Garden Photo of the Day

‘Tis the Season

The weather outside is frightful, but holiday decor can be SO delightful!

Holiday terrarium featuring: Titan Pink poinsettia, asparagus fern, Sedum acre ‘Aureum’, and locally foraged moss.

By Kim Charles, web producer at Fine Gardening magazine


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  1. frankgreenhalgh 12/05/2016

    G'day Kim - It's starting to warm up in parts of Australia. I will forward photos etc. as soon as the Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile) flowers are in full bloom in my neck of the woods. It is a much maligned plant here, but at least it is appreciated in your part of the world based on comments by GPODers on my post earlier in the year. Cheers, Frank

    1. tennisluv 12/05/2016

      I look forward to seeing your Agapanthus as I was never successful growing them in my previous landscape. Australia is on my bucket list; my husband has been and fell in love with your land of OZ.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 12/05/2016

        Good on you, Sonya - come on down and have some fun, as well as get the trip off your bucket list. Don't make it another '5 year plan'. Cheers from Oz

    2. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      G'day Frank! Agapanthus are one of my top 5 faves, so I will be looking out for those photos once in full bloom!
      Happy Holidays!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 12/05/2016

        Nice terrarium Kim. Sorry I didn't realise it is yours. A kangaroo loose in the top paddock again. Regards, Frank

        1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

          Yes...its one of mine--thank you! I'd love to be in your shoes for a few days!

          1. frankgreenhalgh 12/05/2016

            You might want to rethink that Kim
            - I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016


    3. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 12/05/2016

      While Agapanthus are almost invasive for you, Frank, we do love them here. While in WI we would drag a pot of them into the garage for winter since they weren't hardy but now we are able to have several areas of them in the milder PNW. Glad to hear that you're warming up there. Looking forward to some garden photos, Linda

      1. frankgreenhalgh 12/05/2016

        Hi Linda - Gee dragging the agas. into the garage in WI sounds like hard work. Glad you are able to enjoy them now.

        As you know, agapanthus grows well in southern Aust. It produces a lot of tiny winged seed, which is wind or water dispersed, and it can end up growing in native plant communities. Therefore many consider it to be an environmental weed. However, it is not declared or considered noxious by any State or Territory government. It is very hardy (except for winters such as those in WI) and is a fire retardant (borders of agapanthus have saved many houses from bush/wild fires). I make sure I cut the flower heads off before any seed is set to prevent any dispersal into the bush etc.

        I would like to show you a map of the temperatures in Oz at the moment, but there is no photo access presently. There have been temperatures well above the 40C (104F) mark in northern parts of the country - not as hot down south (yet). Cheers, Frank

      2. frankgreenhalgh 12/06/2016

        Hey Linda - my neurons have started to work again. Here is the weather map from the other day FYI. Cheers, Frank

        1. User avater
          LindaonWhidbey 12/06/2016

          Thanks, Frank,
          I'll have to see how our exchange student son in Sydney is dealing with the heat. It looks to me like Melbourne is a more pleasant place to live; maybe slightly more moderate?

          1. frankgreenhalgh 12/06/2016

            Hello Linda - I'm absolutely delighted that your son is in Sydney as an exchange student (though it would have been better if he was in Melbourne from a parochial point of view). I hope he is having a great time. Does that mean that you have an Aussie over there? I remember that you have contacts in Sydney. Melbourne is less humid and hot than Sydney, and there is considerable rivalry between the two cities. I gather from your previous comments that you won't be visiting Oz any time soon. However, if your son comes to Melbourne before he returns home, let me know because my wife and I and family would love to meet him and show him some of the sites etc i.e. if he doesn't mind oldies taking him around. I'm sure that he is a fine lad based on his quality genetics.

            I wonder if he will return home with any Aussie habits/slang etc. It won't be the end of the world if he does. Cheers from a foreign correspondent

          2. User avater
            LindaonWhidbey 12/06/2016

            Oops, Frank, I think that I wrote that badly. Our "son" in Sydney was an exchange student to us from South Africa. It was when our children were in high school. He became part of our family and has always felt like a son. He and his wife moved to Sydney about 11 yrs ago and love it. We love that he's there since it is so much safer than SA. Thank you for your kind offer, though. Who knows, maybe my husband and I will come back there and take you up on that tour:)

          3. frankgreenhalgh 12/06/2016

            Gotcha, Linda. We are the same age so I must admit that I was thinking that you deserve a gold medal for still having a student son. Also, I now understand who your contact is in Sydney. South Africa is an absolutely beautiful country, but I understand your security concerns before he came to Oz. Have a great Xmas Linda.

    4. perenniallycrazy 12/06/2016

      Maligned? Why?

