Bonnie Pancoast from Eastern Pennsylvania creates decor for the holiday season using elements found right in her own backyard.
“One of the many advantages of living in the country is access to natural items to create holiday décor. It begins in autumn with pumpkins, gourds and grapevines which are then added to Christmas creations. I find it difficult to give up on the pumpkins and gourds as their beauty adds holiday cheer. Over the past few years I have dried and cleaned birdhouse gourds to use again as well as ventured into the woods to gather grapevines and pinecones to use in various projects. In the following photos, all natural items including greens are from our property. The gourds were also grown on the property and the pumpkins were purchased from nearby farms.”
Have a garden you’d like to share? Email 5-10 photos and a brief story about your garden to [email protected]. Please include where you are located!
Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
Follow us: @finegardening on Twitter | FineGardeningMagazine on Facebook | @finegardening on Instagram
It's amazing that you are able to source all your holiday decor from your property. I wish I could do that. I love those osange oranges and those swan neck gourds of yours. How large is your property? Happy Holidays Bonnie!
Hey Cherry - Good work being the first to comment - and without having a timezone advantage (late night or early morning?)! Since I reckon you have a good sense of humour, here is a Xmas wreath with an Aussie twist (crimson rosellas and king parrots). Cheers from Oz
I love the wreath!!!!!
Got me to smile to start the day with your "wreath".
Oh, my gosh, Frank, the laugh is on me...I stared and stared at this picture wondering what the different colored elements were made of. Then I went away to read something else and came back to your picture and "ding, ding, ding...the lightbulb went off in my dim brain. How could I not have seen right away that they are gorgeous colorful birds? Of course, now that I know, it seems impossible that I didn't see it correctly from the beginning.
Aussie humour can set you on the wrong track, Michaele. Got there in the end though, which is the main thing. I hope you are fully recovered from your op. etc. Have a great Xmas/Holiday period. Cheers, Frank
Doing great, thanks, Frank...back to my Christmas elf duties with full gusto.
Very cool, Frank!
I think I need this wreath!
Such beautiful birds. I know that parrots can be destructive at times, but it seems so fabulously exotic to have these colorful, intelligent birds native.
Can you imagine the clean-up with this living wreath? ...and my GF Sylvia complains about the shedding of fresh wreaths...
Wow. I had not even considered clean up!!
Hi Tim - Yes the rosellas and parrots are lovely birds. Some of the cockatoos can be destructive at times e.g. sharpening they beaks and dropping lots of twigs/shoots of trees - but they too are lovely birds.
How did you get them to line up like that? Just kidding! Blond humor! Merry Christmas everyone!!
Hey Deborah - I know from your previous comments that you GET Aussie humour. Thanks for that. Have a lovely Xmas and happy new year. Cheers, Frank
Love this Frank! Happy Holidays!
You have the most colorful birds in OZ Frank, and well trained, too:)
There's nothing more ALIVE than the christmas wreath you sent me... and I thought the ones I have fun making were fresh and living but required some clean up due to shedding. It's nice to hear from you Frank. I thought for a second you were avoiding me.... About being first to comment, well, it was probably quite obvious that I was the last to comment on Tim's Day but like they say better late than never. Wishing you and yours a fun-filled and wacky Christmas! Now off to the races for me...
Cherry, trust me, I have not been trying to avoid you. However, now that I know that you do have a sense of humour (e.g. 'wacky' Xmas), watch out! If horse racing is your thing, and if you are ever coming down under, make sure you are here on the first Tuesday in November for the Melbourne Cup. Apart from the best thoroughbreds in the world, the elegant fashions on the field and the spectacular rose displays, some of the 100,000 people dress up in crazy outfits. It is a fantastic fun day, and it would be right up your alley. Cheers, Frank
I know nothing about horse racing so I assume you would be a BAD influence on me if I ever visit Down Under. Bring 'em on!
Hey Cherry - what sort of 'races' did you refer to then?????
I live on two acres in the country. When I drive back roads I'm always on the lookout for items to use around no the gardens. I had a 5 year old tulip poplar break when a black walnut branch fell on it. I took the top piece, turned it upside down and wove grape vines through it . It is now a natural sculpture in my garden!
I'd love to see a photo if you care to share. I can't even begin to imagine what a treat 2 acres would be. My garden is a mere 1000 sq ft.
Perhaps one winter's day I will submit photos for consideration of the gardens, thank you!
