Plant a Seasonal Southern Basket
White and Green Basket
Start With an Original
We chose a honeysuckle basket made by Virginia artist Anne Scarpa McCauley (www.honeysucklebaskets.com). Measuring 20 inches wide x 9 inches deep, it's generous enough to hold several 1-gallon and quart-size pots. Before you make your arrangement, line the basket with foil or a plastic bag to protect it.
Pick Your Plants
For the white-and-green arrangement shown at left, Kris used one ‘Christmas Gift' amaryllis, two hydrangeas, two maidenhair ferns, three kalanchoes, and three variegated ivies. Begin by placing the amaryllis and hydrangeas, leaving them in their pots. Tuck in ferns, kalanchoes, and ivies. Where space is tight, remove plants and soil from the pots, and place them in plastic sandwich bags. This works especially well with trailing vines such as ivy.
Cover the Pots
Where space is tight, remove plants and soil from the pots, and place them in plastic sandwich bags. This works especially well with trailing vines such as ivy.
Hide the tops of pots with decorative sheet moss. Insert a few interesting branches, such as redtwig dogwood or corkscrew willow, to keep your amaryllis standing tall.
Enjoy the Look Even Longer
Changing out your arrangement is easy to do. Once flowers fade (in about a month), lift and replace with peach-hued Rieger begonias (Begonia x hiemalis) and yellow kalanchoes to create the look seen in the photo at left. If you are a stickler for details, you can even swap out the white variegated ivy for some with yellow margins. These sunny tones will perk up even the dreariest winter day.
Keys To Success
- Start with well-watered plants; soil should be moist.
- Once you've placed plants in plastic bags, don't be afraid to squeeze the soil to make it fit into a tight space.
- Adjust the height by placing overturned pots or wads of foil beneath plants.
- Put moisture right where you want it by watering plants with a turkey baster.
Split White Oak Basket
No Southerner should be without at least one piece of regional art. Long after the flowers are gone, these beautiful baskets make wonderful keepsakes and help to tell a story of where you're from. Here are two other Southern favorites.
Artist: Terry Gibson, Fayetteville, Arkansas (www.gibsonbaskets.com). This basket was purchased at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, Alabama.
Artist: Ann Simmons, Charleston, South Carolina. (She's often found on Meeting Street near the corner of Broad Street.)