The first photo shows wire screen placed on the opening of the urn with the salal branches in place. Don’t forget to strip all of your branches of the excess leaves on either side. Inside the urn is a plastic bucket that stays there the year round. In the summer we place a pot of annuals in the urn. It catches any excess dripping water. The bucket also gives a shallower bottom to the urn, so that the branches for the dry autumn arrangement don’t have to be as long. The next photo shows the cedar in place. All
of the branches so far are laid around the outside of the urn to create a base for the arrangement. Some of the branches are sticking up a little but with addition of more branches will make them lay flat. Two small scrubby fir trees are added side by side to give the effect of one tree. This also allows for a fuller looking tree. Pine boughs are added next. I continued the triangular shape by placing the boughs on either side of the fir tree and a few pine boughs in the front of the urn. I want the central area in front of the fir tree to be flatter for a smaller display to be placed in this area. Rose hips, hawthorn berries, and holly add colour and interest. Two bird nests are tucked in the boughs, one in the top of the fir tree and one at the base of the tree. Three strands of 50 mini lights are tucked in amongst the foliage. The finishing touches are added. Three large pine cones and ribbon are wired in among the boughs. Added to the birds nests are two paper party hats, bird size of course, and a "tin can" telephone made from two thimbles and a length of thin string. It takes a while make a large arrangement but is definitely worth it. When I started the arrangement I had a concept not a finished idea and then proceeded from there. I hope this inspires you to try some freeform designing of your own. The images are in the order that I describe in the directions. I have more pictures than text so the last four are at the bottom. Click on each image for a better view of the details. Have fun getting ready for Christmas. Don't burn out, take time for others and above all have fun.