Friday, January 8, 2010

You Won!

What are just about the two sweetest words in the English language? 

“You Won.”

The subject line on the email did indeed read, “You Won.”  As I know the sender, Irene Varig, I didn’t fret that the winning notice might’ve been some snarky come-on from a third-world mambo jambo nation offering bazzilions of dollars for a mere small $$ investment…Ha.

No, Irene is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, she is now the East Coast head of the Garden Writer’s Association, she is the gardening columnist for Newsday, she and her talented and wise husband, Harvey, teach journalism at Stony Brook and she produces her own excellent Garden Party blog (I am a Follower).  Whew – she’s busy – and successful!

All good. J

When I read she had extended the deadline for the photo contest, I quick grabbed my trusty Luminex (love this camera) and took some shots to submit…  The idea for the contest is fun and smart and sustainable.  Kudos, Irene – and thank you so much!

And special thanks, also, to Nancy Thomas, owner of “In the Garden,” Highlands, in the Garden State. (
As I mentioned previously, Nancy and her team keep track of my annual holiday decorating greens so when I place the order, we can readily discuss.  Some of the flowers and plants that I add to the items from my garden I like to repeat from year to year. 
At the same time, I like to make the plant ensemble sparkle with new fashions every season. 
This year it was the hypericum berries – in the lime green and red colors that sparked both the Gotham and Garden state floral designs. 

In the Garden just moved to a new locale in the Highlands and as much as I thought nothing could top their original space, (they had great side yards for the annuals and perennials, which is where I purchase a lot of plants for my garden design clients.)

But when I saw the new digs ^:^, I was immediately smitten.
I love it!  It’s bright and big and right across from the town park that hosts a variety of events, especially the Farmer’s Market.  Nancy is a graduate of The New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture (SOPH)
SOPH’s Director, Charles Yurgalevitch, Ph.D, is a friend (smooch from your Coco, Charles!)  

He has done an amazing job of not only raising the profile of the school and its mission to “educate motivated individuals to become horticulturists of the highest caliber” and to teach the students “about utilizing art and science to beautify our surroundings so that others may and enjoy and live a better life.”  Well said, Charles.  He also worked very hard in early in his tenure at NYBG to garner accreditation for the school – which is a boon for the students – and the school.

Back to Green Decorating
I picked up my green d├ęcor “wardrobe” on Friday the 18th of December in order to complete the “look book” for this year’s holiday decorations in time for a family party that night.

All was in place when I read Irene’s blog about the Unplug contest. I emailed the images to her blog.

And then this week and for the second time this holiday season, it does indeed appear that I truly am
I know, I know. There are those who will recall I just wrote that I have two kinds of luck: NO and BAD and so now probably want to shout, “You Lie.”

But it’s true – outside of that atlas booty from the card party, there was nothing. Ever. Nada. 

Perhaps ushering in the new decade it might be a complete course change when it comes to my luck. 
(Just to make certain, I’m not stepping on any sidewalk cracks, nor walking under any ladders or…)

Here is the winner’s page from Irene’s blog announcing the winners of this year’s “Unplug the Holiday’s contest:
And the link to her terrific blog.  Sign on to become a Follower, too!)

I'm Irene Virag -- a writer, a gardener, a cancer survivor. I think ideas are like plants. They need nurturing to grow. And gardeners share both. So welcome to my blog. It’s all about what’s happening in my garden and beyond.


Thanks to everyone who entered my "Unplug the Holidays" contest this year. Here are my winners:

First Prize to Leeann Lavin of New Jersey,
who tweaked the holiday color scheme with lime green hypericum berries nestled among rich red roses and carnations.

 go to blog to see the images :)

Leeann also hung her stockings on the arms of silver plant cups filled with roses, carnations and seeded eucalyptus.

But she forgot to take pictures of the table designs she created with kumquats, Peruvian lilies and more hypericum berries surrounded with angel beeswax candles. I would have loved to have seen those.

And the outdoor displays Leeann designed from evergreens, birch branches and pine cones gathered from her yard were buried beneath the snow. You can't get any more natural than that.

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