Don Haynie can take a lot of little nothings and turn them into a big something.
Give the floral designer sticks from the yard or woods, a small clay pot and faux pears and within minutes he whisks the pieces into a centerpiece he calls Partridge in a Pear Tree.
Any kind of twigs work, he said.
Lilac is a hard wood thats good. Vitex, also called chaste tree, is nice. Old wood from a fig works, too. Just go out and prune in the garden and youll come up with what you need.
Haynie, who had a floral business in Warsaw, Va., and formerly ran the Buffalo Springs Herb Farm in the Shenandoah Valley, now shares his time and talents with Colonial Williamsburg, especially during the holidays, helping decorate colonial taverns with botanical creations.
He recently created a Partridge in a Pear Tree topiary for Williamsburgs annual Holiday Symposium. It can be made in any size larger for the center of a table or for the ends of a sideboard, with smaller ones as accents. You can also change the look, using faux apples or ornaments and colors to coordinate with your decor. For instance, a red bird would look good with rosy-colored apples. Bells and red bows can even be used to embellish the topiary.
Miniature pine cones could be used for Thanksgiving, then switched out for something more Christmas-like.
Its a good project for kids to do and is fun to make, he said.