Marilyn Young is the Horticulture Assistant at Wave Hill.
The favorite comment about the winter décor this year overheard at Wave Hill House was “I can do that!” Yes, indeed, that is a good part of our natural yet festive decorations. Gathering from your garden is like going to market before you cook a special meal: Let what is available be the inspiration. We have a multitude of sweet gum balls from our Liquidambar trees just up the hill and I gathered a big bag and box full of these when our Nally interns were raking them up this fall.
Taking further inspiration from a Martha Stewart Living article with a wreath made of these ornaments from nature and sprayed silver, Stephanie Ehrlich and I picked our palette of lavender and silver. With consideration of the woodwork and table in the Mark Twain room, we added a vignette of red and brown and silver, wanting to do something a little different than just the standard seasonal colors. Re-purposing is another important consideration and we have a treasure trove of containers from past galas and parties to choose from in the attic of Glyndor House. That is where we found the silver bowls that make the rich warm reds and browns pop, as they say.
We picked up additions at the 28th Street Flower Market under the guidance of the mayor of the flower market, our Friends of Horticulture co-chair Maggy Geiger, who generously purchased a new stash of delightfully joyful items to supplement what we already had. Another florist wholesaler, someone upstate who Laurel Rimmer, our Assistant Director of Public Programs, uses for her program supplies, was a good source for ample ribbons, faux berries and silver sparkle to complete it all.
One more important note is to always bring the decor back from too glitzy to a more natural tone for Wave Hill, such as the twig wreaths that accompany the silver stars on the walls and the beautyberries from the Callicarpa bodinieri for the mantelpiece in the reception area.