Friday Flea Market ~ A Give-Away & Natures's Bounty

What's better than cheap stuff? Free stuff that's what! When I saw Penny's pretty decorated mantle with fresh holly it inspired me to take a walk in the woods today for a photo session. Just when we begin to despair about the oncoming chill and austereness of winter we can give thanks for the evergreens and bright orbs of berries that take over summer's blooms. Which leads me back to my second sentence....free stuff! On today's Friday Flea Market I am not selling anything but giving away something. Just leave me a comment and I will randomly choose a winner and ship a box of fresh Christmas greenery (with bug bites and all) and holly off to you straight away. I will draw a name on Tuesday the 9th of December. I am so sorry but this time I have to keep this little "give away" to bloggers in the U.S. To those of you who are so lucky to have these things available to you, this may not seem like much but to those of you that have to buy it, I hope you will enjoy this giveaway. Now let's see what I found on my walk today. I was pretty excited because I found two volunteer plants that I just whooped with joy (much to Ben's dismay) when I saw them. (By the way...(see post below)..my car did not get out of the mud until Wednesday...it had to be towed out. :)

This was the first volunteer I found..... a magnolia tree. I absolutely adore magnolia trees and their fabulous large green leaves with a soft velvety backside. It was growing on the hillside on the edge of the woods next to the lake. I may try to replant it as it's not exactly in a great place but then again if Mother nature put it there and it's doing well maybe that's exactly where it should be.

And this is the other volunteer I found. This too was on the edge of the woods but on the other side of the property. Now I have two nursery stock Nandina bushes that I have never gotten any red berries from to use at Christmas. By Christmas the birds have eaten most all the berries. Yet this volunteer Nandina is loaded with the most gorgeous red berries and the leaves are much healthier looking than my nursery ones. Go figure.....but I love it. I called Bobby G. at the office to tell him all about the discovery and he said "what's a nandina"? For some reason he didn't share my unbridled excitement. pffft!

Nature provides us with all kinds of interesting flora for decorating with at Christmas. There's all kinds of pods and weeds we can pick. These fine specimens are milkweed pods. They are very pretty sprayed gold or silver and put in an ever green arrangement.

Another fun plant to pick and use is curly willow. Bobby G. gave this to me as a surprise three years ago and we planted it in the back on the edge of the lake. It likes it there and this year it has gotten big enough that I can pick some of the branches. Sprayed white or silver or leave plain, they add interesting texture to an evergreen arrangement or put branches of it in your Christmas tree.

The Oregon Grape Holly is another plant in our landscape I love. When we moved to this home there was one plant out back next to the pool shed and thanks to nature and the birds there are now at least ten of them growing in the woods. They really change with each season and at Christmas time are pretty in arrangements because of their large scale holly like leaves. It is said that Oregon Grape Holly is probably the best garden plant that Lewis and Clark brought back to the United States when they made their trip into the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. (didn't know you were going to get a history lesson did ya.?)

Have you even seen a more perfect shaped evergreen tree? A perfect Christmas tree I say if you had a gigantic foyer with a three story cathedral ceiling. When I was a little girl we always went out to the country to the woods and cut down a cedar tree. They smelled wonderful but with their soft branches they weren't very good to hang heavy ornaments on. Then when we moved into this home, I was tickled pink that there were cedar trees everywhere. Our first Christmas we went out and cut down what looked like the "perfect" shaped tree only to discover that the bottom of it was actually two trunks.....soooo consequently we ended up wiring it together. Having forgotten how soft the branches were from childhood I quickly discovered that half my ornaments would not work on the tree but I decorated it anyway with what would work. We watered it diligently everyday but by Christmas day all you had to do was walk by the tree and you could hear the falling of dried cedar. The day after Christmas we took it down and by the time we had dragged it to the front door there was not a piece of green left on that tree. I thought I would never get my floors and rugs cleaned. Hence, the next year is when I bought my first artificial tree and never looked back.

Now I just use the cut branches of the cedars in fresh arrangements and enjoy the smell of Christmas that way. These cedars are called Red Cedars which I think is strange because every other year they produce an abundance of blue berries. Pat over at Backporch Musings decorated her dining room in blue for Christmas this year. The blue berried cedar branches would have fit beautifully in that room.

Of course the reason for this walk was to find holly and holly I did find. And it's full of red berries this year which is not always the case. I wonder if that means it's going to be a long cold winter?

