In many parts of the West, winter flowers are as much a part of holiday decorating as holly and mistletoe--much to the delight of Bud Stuckey, Sunset's test garden coordinator, who never misses a chance to celebrate with flowers. After planting many hanging baskets with annuals and perennials last spring and summer, he wondered if he could adapt the hanging bouquet idea to form indoor arrangements for the holidays. He experimented, using cut flowers and florist's foam, and came up with the three creations pictured here. Each one measures about 8 inches in diameter.
Garden globes like these are easy to make. Cut sprigs of small-leafed greenery such as fir, ivy, rosemary, spruce, and viburnum, and poke the stems into moist florist's foam. Brighten them with winter flowers from your garden or a florist, festoon them with gold or silver cord, then hang them over a doorway or in front of a window outlined with little white lights. For a holiday table centerpiece, poke one on top of a wood candleholder (you can secure the foam on a nail in the top of the holder).
Kept moist, these ornaments can last a week or more. Every day or two, hold the basket under running water over a sink, or spritz the foam with water from a plastic spray bottle.