garden again…and again and….still… Gene sucked leaves out of the beds using the trusty electrical sucker blower and I hauled and dumped compost from 12 5-gallon buckets to top dress perennials after the leaves were gone. And I sprinkle some grass seed on the empty soil areas where we lost or cut down dying trees. Hubby was supposed to do that last fall, but he never got to it.

We are in a race to beat the Michigan snow that usually starts any day now. Then most of our outdoor chores come to an end for this year.

Free at last!

Small House / Big Sky Donna



  1. My grandmother used to cut out doughnut shaped wreaths of cardboard and wrap them with string. She would then take cedar and stick it into the string to create a lovely green wreaths and add red berried holly and other red berried plants and colored ornaments. The smell of the cedar was always Christmas to me as she cover her mantels the same way. I miss that. We use an artificial tree for convenience sake. It is much different.

  2. The original DYI! When I was cutting the greens I inhaled the smell of juniper and white pine….so fresh! Thanks for visiting, reading and commenting!

  3. I Have a garden cart just like your and it is full of bittersweet like you until I can trim in for use.
    Smiles, Cyndi

  4. Hope you had a wonderful birthday, best wishes for the coming year! Love the winterberries!

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