And let's not forget the humble pinecones which can be a staple at Christmas time. Left plain or sprayed gold and silver for your arrangements or coat with peanut butter and birdseed and hang outside for our feathered friends. I guarantee they'll be a hit!

And finally one last startling surprise I found today. We have an old, old wild cherry tree in the side yard. One of the branches had split and was hanging down and as I was pulling on it, trying to pull it down, I peered way up in the tree and guess what I saw? Mistletoe!! Again thanks to Mother Nature and the birds. But why is it always in the very tip top of the trees? Can you see it?

Hope you enjoyed our little walk today. It was cloudy and near 60 degrees today. As Ben and I walked I noticed it was very, very still.......no wind, no birds talking, no outside noises. It actually kind of spooked me a bit. The only sound was me as I walked through the fallen leaves. I would love to send someone a box of fresh greens so don't forget to leave a comment. See you for Pink Saturday.


Sandi McBride said...

That's what we call them, volunteers...I'd dig that Magnolia up and put it in the sunlight and let it rip! In fact that's what I'm doing this weekend, going to Daddy's and did up two or three of them to move here...great post, loved the pictures, too!

Anonymous said...

How lucky you are to live among all of natures lovely gifts. I live in the city of St Louis and the one tree we had (a huge oak)fell in a storm a couple of years ago (right on my car) and my yard is the size of a postage stamp in front and in back. Oh I long for a yard and a view that isn't of the alley and my neighbors garages. It's not all bad I do have a park on the block behind my house so I do get to walk and pretend I'm communing with nature. Thanks for all of the informative info too!

Christie said...

Hey Lynn!
Everything is so pretty where you live at. I so enjoyed the walk through your woods.... Please enter me in your greenery giveaway. I'd love to have some fresh greenery....I can almost smell it from here.... I know, I'm a few miles from you, but I have a good imagination. LoL! Have a great night Lynn and thanks so much for coming over...
P.S. so glad to here that you got your car out of the mud...bless your heart...that was an ordeal....I can imagine.

The Joy of Nesting said...

I dropped by and really enjoyed your walk!! The traditional Holiday greens don't grow here :c( The first Christmas we decorated a palm tree. But have since have gone to an artificial tree. Holds ornaments better :c)

Oops I was started to say. I dropped by to enjoy your greens,get a small flora fix and see how Chrismas preperations are going. I better be getting back, need to rest as tomorrow the decorating begins on the Patio :c)

Pattie :c)
Mazatlan Mexico

Gone said...

I'm glad to hear you were finally able to get your car out of the muck!!

What a fun give-away!!

Your magnolia will be beautiful!!


PAT said...

Thanks so much for the mention, Lynn and the idea...we have red cedar all over the place...I think I'll look for some branches with blue berries. We used to have cedar every Christmas but finally came to the conclusion it was much safer to have artificial and less cleanup. Even though we have allergies, I still like to have just a little bit of cedar in the house at Christmas.

My heart went pitterpat all through your walk. I wish we had those glorious magnolias in our part of the state. They do grow in the south of Missouri, but not here. Beautiful beautiful beautiful Christmas greenery in every photo of your post. Please add my name to the hat!

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

You live in such a lovely area. I love winter's greens! Magnolia has to be a favorite of mine. My hubby's grandmother has a huge old tree in her yard and I love to slip over and borrow a branch or two occasionally. :) Camilla's are wonderful as well. My mom has a red one that is just stunning.
I hope that you have a fabulous weekend.
ps~I'm glad you were able to get you car of of the yuck, but sorry you had to have it towed.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Hi Lynn,
I am glad I was an inspiration!! You have some beautiful woods surrounding your home. I grew up on a lake in Michigan, and I would love to live on one again. My dream home would be an old farmhouse, on a lake with mountain views and a big red barn that I could use as a studio/shop. Someday....:-)
p.s. don't include me in your sweet giveaway...I have my holly...

Dana and Daisy said...

I love the walk through your woods! I'd love a box of fresh holly as mine are not big enough to justify clipping yet. But steve is allergic to cedar, so if I can request none of the cedar clippings if you have any in mind.

I also have not had berries on my nandina yet and wondered if it has anything to do with their nursery varieties? I hope it is just immaturity.

