Nandina.

Nandina berries generally ripen to a bright red in the fall and winter. In spring they darken and sometimes shrivel, so I am happy to have a bounty to cut today. The berries dry beautifully without water, so I was able to be creative about where to put them. I tucked a small sprig in a Staffordshire figurine of two greyhounds and the rest in a Chinese export Rose Medallion bowl.

Greyhounds have a special place in my heart because we’ve rescued 4 ex-racers–Stoner, Tom, Andy, and Diana–all through Greyhound Rescue, Inc. in Gerrardstown, WV.

My reticulated Rose Medallion bowl, made to hold fruit while allowing air to circulate, is one of my favorite pieces. It’s perfect for a big arrangement of Nandina. Thin strong stems easily fit through the slots of the bowl which anchor the berries. I took the photo on a chest, above which rests a beautiful painting of cabbages gifted by my mother-in-law Benita. Immediately after, the berries went out of reach and onto the mantel because of their high toxicity to dogs and cats.

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