Irene Virag's Garden Party

I'm Irene Virag -- a writer, a gardener, a cancer survivor. I think ideas are like plants. They need nurturing to grow. And gardeners share both. So welcome to my blog. It’s all about what’s happening in my garden and beyond.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Thanks to everyone who entered my "Unplug the Holidays" contest this year. Here are my winners:

First Prize to Leeann Lavin of New Jersey,
who tweaked the holiday color scheme with lime green hypericum berries nestled among rich red roses and carnations.

Leeann also hung her stockings on the arms of silver plant cups filled with roses, carnations and seeded eucalyptus.

But she forgot to take pictures of the table designs she created with kumquats, Peruvian lilies and more hypericum berries surrounded with angel beeswax candles. I would have loved to have seen those.

And the outdoor displays Leeann designed from evergreens, birch branches and pine cones gathered from her yard were buried beneath the snow. You can't get any more natural than that.

Second Prize to Karen Siddiqi of Georgia,who wrote me this lovely note:

I'd like to enter my lampwork glass Christmas ornaments to the "Unplug the Holidays" contest. These really are "unplugged' in the sense that they were made using glass and fire. I'm still a beginner but I'll admit these made me smile not just because I managed to create something with fairly precise detail out of ooey gooey molten glass, but also because they marked the start of the Christmas season for me this year.

I was charmed by the decorations and decided that they not only qualified, but deserved a prize. I checked out Karen's blog, This Little Life of Mine, and found this entry about her handiwork:

"Yesterday, I had a late night inspiration for some ornaments and made these beads. I still have to get the ornament hangers to put on them, but I think they turned out pretty well. They're small -- maybe an inch and a half tall, but they're cute if I do say so myself! I think I'll try to make some today that are a smidge bigger, but I'm not sure if I can accomplish that in my unheated basement with a hothead torch (kind of a beginner's new one is on order!):"

And now that it's officially 2010, here's to a neater, greener new year.

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