Love and Christmas hugs, Dana and Daisy

Dawn Marie said...

thank you for that tour. I'm envious you can still get out and walk and find natures things. we are in the single digits already and its cold!

I love how you know all those trees, shrubs..etc. I know so few.

My big excitement for today is going to get bird food to feed Gods creatures..its one thing that gives me alot of pleasure!

Broken China Treasures said...

You weren't walking alone - you brought all of us along with you! Great post and I enjoyed the little history lesson. About the mistletoe, I had a cousin who used to go to the woods this time of year and use his gun to shoot the mistletoe out of the trees for his wife! Around here, I just wait for it to fall, I'm not gonna shoot up my neighborhood!!

BittersweetPunkin said...

Hi Lynn...We live "in the woods" near a lake and I just love it. There are lots of trails and lovely sights and smells this time of year. I have scaled back all my frou frou this year and I am putting out more things such a pinecones and greenery for texture and "realism".I have realized that I don't need to display everything Christmas themed chotchkie that I own....LOL.

I hope you have a great weekend!!

CIELO said...

Hi Lynn... love all your nature views.... nature always inspire me.... thanks for sharing your lovely little world....

Have a blessed day


Linda said...

Thank you so much for the lovely walk through the woods. What a delightful way to spend the day. Seeing this was such a joy since hurricane Ike took so many of my plants.
Have a very Merry Christmas.

Jenny said...

What a fun giveaway!! And you got to enjoy gathering it as much as the winner will get opening it!! Add me in!

Lisa said...

The beauty that surrounds you is amazing. You have such a nice variety to admire and borrow this season. Lucky gal! Wonder if I can whip up something with the brown dandilions or other such ugly weeds in my yard? HA! I won't even tell you what they are charging here for ONE sprig of mistetoe (complete with exactly one leaf).

Unknown said...

I love nature Lynn and one thing I have plenty at home and outside are plants. Big hugs for the weekend :D

Anonymous said...

What a lovely forest you have to walk in..... nature is so glorious....
Hope your week got better... and you got your car out of the mud..

Back Through Time said...

How lucky you are Lynn to have all of that bounty in your backyard!! I only have a small courtyard so to me you have a goldmind! What a great giveaway!!
Have a cozy weekend
Sorry to hear about your car:-(

Anonymous said...

What a great give-away! Love this idea!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

What a wonderful walk through your woods...I enjoyed everything. Yes, please enter me in your greenery giveaway.


Pythea said...

I love your comment about the nandinas. My mother taught me the proper names of plants, too, and often people get confused when I use them. In South Louisiana, nandina often goes by the name Devil's Walking Stick, which is much livelier than nandina! The ones my landlord planted on the northeast side of our building are scrawny and mildew-ridden. So thanks for the pictures!

Thru Pink Curtains said...

nice nature photos. the old man that i wrote about today had a holly bush looking out the itchen window-a male and a female plant. i guess they have tohave both for them to produce berries. great walk today.

Alexandra MacVean said...

The magnolia tree and holly are beautiful. VERY. :) I hope you have a good weekend!


PS I'd love to enter the drawing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely, quiet walk. I need something like this to slow me down some..so I really enjoyed it. I would love to enter the drawing..the holly is so pretty.

Ballerina Girl said...

Fun idea for a give away! I know I am outside the US but I will be there in just another week!!!
So, I'll partake!
Great fotos

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

Yes, it is a great idea for a give away - would love to be added to the drawing! (and I love the nature sounds too!)
Hugs - Diane

Jen said...

Great Walk. I always collect greenery for holiday decor.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the visit and I would never expect you to send me pinkies... I checked with the postal service and it would be approximately 20.00. So expensive!!
Thank you so much for your beautiful friendship over at the Vintage Nest.
Hugs from Claudie in Canada

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,
Thank you for stopping by my blog & the Christmas wishes. I wish you a blessed Merry Christmas too. I just love the music on your blog & the post about the plants. I get excited when I find volunteers too. God & nature are so awesome to give us so many free gifts for our enjoyment. You live in a beautiful place. Sorry about your car getting stuck in the mud. Reminds me when I pulled up beside our house once and one wheel found a sink hole and it was alot of trouble getting it out. Of course I had to wait for hubby to get home & help! Love your pink ribbons! Hope sometime next year I can come down & go antiquing with you. Take care.
Pink hugs to you,

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