Wednesday, December 1, 2010
December 1st is considered the start of the Holiday decorating season, as well as being the beginning of Hanukka this year. A unique variation on ubiquitous Christmas decorations is an old-timey “Kissing Ball”. Holidays seem more charming when fresh botanicals are used for decorations, and there’s no excuse in our industry not to bring some evergreens indoors! Along with pine and mistletoe, it’s traditional to deck the halls with boughs of holly and boxwood, two evergreens that symbolize ‘constancy’ and ‘foresight’ in the Language of Flowers.
This year create a “Kissing Ball” out of Green Borders Boxwood and Christmas Jewel® Holly.
Easy to make and with staying power that lasts through the holidays and beyond, a shoebox of 4-5 inch clippings will make one kissing ball and will create the start of a beautiful holiday.
Christmas Jewel® Holly is a beautiful Ilex pernyi hybrid with a dense, naturally pyramidal shape. The dark green, polished foliage of Christmas Jewel® is narrow a blunt spine that doesn’t prick. Plants are loaded with large berries that turn apple red by Christmas and last until early summer. Christmas Jewel® Holly is an adaptable plant; perfect as a specimen plant or grown as a narrow, dense hedge. Clip about a dozen 4-5 inch sprigs heavy with brilliant red berries for accent.
How to Make a Boxwood & Holly Kissing Ball
First, here is a video to show you how Acadia Wreath Company makes their Kissing Balls. It's pretty funny. (If you're not crafty, just buy one of theirs online.)
Half a block of floral foam, well-soaked in water
Tight plastic mesh from bulb, grapefruit or onion bags, dark color preferred
Spool of thin wire approximately 18 to 20 gauge
About a shoebox full of 4-5 inch sprigs of Green Borders Boxwood
About a dozen 4-5 inch clippings of Christmas Jewel® Holly with berries
A few sprigs of mistletoe
1. Soak the floral foam (one brand name is Oasis) thoroughly, then pare off the corners to make a rounded or ball shape about 5 inches across.
2. Drain the floral foam and wrap the plastic mesh around it, enclosing the foam securely. Weave or stitch it together in a few places to hold it closed.
3. Cut a 10-12 inch length of wire to make a hanger. Thread it through the center of the foam, creating a bend or U- shape to catch on the bottom side of the foam. Make a loop at the top for hanging.
4. Clip enough 4-5 inch sprigs of Green Borders Boxwood and stick in the floral foam to cover the ball evenly and completely, making a uniform sphere of boxwood about 10 inches in diameter.
5. Add berried stems of Holiday Jewel® Holly as an accent, again spacing evenly around the sphere. Your lush, full Kissing Ball of greenery is now ready for decorating.
6. Wire a bit of mistletoe to a pick and insert at the bottom of the sphere.
7. Add a red bow at the top and a tuft of short streamers to the bottom of the ball.
Let's hear how you make your Kissing Ball and what greenery and decorations you choose to use! That's what the Comments Box is for, so Post a Comment. Do you use coniferous evergreens like arborvitae or spruce, or do you add pine cones?
Here's wishing you willl meet the one you love beneath the Kissing Ball this Holiday Season.
Photo Credit Kissing Ball, Acadia Wreath Company.