December 06, 2012

Persistence pays

When you hang on, fight the odds, find a way to survive...people notice. As I join in Donna's Seasonal Celebrations meme, I acknowledge a very tough plant that has survived in my front porch planters through early December.

ivy

This Ivy, planted in the spring, is still alive--even though I've neglected it and failed to water it, and even though we've had numerous frosts and hard freezes. The other annuals in the planters shriveled weeks ago, but these guys keep going.

ivy2

I've planted Ivy before, but I don't remember it surviving this late into the season. It's convenient, though, because it's perfect for holiday decorating.

holly

Thinking about one of my favorite Christmas carols, I found these modest sprigs of Holly at the garden center.

holly2

The store associate said to keep them lightly misted and they should last through the holidays.

hollyivy2

They look fantastic and festive together, don't they?

hollyivy

I plopped the ends of the Ivy stems into a floral water tube...

wreath

And wound the Holly and the Ivy through the stems of a dried Grapevine wreath. Instant, inexpensive Christmas decoration!

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One of my favorite Christmas carols is "The Holly and the Ivy." Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit more than hearing it sung by a choir in a cathedral, like this:


Join my friend, Donna, at Gardens Eye View for her "Seasonal Celebrations" meme! And please join the "Lessons Learned" meme by clicking here or on the tab at the top of the page, or simply share your link in the comments. Even links to past posts about your techniques, joys, and challenges are welcome.

Both memes will be active until the solstice, when Donna and I will post wrap-ups. Feel free to combine the two memes in one post!

29 comments:

  1. English ivy is evergreen in my neck of the woods. Your wreath is very festive and rustic. Pretty! I think that when the weather can't get you in the spirit of the holidays, music sure can!

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    1. Lucky you! I guess it can be invasive. I've never tried to overwinter it before. I guess there are some varieties that survive to zone 4, but I think they go dormant. Maybe mine will survive this winter, too. Yes, certain tunes really get me in the spirit!

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  2. Very nice wreath you did with ivy! I've read there is a poisoned variety of ivy. Fortunately it doesn't grow in your garden. The Carol is lovely, I looked at the boys' faces,it's a pleasure.
    I have a post 'Scent of Christmas' and I want to share it to your link:
    http://northern-garden.blogspot.com/2012/12/scent-of-christmas.html

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    1. Thank you! I know both plants are problematic for my cats--so it's a good thing the wreath is up on the wall. Thanks for joining in the meme. Happy Holidays!

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  3. Lovely wreath! I will have to remember to try some ivy in containers next year. Trying to finish putting up my Christmas decorations today--thanks for getting me in the mood!

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    1. Thanks! It will be fun to see if the Holly still in the pots will survive the winter. I cut the plants way back to use the long stems for the wreath, but there are lots of stems and leaves still in the planters. I guess I'll have to keep them in a spot where they'll get lots of rain and snow, though. (Or keep them watered.)

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    1. Thanks! It was incredibly easy and cheap--the best kind. ;-)

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  5. Ivy's considered invasive, here, but I have some in an area it can't escape. However, your post makes me really appreciate it. You are so right - it lives through total neglect. Got to love a plant like that! I love that you combined the holly and the ivy together.

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    1. I think it can be invasive here, too. But it goes dormant during the winter. I've only grown it in pots, and usually it dies back in October. I can't believe it's still going in December. Both plants are beautiful and they definitely say Christmas to me.

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  6. Your wreath is lovely. I've had an ivy growing away in a container since last spring. It's still looking great.
    I've also recently planted one (Gold Heart) to cover a vast area of fencing. It can get invasive but I'm hoping to keep it under control.

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    1. Thanks, Angie. It always amazes me when a plant stays green and seems to thrive even when the conditions are ridiculous. Birds and animals that live outside in the winter are incredible, too!

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  7. Your wreath really turned out nice. What a nice welcome to the holiday season.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. It was so easy, it's almost embarrassing. But it looks nice on the wall. :)

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  8. Aaaw, well that carol put me in a right Christmas mood! Your Christmas decoration came out really nice, I often make decorations from what I have in my garden at this time of year - more so than in the summer since in the winter I don't risk dragging lots of aphids and other bugs into the house :-)

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    1. Thanks! Good point--the bugs are long gone, which makes it even more special! I'm so inspired by all you creative garden bloggers out there. So many great ideas! Mine is just a simple clip, weave, and place on the wall. :)

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  9. Beth how wonderful to have holly and ivy in the garden to make the lovely wreath...celebrating the season with the garden is fabulous...I love the Holly and the Ivy too!! Thanks for joining in Beth.

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    1. I bought the Holly, but it was only a couple of bucks. But yes, the Ivy was a lucky happening. I didn't think about Christmas when I bought the plants last spring. They sure came in handy!

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  10. I love ivy, especially when it seems to be the only green thing growing in the garden. In White Rock they would overwinter easily...here, I think they would wither.

    Love that Christmas carol also.

    Jen

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    1. I like it, too. But I know it can take over the side of a house--which is pretty, but probably not appreciated in town here. If I had an old farmhouse, I might encourage it. But keeping it going in a planter pot might be interesting. I'll have to keep it hydrated...

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  11. I love that grapevine wreath! I haven't managed to carve out time to try making a wreath yet, though I have both holly and ivy aplenty.

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    1. Thanks, Janet! Lucky you, to have Holly and Ivy aplenty! I'm not sure the Holly will last longer than a couple of weeks, but it was so inexpensive, maybe I'll stop in at the store to get a bit more. The Ivy is doing well (stems immersed in water).

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  12. It is hard to believe that ivy is an annual somewhere - here it spreads and spreads... I love your wreath, it looks so festive.

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    1. Well, I think some varieties are perennnials here--they just go dormant. But in pots, without water, and with subzero weather...its survival is unlikely. But I guess I'll give it a try with a bit of insulation and hydration...

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  13. Beautiful! I love ivy in a pot where I don't have to worry about it taking over. LOVE the wreath! :o)

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    1. Thanks! It will be interesting to see if it survives--depends on the severity of our winter, I guess. I have no doubt it would have survived last winter, but that was a weird one...

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  14. Beautiful wreath! I had been thinking about doing a grapevine wreath this year and will definitely try it after seeing yours.

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    1. Thanks, Karen. The Holly is already deteriorating. Hmmm. I guess I need to purchase replacement boughs each week. Oh well, Christmas isn't far off now!

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  15. Beautiful! I found your link in Donna's seasonal celebration meme, as I also participated. I enjoyed your post, thank you :)

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