Yes, I know it is December already. And from what I’ve seen on Facebook, many people already decorated for Christmas. The tree is up, the lights are out and some of you might even have your shopping done.

Well, I am a little behind. There isn’t anything Christmas-y out in our house yet, and I’m starting to panic a little that I’m so far behind in my shopping! But before I dive into the Christmas stuff (we are planning to get our tree this weekend), I wanted to share one thing from my Thanksgiving decorations that I am very proud of. This flower arrangement, if you can call it that since there aren’t any flowers in it, graced our table over the Thanksgiving holiday, and I have to give full credit to Emaline Cockerham for this beauty, thanks to her presentation at the November meeting of the Yadkin Valley Garden Club.

I¬†definitely have found some kindred spirits in that group. When Lucy Chatham began her program on grasses by saying she wanted to research these plants because they were a category she never really liked but felt she should learn more about, I totally agreed. Grasses of all sorts have become very popular in landscaping these days, from big pampas grasses to smaller muhly grasses. I have written and read about grasses through my work with Carolina Gardener, and can honestly say I find them interesting and can see their practicality in the landscape, but appreciate them more in other people’s gardens. But after seeing what Emaline did with all sorts of grasses in her arrangements that complemented Lucy’s talk, I might be convinced to plant some in my own garden this year.

In the meantime, while lacking grasses in my own garden, there are plenty of great things to collect from around our property. Everything I used was gathered from the right-of-way near our house, or from the edge of the woods. I wish I had taken a picture of Emaline’s to show how spectacular her arrangements were, but the takeaway from it all was how you can create a work of art from the dried grasses, flowers and berries that surround us this time of year.

While I loved the idea of collecting things from around my yard, I think what really made me create this arrangement was that I wanted to try out one of the interesting things I learned that day. I’ve made arrangements with grasses before, but end up with a mess all over the table in the days to follow as the items shed. Emaline has a trick for that: spray everything with hairspray! It was great. And it’s still going strong a week later.