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less likely to crack your terracotta pot. I use top soil in my pots to hold up the branches but sand and floral foam work just as well. To begin, cut a fresh end for each branch,

removing any greenery that will be covered in soil. Cut branches down into sizes that are manageable to work with. A good rule of thumb is to use groupings of odd numbers, threes work nicely, and to use several types of winter greens and twigs. Dogwood, bamboo, birch limbs and curly willow add height and texture contrasting beautifully with the evergreens. Branches with winter berries can also add colour and interest to your arrangement. Once all your greens are in place, it’s time to

add a pop of colour and sparkle to your master- piece. Here the options are endless; this is where you can really show your creativity. Use a hot glue gun to add embellishments to tall branches or choose from the variety of options available at your local garden or craft store. Try spray painting pinecones or branches in your favou- rite colours or add a large bow or ornaments to impress. To set the arrangement, add water and place

it outside to freeze, holding everything neatly in place all winter long. Now you and your guests will have a reason to smile every time you pass by your beautiful work of art! P

Shannon Gage is a graduate of Olds College and landscape designer.

Bows and ornament clusters add showy appeal.

Beautiful Gardens of Holland and Belgium Hosted by Larry Hodgson and provided by Back Roads Touring

Join Garden Writers Association President Larry Hodgson as he leads this incredible 9 day tour through the historic gardens of Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels. Take in the spectacular flowers of the Keukenhof, Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Royal Greenhouses and secret gardens of Amsterdam and Belgium.

Getting there is easier than you think. Flight Centre Business Travel Georgia & Seymour is currently offering the following vacation for travel departing April 22nd & returning April 30th, 2015. This package includes:

• 8 nights in unique & distinctive accommodation • Driver/Tour Leader in a private vehicle

• Full breakfast daily, 2 evening meals, sight-seeing and entrance fees as per itinerary

Pricing from $ 2988* including all taxes & fees.

For more information, contact Flight Centre Business Travel Georgia & Seymour’s Ryan Callighen at or call toll-free at 1 866 711 8800.

Flight Centre Business Travel Georgia & Seymour 559 West Georgia St, Vancouver B.C. V6B 1Z6 | 1 866 711 8800

*Conditions apply. Advertised prices includes taxes & fees. Advertised price is per person, based on double occupancy for total length of stay. Price is for select departure dates and is accurate as at Sep 15, 2014 and subject to availability at advertising deadline, errors and omissions excepted, and subject to change. Taxes & fees include transportation related fees, GST/HST and fuel supplements and are approximate and subject to change. Booking is non refundable within 90 days of departure. Does not include airfare or travel protection. Please note that this itinerary is subject to change and subject to availability. Does not include gratuities and other incidental expenses. †We will beat any written quoted airfare by $1 and give you a $20 voucher for future travel. “Fly Free” offer applies only where all “Lowest Airfare Guarantee” criteria are met but Flight Centre does not beat quoted price. Additional important conditions apply. For full terms and conditions visit CPBC # 29680 Beautiful Gardens 2014 • 11

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