Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg: Unexpected Wreaths

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Susan reporting:

With dozens of houses, shops, stables, and other buildings in Colonial Williamsburg decorated festively for the holiday season, there's no shortage of unusual wreaths. Everything used must have been available to 18th c Virginians, but there's clearly no limit on imagination. Here are four houses decked out with special flair; please click on the photographs to enlarge them for details.

At first glance, the dignified house, above, seems to traditionally decorated with pine cones and boughs. But look closer: there are also bright green Granny Smith apples as well as various dried grasses and seed pods. My favorite part: the vertical garlands flanking the door are topped with fans of wild turkey feathers.

More wild ingredients appear in the wreath, above left. Punctuating the greenery are branches with red berries and pheasant feathers. The puffs of white are cotton bolls, and nestled in the center of the wreath is a crown of deer antlers.

Not found in nature (at least not together): the wreath, right, featuring purple-tinged clam shells filled with dried pink strawflowers. The leafy green buds surrounding the shells are brewer's hops.

The final house/shop, lower left, is one that clearly inspires its decorators: the lattice-work signboard that's holding red and green apples served as a makeshift gallows for hanging a royal effigy in 2010.

This year's theme is less political and more equine. A padded horse-collar serves as a frame for a basket of dried flowers and grasses, while on the window shutters, long stirrups hold more apples.

(Curious about the curious sign board? I was, too - and here's the explanation from Colonial Williamsburg.)

Photographs copyright 2011 Susan Holloway Scott


nightsmusic said...

I could see the haystack, but the occupation had me baffled. Pretty cool.

I love the red and white wreath. So pretty, but I could do without the deer antlers *shudders* I'm wondering how the bolls stand up to rain and inclement weather. Do you think they get all soggy and drab looking?

I've really enjoyed this Christmas series. Thanks for the sacrifices you make for us ;o)

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