12.06.2007

Decorating with Spruce Tips




Filling my flower pots with spruce tips is a holiday tradition. Two pots are filled and ready to be placed on either side of our front door. What are Spruce Tips you ask? We Minnesotan's (even though I now reside in Iowa, I still consider myself a Minnesotan) have the pleasure of using these for our holiday decorating. Spruce tips are white or black spruce that are harvested in the bogs of the Northwoods of Minnesota by the DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources) and then auctioned off to local green houses. They are actually a regenerative crop that can be harvested again and again. The tree tips, though quite small, have the form and foliage of the more mature trees, often bearing tiny cones.

I use the same pots that my summer geraniums were in, leaving the dirt. I simply poke the tree tips into the dirt. Each pot contains one larger tip at the center with 3 or 5 smaller tips filled in around the larger one. This year I chose to add stems of fresh winterberries to my pots for a bit more color. A red ribbon bow will be tied around each pot, before placing them at my front door. The Spruce Tip pots make a great winter yard decoration. After the holidays I simply remove the red bows and leave them out all winter.

As the winter comes to an end the Spruce Tips start to dry out and drop their needles, making for a wonderful brown sticky looking tree with small cones still hanging from its branches.

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