Last week on my way to the grocery store, I noticed the city tree-trimming crews had worked on all the crabapple trees in the median on Whitney Way not far from my house. I decided I'd take a chance that everything would still be there when I drove back from the store. It was, but I wasn't going to take another chance and go home to get clippers and change my clothes. So I pulled over, took off my coat, and hauled a branch loaded with berries to my car. Then I struggled to get it in the back seat. Took up all the room and the end of the branch hung out the open car window.
Of course, the minute I looked at all the branches on the ground, I realized the ones that were loaded with bright red berries were not crab apples at all. They were Hawthorns, most likely Washington Hawthon (Crataegus phaenopyrum), a tree we had growing in our garden until it got wiped out in a snowstorm a couple of winters ago. Check out those thorns! Real killers. Mark helped me cut it into manageable sized branches and then I decided how I'd use them. (Note I am working outdoors in mid-December in Wisconsin!)
I cut the the branches into shorter lengths and trimmed out some of the deadwood and some of the thorns. The presence of thorns meant this bouquet had to be where no one was going to accidentally bump into it. So, first I added a halo of berries to the big Mark Skudlarek platter hanging by the front door. No vase needed!
The platter is just to the right of our bright red front door so the berries were just what I needed to add another touch of holiday color to match what was on the other side of the front entrance. Last year this pine cone garland was draped over the windows in our bedroom, held in place with long ochre-colored satin ribbons.
I bought a couple of stems of red-twigged dogwood at the grocery store and clipped some pruning from evergreens in our garden. I put them in the front hall in a red enamel Haws watering can. Then I added as many branches of Hawthorn berries as I could manage to squeeze in.
A big glass jar of pine cones gathered in our garden repeats the theme from the bench outside.
Love how the red picks up the color from Leslie Nelson's needlepoint/quilt. And I love the fact that I was unexpectedly able to pull this all together thanks to city work crews and warm and snowless December weather. To see what other gardeners have put in a vase this Monday, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this weekly meme.