This time of year, when I walk outside to get the mail on a dark afternoon, I sometimes catch myself thinking that the front garden looks ugly. There’s not much in it right now except dead leaves of hostas and other perennials, which I should clean up but haven’t yet gotten around to doing, and some junipers and a yew that haven’t been trimmed in a while and are starting to look raggedy.

So, rather than thinking of it as ugly, I decided to make something cheerful out of it. I snipped off a few of those overgrown branches, brought them inside, tied holiday bows on them, and put them on a countertop next to a little candle in a jar. Now my kitchen looks much brighter and has a fresh evergreen scent, and it didn’t cost me anything. (I already had the green vase in one of the cabinets, and the supermarket was giving away free candles this week.)

Juniper and yew branches with red holiday bows.

Soon enough, the days will get longer again, and the garden will bloom with new spring growth; but until that time comes, there’s no reason to settle for ugly.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.


  1. What a wonderfully festive posy! A great post, Meg 🙂

  2. So pretty! You had a great idea. It’s up to us to find and to make beauty around us. Have a great weekend!

  3. That’s very cheerful! I agree that there is no reason to settle on ugly…in almost any situation!

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