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From the Garden: Sylvan Reverie

Create a serene winter tableau with this simple arrangement: birch bark wrapped around glass cylinders filled with plants. Trimmings from the holiday tree and scented geranium leaves snipped from a houseplant accentuate the amaryllis blooms.

Photography: Lisa Hubbard

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2007


When buying bark on the internet or at a crafts store, be sure it came from a fallen, not live tree.

Red-and-white amaryllis recall classic candy-cane stripes and thus inspired the container for this Sylvan Reverie. Cylindrical glass vases are wrapped in pearlescent paper or vellum and finished with red ribbon. Pure-red amaryllis anchor the grouping, and dishes of peppermint candies set off the display. Amaryllis buds add texture and will make the bouquets last longer. Keep them out of direct light, and change the water every third day.


  • Birch bark

  • Scissors

  • Knotted twine

  • Assorted flowers

  • For candy stripers: Vellum


  1. Cut birch bark to fit around three cylindrical glass vases of various sizes, adding an inch to the circumference.

  2. Secure bark with knotted twine. Cut stems to different lengths, and arrange amaryllis, boughs, and leaves asymmetrically.

  3. Stagger vases, and surround them with boxwood and pinecones.

  4. Wrap cylindrical glass vases of different widths and heights with vellum or pearlescent paper cut to size, adding an inch in length so paper overlaps; fasten with double-sided tape. Wrap red ribbon around vellum, crisscrossing several times up and down vase. Arrange amaryllis in a loose dome, interspersing solid-red blooms with striped ones.

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