      1. frankgreenhalgh 12/06/2016

        Greetings Cherry - Agapanthus is considered an environmental weed in many temperate parts of southern Australia because it sets lots of seed which is easily dispersed - resulting in it invading urban bushland, margins of forests, waterways etc. It is claimed that it takes over and displaces indigenous grasses and ground cover plants. However, I think this is an over reaction. I make sure that I cut off the flower heads before the seed is mature, and hence avoid the issue of dispersal outside our garden. Thanks for your interest. Cheers from Oz

        1. perenniallycrazy 12/06/2016

          You're so hardcore Frank. =) Happy Holidays!

  2. user-3565112 12/05/2016

    Thank you KIm, Your photos hit the spot this morning. The 1st one is very creative & sparkles. Good luck, Joe

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      Thanks Joe!

  3. tennisluv 12/05/2016

    Love your Christmas pots, Kim. With the exception of the Poinsettia, they are made up of items we can forage from our gardens or neighboring woods. I thought the Cyprus knee (or is it driftwood?) in the terrarium was an especially nice touch.

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      Thanks Sonya--I collect driftwood from a local lake to use in's my final, finishing touch.

  4. user-7007498 12/05/2016

    Kim, love the terrarium. Great use of the poinsettia.

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      Thanks so much Kevin! I'll post a few more this month, so stay tuned!

  5. sheila_schultz 12/05/2016

    Hey Kim, your terrarium is outstanding and one of the best uses of a poinsettia I've ever seen! I'm crazy about the subtle, textural differences between the rhipsalis and asparagus fern separated by the piece of driftwood... brilliant!

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      Thank you so much Sheila! Stay tuned...I will post more as we move through the month! :-)

      1. sheila_schultz 12/05/2016

        YES! You've been holding back on us... didn't know you were a container gardener ;) I can wait to see the next installments!

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/05/2016

    That is a great Poinsettia! I love the combination with the wood and other elements. I don't usually do anything special for the holidays, plant-wise. It's just too cold here in winter for nice winter containers and I'm too busy spending money on seeds and new plants to buy a Poinsettia-exactly why it is so great to get vicarious joy from the efforts of others!!

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      A...ha! So true and I completely understand your point. I bet you would be great at creating a terrarium though....your gardens are beautiful and you have a great eye!

    2. perenniallycrazy 12/06/2016

      Liar liar pants on fire! I know you've got an oh so fabulous all year round arrangement. I think everyone here would be totally wowed by it! (You can just add lights or a couple of shiny ornaments to make it holiday if you like... but even without it's SUPER!)

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/06/2016

        Thanks for the laugh! But shouldn't it be 'liar liar plants on fire?'
        To which year-round arrangement are you referring? The Ficus bonsai-Tillandsia tree? I guess it could get some mini-ornaments!

        1. perenniallycrazy 12/06/2016

          You got that right!

  7. user-6536305 12/05/2016

    Beautiful arrangements. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      Thank you Lilian!

  8. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/05/2016

    That's a great looking holiday terrarium, Kim. I especially like your addition of the driftwood which is something that I've never considered and have in abundance. In fact, my husband and I built our Christmas tree out of driftwood. Isn't it amazing how many beautiful new types of Poinsettia are showing up? Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Kim_Charles 12/05/2016

      Hello Linda, thank you for the compliment! I'd love to see your driftwood tree...very unique! And yes....many, many interesting poinsettias out there....this season more than ever I think. I actually spotted an orange one last week--pretty wild, but not my fave.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 12/06/2016

        Here is my driftwood tree. It just seemed a fitting use of a beautiful but very dead 300 yr old Madrone tree that we were forced to take down for safety reasons.

        1. Kim_Charles 12/06/2016

          Thanks for sharing Linda--I love this...very unique!

  9. user-5117752 12/05/2016

    Oh! I just love your terrarium! What a marvelous, creative way of using the Poinsettia and, although I'm not a religious person, I can almost see a "Virgin Mary" in the drift wood. Just lovely. Do send more pics, please.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/06/2016

      Wow, Judy Rose. I looked back at the photo and I can see her, too! :)

      1. user-5117752 12/06/2016

        Happy Holidays, Tim!

  10. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/05/2016

    I really enjoyed all the creations that you shared today, Kim. You obviously have a very enviable artistic flare. Isn't it fascinating how the addition of an organic element like even just a twig can take a container arrangement to the next level. Your addition of a flower element adds delightful pizzazz to the arrangements. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. schatzi 12/06/2016

    Beautiful, Kim. Love the Poinsettia and the ferns and the pine and the driftwood and branches...great job.

  12. perenniallycrazy 12/06/2016

    So pretty in pink for the holidays Kim... nice work! I better get working on my submission.

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