Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Berries, Boughs and Blessings…..by KCB

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are proud to tell you that KCB rules as the 2008 Maine Master Gardener of the Year. And we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family.

Blessed are those who feel blessed. I have to pinch myself at times to see if I am truly awake. I do not want this writing to be one of those dreaded letters we receive from long lost friends and/or relatives that are mass mailed this time of year yet I do have some celebrating to do.

I have returned for a second season to the ‘Christmas Room’ of one of the areas favorite nurseries. How lucky am I to work among the scents of Balsam, pine and the sparkle of glitter tipped cones coupled with red berries?

I never tire of walking into this fragrant infused room. It is a busy place that conjures images of Santa’s Workshop complete with ‘Papa Elf’. From boughs and bows beauty is born. Among the more seasoned workers I relate more with Hermey, the reluctant dentist of ‘Rudolph’ fame.

The members of The Christmas Room have the responsibility to create magic by artistically arranging branches of balsam, wisps of white pine with punches of Winterberry. Accents of gold-tipped cedar, and juniper berries often are peppered throughout the wreaths and other arrangements. I must admit the scent of the juniper is less than desirable, nevertheless the statement made by the blue/gray berries tucked among the greens is worth the gin tinged fragrance. Miniature sprigs of rosehips create their own proclamation, as the burgundy is a perfect complimentary color to the greenery. Beware of their beauty, however, as the thorny stems tend to bite. Swags, roping and window boxes are created along side wreaths of varying sizes and materials.

For many, the season for decking the halls is a year long vocation. Christmas tree growers prune, and cultivate growth to produce perfect specimens. Tree farmers harvest to make room for more trees. There are some who prefer the more natural look of a ‘wild tree’ and find beauty among the bareness between the limbs. Less can be more to some.

Such is the case in my life.

I recently moved to a much smaller apartment. After 16 years on Munjoy Hill I have said good-bye to a neighborhood I love and know so well. 11 of my ‘hill’ years my view was that of Back Cove and Portland Skyline. Sunsets in the silhouette of Mount Washington differed each day. 5 years ago I gave up the house for an apartment that offered a spectacular view of Casco Bay. The place was large with a heating bill to match. After much soul searching I sold furniture and other ‘stuff’ that had had surrounded me for years to make a clean start. To flourish we often have to begin anew.

My new place is a cozy attic abode. The water view has been replaced by treetops. Finally a tree house all my own. A smaller Christmas tree will have I, adorned only with lights of clear, white and gold. I will accent this tree with the gold of cedar tips, tassels of white pine and perhaps tuck a cone or two among the branches.

Beauty is in the being. This season is truly a blessed thing.

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
December 16, 2008

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