September 10, 2008

Greenery 101

If you are looking for  your mother's ivy-in-every-brass-container greenery ideas, you're in the wrong place.

Not yet, but in a minute, after you finish reading this wealth of information, go visit the Nester.  She is hosting a whole party about greenery-gone-wild.

Wondering what that means?
People Opposed to Objectionable Pretend Plants In the Environment
She's serious.  Really.  Go check her out.
Well, in a minute, of course.

Back to Greenery 101
Today's 'greenery' isn't necessarily even green.  
Take this burst of white berries for example.  This little gem stands about 15" high.  We're talking big impact and oh-so-versatile with it's changeable ribbon.  

Now, I know that each person's taste and style is different.  Take my husband, for instance.  His idea of decorating with greenery would be this:

Seriously.  He put that there.  I have no idea where my red candle is.  Funny guy.  Fun-ny guy. 

Back to our not-so-green greenery:
I'm really more of a berry girl, myself.  It adds the warmth without necessarily throwing in one more accent color (i.e. green).  This wreath hangs in our mud room.  The colors are chocolate (not just plain ole brown) and white with accents of blue.  Green greenery wouldn't work here.
There's just something comforting about a wreath, doncha think?

One more plug for berries, and then I'll move on.  They are ssoooo  seasonal!  I have pink berries for the spring, white for winter, red for Christmas and these beauties for fall: 

Another option for non-green greenery is the grape vine.  These guys are so easy going.  They don't mind being bare neked, but they also love a little panache.  A ribbon, some berries, a few feathers, whatever.   They're not picky.  AND they aren't one size fits all.  Their sizes and shapes are limitless!  I've had this little cone/beehive/tree thingy forever.  Really.  It's one of my very first decorating thingamajigs.   Right now it is a little bare:
But... it has a secret.  Do you know what is hidden inside?  Little white Christmas lights!!!  They poke their little heads out and twinkle beautifully. 

Enough about non-green greenery.  
Let's talk green.
I'm going to be very blunt.  Don't be mad, it's for your own good. 
Disclaimer#1: if I know you personally, I do not critique my friend's greenery.  This is just general cutting-edge decorating information.  Do with it what you want.  No hard feelings.  Really.

1.If you have fake green ivy draped over every cabinet top in your kitchen, pull it down.
   Too much of a good thing is bad.  And ivy isn't necessarily a good thing.
2. If said green ivy is a brighter shade of green than what naturally grows, throw it away.
3. If said green ivy looks plastic, shiny or remotely f-a-k-e throw it away.

When looking for some new greenery to replace your oh-so 90's ivy, look for fun textures, realistic leaves, and soft hues.  This 'dusty miller' plant is one of my favorites.  It is almost furry to the touch.  Remember 'green' doesn't always mean 'ivy'.

Now before I really make every ivy-lovin' gal mad.  Let me say that ivy does occasionally have its place.  You may have the rare chance to find a bush of gorgeous green.  Go for it!  But typically, it is better as an accent.  For example, I use it in this wrought iron planter in my family room.  Right now it is doing a great job accenting the fall foliage.  At Christmas it highlights the live poinsettia that nestles in there.  See.  Ivy is not evil.  Just dangerous if not kept in check. 
Disclaimer #2: Although the ivy in the picture looks shiny It's NOT!!!  Silly flash.

One last note about greenery.  Or ahem, not-so-greenery.
If by chance you have a dried flower arrangement/wreath/sprig etc...  ask yourself these questions:
1. Does it look grey in overall appearance?  Yes?  
    Throw it away.
2. Does it bring life to a room or scream 80's?
3. Does it just need some fresh sprigs to liven it up?  Get to Garden Ridge asap.
4. Does it or did it once have any form of mauve or lavender in it?  To the dump!
5. Have you had it more than 10 years?  Unless it holds supreme sentimental value, it's time to let go.  You can do it.

Okay.  I can't let this one go.  One more:
Magnolias were fabulous in 1992.  It's 2008.


Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I AM SO LOVING THIS, and your husband is THE MAN! My boys love him now!
Since I am sure we will someday be friends in real is a good thing that you won't critique my greenery (but it will be gone by the time we ever meet...hee hee).
Magnolias are out...seriously....oh man, one more thing I need to fix. JK (I think...better go check first).

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Oh, and I love your new header. Kept forgetting to tell you. :)

Leila said...

You are fabulous for putting that picture of the soda bottle up! That is TOO funny!

Barbara H. said...

LOL at your husband's greenery. :-)

I LOVE that berry wreath.

