Thursday, December 22, 2005

Colonial Christmas: Sprays

Sprays: I never said they were ALL wreaths.
(As always, click the pictures to see larger views)
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"Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles." ~ Unknown
I told you that all decorations in Colonial Williamsburg were not wreaths. My battery ran down before I did so I had to skip several lovely wreaths including the one from the tin maker that included small tin cups among the flowers and fruit; and the cobbler with a partially made leather shoe and other instruments of his craft intertwined with greenery, flowers and poppy pods. All the wreaths in this series were from buildings along one main street and around the palace greens. We never made it to several other areas of the town.

This set is dedicated to those decorative accents that would be classified as "sprays". A few were complementary pieces to wreaths but most stood strong on their own. We will start above with a window treatment centering on a large pine cone with cedar evergreen. The round seed pods have been identified by Judy, the best botanist I've ever known, as lotus or water lily seed pods. Dried money plant is included and the color is added with a bright red dried flower or they could be sumac berries.

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Above, a base of cedar evergreen is dressed with stalks of wheat, golden yarrow, purple statice, and perhaps the red is more cockscomb. Other small orange flowers and larger mum-like flowers were included. A small artichoke is noted centrally. I think the lighter golden flowers are lona or golden argeratum (at least they looked like the picture) and the larger yellow-orange one may be a strawflower.

This window treatment centers on the large artichoke in a background of evergreen perhaps both pine and fir. Golden yarrow again with poppy pods and Amaranthus caudatus. There is a huge variety of plants in this plant family. This piece was not made with a large number of different plants but the colors are great together.

Finally, another traditional decoration is the "fan". Usually placed above an entry way or over a window casing, these large pieces most often are made often adorned with fruit. Here the pine background is nested with central pomegranate and side clusters of oranges. Pheasant feathers top off the fan.

I have only two more entries in this series. On the last post I am going to include two reference books about the wreaths and other decorations at Colonial Williamsburg. One gives detailed instructions in making wreaths and many other holiday ornamentations. See you soon. (end of post)

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