Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas at Iron Horse Ranch

One of our many Christmas gatherings was at my parent's house, Iron Horse Ranch, which also used to be an old train depot. I grew up there from the time I was in fifth grade to the time I left for college. They are a 45 minute drive South from where we live and I love going to visit! During it's train depot days their home was located in Wellsville, Kansas. After being moved 30 miles it is now nestled in the middle of 80 secluded acres. It's the perfect place to go when we need a little get-a-away. And each time I visit I'm always inspired by my mom's creative decorating ideas.

With their 12-foot ceilings this large Christmas tree looks stunning.

For a filler around the base of the plant my mom used whole pecans in their shells from a local pecan farmer.

All her greenery is real that she clipped from the trees in their nearby woods. It not only looks lovely, it also smells lovely!

In place of bobeches my mom used small wreaths to catch any dripping candle wax.

To give her garland a more realistic and dramatic appearance my mom tucked in real clippings of greens.

The faux snow my mom uses looks more realistic then others I've seen. It's made from a faux snow powder that you just add water to.

For this teared server my mom glued candle stick holders to the bottom of plates and simply stacked them to display her Christmas treats.

Cyclamen are great flowers to have indoors during the holiday season.

It will bloom from the months of December to April. As the flower stalks and leaves die off they should be removed by giving them a sharp tug, they will then be replace by new growth. The corm of the plant will go into dormancy sometime after April. At that time, gradually reduce the water and keep plant in a cool, darker place. After letting the corm dry out plant it in a shady area of your garden in the spring with half the corm above the soil surface. New leaves will begin to grow in late July or August, when this happens transplant it into a pot using a rich sandy soil and leave it outdoors. In the early fall you can then bring it indoors and place it in a window.

Nothing adds a fresh look and amazing fragrance like paperwhites.

Plant your paperwhites in stones and water and you will have blooms within about 2-3 weeks. Since paperwhites have long stems and are top heavy you will need to tie some twine or ribbon around them for support. Or once the roots begin growing and the green shoots reach 1-2 inches pour off existing water and replace it with water mixture that is 4-6 percent alcohol and continue using this solution for future watering. When paperwhites are grown in this solution they only grow 1/3 to 1/2 their normal height yet the flowers remain the same size and they last just as long!

Do you get decorating ideas and inspiration when you go to the homes of your friends and family for Christmas celebrations?

What is your favorite Christmas decor?

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