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Christmas decorating with snowballs from the garden

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Admittedly, to get really white snowballs, it will take several coats of the white craft paint. If you were fortunate enough to have dried Annabelle hydrangea blooms (Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'), they can be used as is or sparkled up with some glitter.

If you are a purist, like me -- or more correctly, as I was -- you can use any of your hydrangea blossoms au naturel, without any veiling. They will still look pretty in a basket, vase, or adorning a tree. I confess that this year I am having fun experimenting with gilding.

Once your snowballs are ready, use them on your Christmas tree. Just slide them between branches. You don’t need to fasten them. Or, just pile your glistening white snowballs in a big basket, set it by the door, and tie a big red bow on top.

After the holidays

In January, your faux snowballs will still be seasonable if you change the color of the bow on the basket. Or, after the holidays are over, you can carefully pack away your hydrangeas or repurpose them in a floral arrangement.

I like to pile hydrangea flowers. It’s quick and easy. Light-colored blooms look good in covered clear glass jars and open bowls. Dark blossoms look great in pottery containers and dark wood or wire baskets. Anybody can make snowballs for winter displays, even artistically challenged gardeners like I am.

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Anne Moore is one of the more than a dozen garden experts who blog regularly at Diggin' It. She lives in South Carolina and is the horticulture editor, gardening consultant, and e-newsletter editor for GardenSmart.tv. She is a member of the Garden Writers Association.

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