Hello there Bonnie - Congratulations on your innovative and interesting displays made from local produce, foliage and materials. How could you not get into the Xmas spirit entering your garden and seeing your wonderful creations? Great photography too. Cheers, Frank
Thank you! Living in the country is magical.
Bonnie, your property is so natural. It is very calming to look at your creations, in this busy time of year. I love the color of the variegated euonymus in the first photo. And the Osage oranges- beautiful! Thanks for the aah moment!
Bonnie, love the gourds and the greens. Very festive and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
You and Mother Nature make a great decorating team, Bonnie. I know what you mean about hating to say goodbye to perfectly good pumpkins and gourds when Thanksiving is over . By committing to a more organic color palette for Christmas, they continue to work perfectly as objects of ornamentation. I like that!
And what is so much fun is the decor is different every year!
Bonnie, love all your natural decorations. The gourds and pumpkins, never thought to hold them over into Christmas, add just the right touch of earthiness when added to your plethora of greens. The red gourd nestled in the cone nest wrapped in grape vine is especially nice.
That one started out dyed a light green but this year I wanted more vibrant reds so I painted it again!
Well done, Bonnie. Way to keep putting the garden to use. I really like that pine cone wreath - it's kinda mesmerizing. Thanks for sharing.
You are welcome!
Thank you Bonnie for posting your terrific creations. Everyone is original & the snow on the pumpkins & gourds is a beautiful finishing touch by Mother Nature.
Merry Christmas & happy New Year to you & your family, Good Luck,Joe
Beautiful and inspirational, Bonnie! You have a wonderful setting for your works of art.
Thank you, the property is a blessing. Behind my home the property is actually a glen with a spring fed stream at the bottom.
Wow... very nice. You got Cherry's gene. Very sophisticated, clever creations. Jealous over here.
Aww, thank you!
Very impressive Bonnie, you certainly have a wealth of beauty on and around your property! Enjoy the holidays!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Your use of natural materials is creative and divine! Many blessings to you and your loved ones this holiday season.
And to you and yours.
These are all so nice, Bonnie. I love any use of pine cones and I've always been crazy about Osage Orange. Does your grapevine tuteur stay out all year? Looks like a great place for a small clematis to scramble.
Yes I keep it out all year and move it to different locations in the gardens. I also made one that is in the house with twinkle lights inside it.
That's very cool. I remember making a grapevine 'Christmas tree' one year for a friend. Really a nice, rustic touch.
Lovely. Particularly like the use of the red wooden stool to create verticality.
Love to use vintage pieces in the gardens. I shop thrift stores for my pieces.
Bonnie, I share your love of using what is found on our property for decorating and am always amazed at what I find. The first year in the PNW, I had both holly and snow berries on my table until my daughter pointed out how poisonous those berries can be and how interesting to grandchildren. Now those are outdoor decorations:) I love the painted red gourd and also the photo with the red stool. Thanks for sharing your creative decorations.
Thank you, and yes I agree it is important to know what we bring inside with children and pets. Thank goodness we have our outside canvas!
I've grown gourds for about 5 years now. I start using them as decor in September and they end by being food for squirrels and deer in February.
Here's what might be a dumb question, Bonnie, but do you plan strategically when sowing seeds for pumpkins and gourds...meaning, I guess, staggering the timing of when you put the seeds in the ground. The time or two when I've natural seed germination take place from throwing pumpkins in the compost pile, they seem to ripen too early and by Halloween and Thanksgiving, they are on their way to being mush.
Love the grapevine spiral with the red gourd - beautiful! As is everything else. Very creative. And the dusting of snow just adds to the beauty. Frank, your Aussie wreath is gorgeous!
The red gourd is this years decor. I must admit it's one of my favorites!
How wonderful! How charming! How creative! Simply charming! Thank you for sharing!!!
Thanks, what I love about outdoor decorations is they're my gift to my neighbors.
These are extraordinary celebrations Bonnie! You certainly have an eye. Wonderful, festive and natural. I certainly "caught the spirit."
Thank you! Sometimes we need to remember it's the usual and not unusual that will add to the holiday spirit!
While too busy yesterday for sitting and typing...tis the Season.. I was captivated by your beautiful Holiday statements!! In this day's rush to fill our sentiments with plastic, bling, smart lights and now inflatable parade floats, your quiet yet joyful expressions whisper a more real connection to what this time of year is all about.
Thank you for sharing, for keeping it real, and thank you for reminding us!
Happy Holidays and Blessed Be!
You have touched my heart! I do believe we must all reach out to help others smile! I do it through my gardens. thank you...
Log in or create an account to post a comment.Sign up Log in