Jennifer Kirschnick is the owner of an urban landscaping company located in Baltimore, MD called Baltimore Garden Company LLC. She became interested in nature while growing up on 10 acres in the country, where her parents taught her everything from how to grow vegetables to how to identify trees. She has an English degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and a bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been working in the landscaping industry for over 13 years.
She has been married for two wonderful years to her husband, Jamol Khamzaev, who works in construction. They live in Baltimore with their cats Darcy, Max and Julius Caesar.
Jennifer Kirschnick: Hello, I am Jennifer Kirschnick with Baltimore Garden Company and today we are talking about how to decorate the outside of your house for the holidays. We are going to be using mostly natural materials today. Materials that you can find in your garden or in a friend s garden or if you just happen to be walking somewhere and you see something nice and it s just a careful way you get it from -- do not get it from private property but -- the easiest way to get it is, is to get it from your garden or from a friend s house. I will tell you the names of some of these plants because what I like to do is have these plants that I grow in my garden and then every year, I can cut pieces of them and use them for Christmas decorations.
What we are going to be doing right now is making a window decoration; it is something that you can put at the bottom of your window, outside, just something a little bit different than the usual lights and artificial decorations that you see. What you start with is cage like this they call it, you can get them at most craft stores and it is just plastic and it has this piece of floral foam inside of it, it is around $7. You can also just use a plain brick of floral foam and just wrap it with some burlap and then tie it with some floral tape and that is another way that you can make your frame, you just basically wrap the burlap around and then tie the tape on it and that holds it together, like that. Then you can start sticking your greens in.
But I am going to be doing it today with this cage, it is a little bit easier to use and what you do first is you take some greens, some nice ones to use are --I love to use Fraser Fir, or you can use Balsam and where I got this fir, actually, you can go to pick your own Christmas tree farms and a lot of times they will give you the leftovers from the trees that they sell there. If you do though and cut them off of trees in your gardens, the best way to prune the shrubs when you are getting the greens, just see you do not hurt the plants, is -- for instance, you always want to prune it, where another branch is growing out. You do not want to prune it right in the middle of the branch if possible, you want to prune it closer to where another branch is like that.
Then, the pieces that you want to use, you do not really want to use one this big, you might want to prune it down a little bit, so it is easier to work with, you do not want it much longer than 12 inches. I am going to prune it down a little bit more and you just start filling around the edges. Now, I haven t done it today because it makes it really makes it wet to work with, but you are supposed to soak the foam for about two minutes before you use it, that just helps to keep the greens fresher. You just put it in a dish of water and let it sit there for two or three minutes. Then just try to get most of the running water out of that before you start, so you do not make a total mess.
Basically you just stick the greens in, like I said, you even got maybe 10 inches to 12 inches of the greens, sticking out on either side, you may have to pull off little pieces to make it easier to work with and just keep sticking it around the edge again, that is fir, this is pine. I am going to put in right now. You do not have to be real careful about what you do, I just shrub it in there and you just want to make it look as full as possible. Once you go around the edges and you have filled in with these greens all around the edges, you just keep going and then you keep in mind, this one has hooks on either side that you can attach it with, you can either attach it this way or you can attach it horizontally.
So, just keep in mind what the orientation of your final decoration is going to be as you are doing this. Mine is going to be horizontal. I am going to stick it on a window horizontally. What I am going to do now is make a little bit of space, so you can see better and then I am going to start pinning in the front part, which is our accent pieces. I am going to be using fruit, you can use any bright colored fruit, you can use apples, lemons, Clementine and this is something fun to use card, it is Osage orange, you will see these in November or December, laying at the base of Osage orange trees, they are pretty heavy though.
But what I am going to use today, I am going to use some lemons for my centerpiece. So, this is what we are going to talk about safety, we do not want to impaling your in hand, so we are going to you have to put these sticks in to attach the lemons to your decoration, so just make sure you do not hold it like this as you are doing it. Try to hold it, so you do not puncture your hand and you just twist it in, if it is difficult, you can take a nail, this is really monster nail and make little pilot hole we call it, inside and then you can stick your fruit in. It smells really good and then when you are placing it, say, this is the top of my decoration, you want to place it not straight in, but kind of angled up a little bit, it helps it from falling out.
Now that we have put our lemon centerpieces in, when we come back, I will have finished putting the greens in and we will show you how to make the rest of the decoration.