Create decorative kissing balls with evergreen instead of mistletoe this year. Start with a styrofoam sphere for your base, and cut fresh evergreen to the same length, and inch or two long. Hot glue a piece of twine around the styrofoam ball, and then cover the entire ball with evergreen cuttings by hot gluing them right next to each other. When the ball is covered, hang above a doorway, on a doorknob or in a corner that needs a bit of holiday cheer.
Some clematis varieties open flowers with twice the number of petals and are called double blooms. ‘Diamond Ball’ unfurls cool white-blue double flowers. When fully open, the blossoms measure 4 to 5 inches across with a round or almost spherical shape. Expect to see flowers all summer long. In early spring, cut stems back to 18 inches high. Vines grow 5 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Fall means garden mums, and no one does mum hanging baskets better than Longwood Gardens. At their annual Chrysanthemum Festival, mums (Chrysanthemum) take center stage, including these gigantic hanging orbs. Your porch might not be able to accommodate an oversize orb, but it can host pretty garden mum hanging baskets.
Make It: First, gather buttons in various shapes, sizes and colors. Then, starting at the center of a three-inch foam sphere, attach the buttons by inserting a tailor's pin through one hole of each button until secured. Continue this process around the entire sphere, covering it one row at a time. Once the entire surface is covered, add a second layer of buttons to any sections where foam is still visible. Finally, tie ribbon into a loop, attach to the top of the sphere with a tailor's pin and hang on the tree.
Get out your birdfeeders before cold weather arrives. Hanging them before natural food sources are gone gives birds a chance to find the feeders and become accustomed to visiting. Just be sure to keep feeders filled once you start. Birds are creatures of habit, and species that winter in place will frequent the same feeder throughout the cold season.