Rivercities Garden Club

Meeting 11/5/00



Program Decorating for the Season..... tips from Lily's Garden - 2000 Kaye Reilly

This is my favorite job, I usually put on Christmas music and start to decorate the outside of the house on Thanksgiving. Put yourself in the mood and have fun, be creative . Try to get all the family involved , I like making things for Christmas, it helps to remember the year .


1. Always start with your lights, an 8 foot tree will require 1200 lights. Invest in a good extension cord that goes up the tree and has many outlets. Remember only 3 stands in one outlet or connected end-to end.

Stuff lights into the tree so that the inside of the tree is lit, this gives added depth and lights up your ornaments , in the branches

Always buy extra lights before you start the project. If they don't work , donate them to someone who has nothing to do and start with a fresh set.

2. Remember diamonds and triangles, this helps you to create a pleasing pattern. If you have several types of ornaments divide them into piles work with groups, start hanging, the largest item to the smallest. The same principals you apply to the tree you can apply to other decorations.

3. Try using other material beside balls and beads. Take boughs of fragrant fresh greenery and add them to an artificial tree. Dried material, pods , flowers and vines can be left natural or sprayed and added to the tree.

4.If using fresh material keep well watered and turn down the thermostat. The tree needs to be watered at least every other day.


1. Nothing pulls a house together than if you start with a theme. If you are a collector of Christmas, try using a different theme each year.

2. Williamsburg, Della- Robia (Old World ) and Classic go very well with a Traditional home.

Children love all the Disney characters, and the Toy land theme. The designer look with a fashion tree is very glamorous, an all pink tree with marabou feathers and pink flamingos would definitely be considered a designer look..

3. If you collect American Indian or Oriental , continue decorating for the holiday using these theme's . You need not spend a lot of money buying traditional ready-made , go to where they are selling trees ask for the cut-off limbs and attach them to your treasures with a ribbon..

4. Think of " first- nighters", open with a smash! Curb-side appeal- let them know you have a wonderful holiday house. Open the blinds let them see the warmth and ambience that you worked so hard to achieve.

5. "For Pete's Sake", remove the decorations and the icicle lights after the holiday. Nothing says poor decorator more than Christmas decorations up after the Epiphany. If you want to keep them up all year open a Christmas store.

6. Get rid of all the old plastic garlands and flannel Santa's, Put a fresh look into your decorations each year.

Ribbons and Fresh Greenery - I need not say anymore, they can decorate your whole home

1. Use as much fresh material as you can for a party, nothing looks more expensive. Take a look around your garden, I have Priacanthus, so a natural with that is oranges.

2. Start with your grocery store - fresh cranberries can fill a large glass bowl with a small votive or group of votive's inside. Fresh oranges with cloves , are perfect and can be dried and used as pomanders. Lemons and paper whites are perfect together. Remember to start forcing your bulbs about the first of November, continue placing bulbs to force at a weeks interval. This way you have adequate fresh flowers throughout the season . It takes about 7-8 weeks to force Amaryllis . I plant the bulbs in my garden after the 1st and then when I'm planting my pansy in the fall dig up bulbs to force for the coming season.

3.Fresh poinsettia can be obtained cheaply at your local discount garden center, buy more than one. Fill the house with 7-10, if it isn't freezing outside place outside at night and they will last so much longer.

4. Learn to make a bow that is easy and fast for you. This bow is like your signature, my bow says Kaye Reilly and , is quick and easy to make . Even men can have their identity in bows, remember they are the ones who tie a tie everyday

5. Order a large box of greenery from a supplier add it here and there, tie up the remainder with a bright red velvet bow and give to friend and neighbors (while they are still decorating). The cost is about 35.00 with shipping, this will fill your home and several friends mantle. A box of mixed greens boughs cost $19,50 plus shipping.

American Quality Forest Products - 1-800 774-2473


 Christmas Table

1. We have a tradition in my family of making a necklace for the turkey. Cranberries are strung on dental floss (ribbon) with the help of a large needle. The youngest child gets the necklace in a presentation befitting a crowned royal. This is such a special treat and so easy to make while the turkey is cooking or can be made a week ahead of time and kept in the vegetable drawer.

	I'm always trying to think of clever favors for the table that become keepsakes. I admit I'm drawn to the Victorian , Crackers are great but not as personal as I would like.

	The glass Christmas ball stabilized at the bottom with hot glue and then a sprig of flower added is a perfect example of inexpensive and good taste.

2. You don't need fancy expensive table cloths, you don't need hems. Go to your local fabric store and buy some fabric that matches your decor and buy lots, through around the base of the tree, entwine with the garland on the steps , and cut pieces for the length of the table . Three yard of a new fabric can breath life into those Spode plates.

3. Don't through everything old or broken out, think of it in a different way. Uses for broken balls are as endless as the pieces.

Remember ;

Small ,medium and large, Diamonds and triangles, in order to trick the eye we need to have the color red going all around the room, think of a wave . Don't stop at the front door , continue the decorations in all the public rooms I think there is a stopping point, that is very personal. Good taste, some times gets lost in the candy canes and stockings.


 Shopping List :

6 boxes of lights (100/strand)

Red Velvet Ribbon - 3 different sizes - ½ inch, 1 ½ inch, 3 inch

#20 Florist Wire - use for everything - secure balls to tree (very secure)

pea gravel, small clear plastic containers (cheap)

assorted bulbs

green twist ties from the garden dept.

1 tree extension cords and two regular

1 bow of assorted live greenery -

1 bunch of Royal Majesty Roses (25) from Sams

1 dozen or more water tubes

You are ready to be a professional, all you need is their ornaments and their tree.

Thank you for your consideration and your time, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful holiday season.......... Kaye Reilly

[Home][Top][RCGC Meetings]

EMAIL gardener@nwgardener.org

Web pages maintained by T. Reilly

850 Margaret Place, Shreveport, La. 71101

(318) 222-8187

Copyright © 8/8/09