Yard Clippings for Christmas Mantel Decor

My love of nature inspires me to bring it inside, enjoy it, savor the gifts God grows.  This December day, I was collecting items for my Christmas Mantel, 2012.

Ready to collect clippings

The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, so I gathered supplies for clipping.  Gloves because the evergreens give me hives, y’all.  Notice my nippers have pink handles?  That’s the new hot pink Duck Tape.  No more hiding when I drop them around the place!

The dogs were oh, so happy to romp around with me.  First stop, these Elaeagnus bushes transplanted from beside the house in Spring last year.  They were taking over, so out they went.  They are indestructible!  Their leaves are an interesting silvery-white on the back side.

While clipping, I found this nesting treasure. I’ve been known to bring those inside, as well, to add to an occasional seasonal decoration.  Couldn’t bring myself to get this one.  It’s well-hidden and may be currently used.  Onward…

Trees after tornado

It always shocks me.  Our trees.  Rather, lack of, after our tornado took 200-plus-year-old oaks and pecans last year.  Extreme gratitude to still have our home and lives!  The Lord protected us, we have no doubt.  Our scraggly tree lines are constant reminders of His care.  Trees grow back.  People don’t.  Stuff can be rebuilt, y’all.  And the trees will be lush and huge again…someday.   And even in the midst of the ugliness, there is extreme beauty in the new growth.

Bucket full of clippings

It didn’t take long to collect a bucket full.  On my stroll back toward the house, I spied some color in this Cleyera.

Cleyera Bush

So many hints of red and yellow in that new growth from Fall.  While clipping the Elaeagnus, I was overtaken by the aroma of blooming French Tarragon nearby.

French Tarragon

Look at that color.  Never had blooms in my Christmas decor, but I will this time!  I wish you could smell it, y’all.  Can’t wait to have that scent inside with the evergreens.

On my way into the house with my bulging bucket, I stopped to grab the pumpkin I found still on the porch.  Can you believe I’ve left it out until December?  I plopped my bucket on top of the goat wagon…so tempted to leave it there, ’cause it looks and smells scrumptious to me.

Goat Wagon on Porch

God gave us a love for his creation, the beauty to behold, the smells that fill your nose and calm you, the touch of softness, textures, y’all.

This goat wagon is another family treasure.  My parents passed it along after years of use, enjoyment, and care.  This wagon provides memories from my “growing up” home.  “Things” don’t go with us when we leave this earth, but they remind us of people, relationships, experiences, all things God uses to make our insides better.  His true treasures.