Press-Republican

Columns

December 3, 2012

Boughs make natural decorations

(Continued)

Another clue is to look for their cones. Hemlocks have pretty little cones that hang downward, all over the older branches, and you’ll usually find many on the ground below. These cones are about the size of a penny and are beautiful for craft projects.

Fir cones sit upright in the uppermost branches and are firmly attached. The cone crumbles apart when mature, scattering its seeds to the ground, rather than dropping intact cones as do hemlocks, spruce and pines.

Balsam firs are usually more lush and darker green than hemlocks. If you want to be sure, crush the tip of a branch in your fingers and see if you can smell that delightful balsam scent.

While a full balsam wreath is classic, I often like to add a variety of greens into my wreaths and swags for extra interest. White cedar branches are a yellower shade of green, and their shape is completely different. White pine has long, soft needles in bundles of five, and red cedar has more spikey, dark blue-green branches.

When gathering branches from our woods, I look for the red cedar branches that have their blue-black berries still attached for even more interest.

I used to be intimidated by making natural decorations but as long as you use fresh, attractive branches and boughs, you can’t go wrong.

Amy Ivy is executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Clinton County. Office phone numbers: Clinton County, 561-7450; Essex County, 962-4810; Franklin County, 483-7403. Website: www.cce.cornell.edu/ecgardening. Email questions to askMG@cornell.edu.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg The Law and You: Police search of vehicles

    Because a car can be moved while a warrant is being obtained, authorities are given powers that let them act more quickly, writes former DA and judge, Penny Clute.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time