RBG: Doorways to the Holidays

Some inspiration for front door décor from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. Their display of 100 decorated doors continues till December 10th.

The RBG is only about an hour’s drive from Toronto, and if you haven’t visited in a while (I hadn’t till a Garden Writers’ Association conference took me there on Friday) you’ll be surprised. The new atrium facility provides cold-weather exhibition space for events like these.

Who says wreaths have to be round? Not only does the one above defy conventional shape, it includes birch ring flowers and what looks like pheasant feather foliage. Love the door, too.

I also like this simple idea for displaying a limited amount of greenery. It’s actually the bottom half of a double-decker decoration (or… double-decker-ation). No need to use birchbark if it isn’t available… perhaps get out the glue gun and wrap a container in ribbon.

While this wreath doesn’t photograph well, it looks quite nifty in real life. Grass seedheads like Miscanthus and Panicum along with what might be Eupatorium and spiky Veronicastrum in both the wreath and garland make a feathery, naturalistic display. Nestled here and there are feed-seed clusters for the birds. Pretty and delicious. Might have chosen a different ribbon, though. How about one cut from strips of newspaper? That fits with the compostable theme.

This has to be my favourite, and it’s the only one for which I had the good sense to note the designer: William Kolomas of the RBG’s Horticulture Department. Do you see what it’s made of? Hinges! Hinges, doorknobs and the pins that hold the two halves of hinges together (lynchpins?). Very neat idea. If you look very closely you’ll see an inadvertant self-portrait in the knob on the lower right.

Friday’s event supplied a few ideas for posts, giving me fodder for the lean winter months. Meanwhile, perhaps I’ll dust off my red feather wreath — the one I fashioned out of a Hallowe’en boa from Village des Valeurs a couple of years ago — and give it an update.


  1. Square and rectangular wreaths are very trendy now, it seems that is what everyone wants to buy. I love the frame of the birch logs, very clever.
    I would love to get out to RBG, but no car and many, many hours working this time of year means no, sigh…
    Thanks for the visit.

  2. OOOhhhhhhh the hinge wreath is sooo yummy!!
    Can't wait to see what mum and I cook up for our door this year!


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