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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
Allsup in Woodford County
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Holiday Decor Wrap-Up

Who collects 880 canned goods for local food pantries, leaves glitter and evergreen needles in their wake and creates masterful holiday décor pieces? The local University of Illinois Horticulture program team does. University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, and Program Coordinator, Brittnay Haag along with the help of the infamous Master Gardener elves provided a Holiday Décor program in all three counties to teach their community how to incorporate live greens into the decorating process. Most greenhouses and nurseries depend on selling live trees, fresh greens and potted plants to make winter a profitable season.

Traditionally we have been taught to keep them outside but Allsup encouraged participants to use them for decorating inside the house with just a little extra care to keep them fresh. The care would involve a little daily spritzing with water or running under the faucet and keeping live décor away from heating vents. Allsup suggested incorporating different kinds of greens to make a dramatic high style arrangement. Greens were flying as centerpieces, wreaths and door swags were created out of fraiser fir, noble fir, cedar, juniper and boxwood. Adornments of pinecones, winterberry and sparkles were added to make the greens festive. When the arrangements were completed they were auctioned off to the highest bidder of canned goods destined for someone's holiday dinner.

Participants were offered an evening of holiday cheer with creative easy to do arrangements, yummy sweets and hot chocolate, entertaining instructor (Allsup has been dubbed the Julia Child of Holiday Décor), the chance to support their local food banks and a holiday swag to take home. The University of Illinois Horticulture team would like to thank all the participants of the program for making it an incredible success.

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Such a fun and wonderful class and the great contribution to the food pantry! Thanks!
by Marsha Clark on Thursday 12/12/2013

My daughter and I attended this workshop. So much fun and we were able to create our own swag. We purchased several items (with canned food for the Eureka Food Pantry)and will be able to enjoy these decorations throughout the holidays. What a great way to start off the Holiday Season!
by Cindy Johnson on Sunday 12/22/2013