Local florist shares how to make unique holiday floral arrangement

5 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — During the holiday season, it’s not uncommon for children to roll up their sleeves and get busy making Christmas-themed crafts and tree decorations. Recently a Presque Isle florist showed a small group of adults how they, too, can create a memorable holiday decoration for their home.

Karen Duncan, owner of Cook Florist on Main Street, teaches several floral arrangement classes every year during the holidays. Most recently, on Nov. 28, she and her daughter, Megan Soucier, taught an eager group of 10 students how to create their own boxwood Christmas tree. The boxwood is an evergreen shrub “famous for its use in formal gardens,” according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

To begin, decorators need to have a tree-shaped piece of green foam that will serve as the base for the boxwood; a set of “frilly pins;” a string of around 30 small Christmas lights; their choice of either silver, gold, red or green balls to serve as the tree’s “ornaments;” and colorful ribbon. They should then wrap their string of lights around the foam.

Next, take a handful of boxwood leaves and bend a frilly pin so that the leaves stay in between the pin. From there, folks can start at the bottom and work their way up the foam, sticking small pieces of boxwood in as they go, making sure the lights and pins do not become tangled. Duncan recommends that people use clippers to slowly trim the branches into tiny pieces so that each branch is level with the rest.

“It’s important not to overload the foam with boxwood because you can always go back later and fill in the small holes that you missed,” Duncan said. “I’ve always thought that putting on the boxwood is the easiest part. Tying up the ribbon is the hardest because it takes more practice.”

Duncan noted that the process of making a boxwood Christmas tree can last as short as 20 minutes or as long as three hours depending on a person’s experience. Once people are done fixing their branches, they can then tie their ribbon into a bow for the top of the tree and spread the brightly-colored Christmas balls throughout.

The small boxwood tree is a decoration that could easily be placed by a window or used as a table centerpiece. Past students, Duncan said, have noted that when they water their trees everyday and keep them away from direct sunlight they can stay alive for at least a couple months after the holidays.

“I’ve never done any floral arrangements before, but this was a lot easier than I expected,” said Gina Buckey of Mars Hill, who attended the boxwood tree class. “I think I’ll try making one of my own at home.”