Bella Casa said...

lol, cute post, love the Mountain Dew decor, now everyone will be dewing it! ;)

I have 2 grapevine trees, one is about 4 feet tall and is in my kitchen, the other one is a table top one like yours and it is on my buffet table in the dining room. I have white lights on both and turn them on all year round. I have lights with a brown cord, so I don't have them tucked inside, but that is a great idea! We have seasonal ornaments that we can hang on it, too, like fall, spring, Christmas, Halloween...etc. I love them :)

I think this is my first visit here, nice to meet you:)


AJ said...

Love that Dusty Miller! And I had to laugh about your daughter and picture day. She sounds a lot like my 8 year old!

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

Just found you today and I have added you to my favorites. Your husbands Mtn Dew is so funny! And I loved the school picture story!


Kelly said...

Love your husband's take on greenery! My husband would do the same I'm sure. I vaguely remember a mountain of dew cans stacked beside his bed in college.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Chris said...

They're all so pretty--including the Mt. Dew! :) Nicely done!

Maricar said...

LOL, has he given you your red candle back? Check the door of the fridge where the MDew would have been. Hah.

Your writing style just cracks me up. I'm glad your mom led me to you!

Oh - hey. You inspired me. I was at Salvation Army yesterday and picked up three wooden goodies, then I went to WM and got spray paint. If it weren't raining today, I would start playing ... but alas the weather.

Any helpful hints on spray painting a wood tray? I'm a novice.

Meghan said...

I will trade husbands with you.
Mine put a gigantic banner that says "Pittsburgh Steelers" on the back of our front door that is right in our living room & we have a giant pic of our race car hung in the hallway.
Hello! Early White Trash decor all the way.

Totally love your fakes!!!!
Heart the tree!

Mom in High Heels said...

I'm not sure I like you. You're too god at the fakes! ;)
I LOVE your dh's greenery. That's totally something M would do. Mt. Dew is his favorite soda.
I have to say I think your berries are lovely. That sounds dirty. :D

The Nester said...

What? Have I not left you a comment yet? It must be because when I came here I liked one of your photos so much that I'm using it in my wrap up post!

Girl, don't believe for a minute it was because you didn't have the button! You don't have to do that part!

I visited about 10 or so this morning then had to go and school my boys and then started back up commenting again! So sorry I missed you but I loved what you did and I have been here 3 times already today!!!!

now, when people link their whole blog to me and then don't write a poopie post--that's when I leave no comment! And delete them. Poor souls.

Love you!

RoBiN said...

Oh!!! I am soooo loving seeing everyone do things just like I have done...AND FORGOT ABOUT!

I love berries too, in every form they come in, be it vine, ring, picks, what-have-you!

Magnolias...THAT GOT ME BIG!!! I just had a neighbor ask me to "arrange" something for her...she gave me a bunch of Magnolias!!! I told her they were sooooooo out of style! Hope she never sees my POOPIE post!

Thanks for the laugh!

proudgrits11 said...

BERRY nice tips!! :)
I've never been an ivy girl myself but, girl howdy, do I see it all over!! UGH. Arizona has all these tall ceilings so all of us have room above our kitchen cabinets and I've seen FAR too many ivy branches draped across and coming out of containers--yeah, let's be over that, OK?? I'm with ya on the magnolias, too. Great post!!
Roots & Wings

edie+steve said...

I can so relate to the mountain dew....and I have to say a hearty AMEN to the fake magnolias but I do clip my real magnolia leaves and put them in a short container on the kitchen's so 'Cottage Living' which I love. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Cute post...and I really love berries too!

coco said...

Love the wreath in the mudroom on the brown wall!

Tiffy Wiffy said...

I'm visitng from nesters and i think i'm going to be a stalker of this blog. :P. I like your berries, and I think you just made me realize how much I like berries too.

Anonymous said...

So, I have a greenery question- what if it's not shiny because it's so dusty? Can I keep it? ;) See you in the morning!

momof4sweetsisters said...

I really like berries to. Dollar tree has some real nice ones for a $1! All different colors and varigated.

Lorie said...

Love it!!

chickadee said...

the drink bottle==so funny. i had to come see what that was all about.

Debbie said...

Love your layout (It matches my living room..)

I came here to see what in the world kind of person would have that MT Dew bottle in their house. Glad to see it was a Male Thing (shoulda known).

I pride myself on exquisite decorating taste :) , but you pointed out a weakness. I DO still have a magnolia stem on the top of an armoire. It's coming down TODAY.
Don't you love the Power of Blogging?! :)