New Attendees at the Evergreens Creations Class by Cathy T

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Meeting new friends and having them join my Holiday Kissing Balls and Evergreens Creations class is an honor, so I was especially happy when several new attendees signed up for my class this year.

Natasha was one of those new people from last Saturday’s class.  As seen in this photo, she and I were having a great time.  She is a happy person, with an infectious laugh.  I met Natasha at a holiday party last year, and I was the new person in the room that evening.  I didn’t know anyone except the hostess.

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But Natasha struck up a conversation with me and we continued talking throughout the evening.  Her personality was warm and happy and we discussed both of our businesses too.

Sometimes, you just click with an individual for whatever reason.  So this year, she decided to attend my class, and I thought it was funny when she asked me how I knew about all these evergreens and their names, saying, “How do you know a white pine is a white pine?” with her Russian accent.

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I responded with that I attended horticulture classes, and explained how I also had to study the Latin names of 200+ perennials, by the genus, species, and cultivar – AND the plants did not have flowers on them – in order to pass a final exam.  I also commented that I think it wasn’t too difficult to memorize them because I grew up in a home with a second language – French Canadian, so for some reason, I remembered how to spell them correctly, etc.

Natasha is from Russia and she seemed to understand the connection of a second language.  I didn’t have too much difficulty memorizing the Latin or botanical names of plants during my studies.  She understood my explanation, but then I joked I am terrible at math however, and then she laughed with that infectious giggle.

Organizing and instructing this holiday evergreens class has taught me more about evergreens which I pass onto the class attendees, including a hand-out with instructions on how to best use the greens in their designs and a few tips on the do’s and don’ts for evergreen care and use in the arrangements made by everyone.  Every year, I add a new one to the list of evergreen available so we can test out how they work in the designs of the kissing balls, and other items made in class.

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Natasha seemed to have a great time with all the other attendees.  And now she officially knows what all the evergreens are from this class held annually in December.

She also left me a gift – it was chocolate covered marshmallows.  I texted her later that day to say, “That’s it – We are soul mates…I love marshmallows!”

She replied with, “We are a couple of marshmallows”.  This made me laugh out loud.

Perhaps you will be a new attendee next year, or if you missed this class and are interested in learning how to make an evergreen items such as a wreath, kissing ball, or candle centerpiece, feel free to contact me with questions.

Cathy Testa

Evergreens Creations Class at the East Windsor Senior Center on Tuesday


Yesterday was a huge success of making amazing evergreen creations with attendees at my annual class, but there is another chance if you are available during the day and would like to join my next session at the East Windsor Senior Center located on Main Street in Broad Brook, CT.  It will be held Tuesday, December 10th, 12:30 – 2:00 pm.  If interested, we have a few seats open.  Contact me either via cell: 860-977-9473 or

To give you an idea of what you can make, take a look at these photos below of the regular sized kissing ball and wreath.  The candle centerpiece is unique – we won’t be making them in this beautiful sleigh as one attendee did yesterday – what a GREAT IDEA, but the candle centerpiece you can make is just as beautiful.  See my Classes on this blog for other photos.

Every year, the creativity increases by the attendees.  I’m always impressed with their new twists on how to make their evergreen creation more – well CREATIVE!  We had attendees make topiary balls for a beautiful pot outdoors, another attendee brought a cute sleigh to create her candle centerpiece, and even another attendee installed red lights in her kissing ball – WOW.  Stunning, which I will share those photos later.

But for now, this is just a peak of items from yesterday’s class below.  If interested in this week’s Tuesday class at the Senior Center, please contact me right away.

Take a look at other photos on this blog for what you can make with fresh evergreens, including the instruction and materials.  For more information, contact me 860-977-9473.

And enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Thank you – Cathy Testa

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Evergreen How-To Holidays – Open Studio Days

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All of my friends will think I’m an evergreen junkie at the rate I’m making holiday creations and offering hands-on how-to sessions in my classroom in Broad Brook, CT – BUT there are only two weeks until Christmas, so now is the time to make something beautiful to adorn your home during this festive season.

So for the next week, from Tuesday through Thursday, December 11-13th, you still have the opportunity to sign-up for a hands-on making session.  Sessions are available day or evening hours by appointment, so pick a time convenient and call me:  860-977-9473 or email me at

Each beautiful hand-crafted evergreen item, made by you, includes an amazing selection of beautiful fresh evergreens, mechanics to make your item of choice, and instruction.

Sure, you can buy one somewhere, but nothing beats the feeling of making your own to keep at your home or give as a gift during this holiday season.  Plus, the size you result with is very large and an amazing value – so call today if interested.  We can work out a time that meets your schedule during this busy holiday season.


Candle Centerpiece

Candle Centerpiece

Candle centerpiece:  Includes mix of evergreens, tapered candle, treated pine cones, mechanics and instruction.  Cost: $25 + tax.

Mixed Wreath

Mixed Wreath

12″ Mixed Greens Wreath:  Includes mix of evergreens, 12″ base ring size, one sided, when finished is approximately 20″ finished size.
Cost: $25 + tax.

Garland container topper (left)

Garland container topper (left)

Door Hanging Swag:  Includes mix of evergreens, bow tie top, and pine cones.
Cost: $22 + tax.

Container Topper or Window Box Topper:  My own creation!  It consists of a garland style mix of evergreens, that can be placed on top of the soil on your outdoor containers or window boxes.  Includes mix of evergreens, mechanics, and pine cones.  Cost is based on length and size of item.


Because I’m a evergreen junkie, I just can not resist having some of the usual types of evergreens in my selections.  Besides the balsam and fraser fir, included are blue berried juniper, white pine, Korean fir, cedar with beautiful mini cones attached, noble fir, holly with red berries, and yew.  Yes, yew – which is a beautiful dark green filler in arrangements.


Undecorated kissing balls are available for sale and 10″ fraser fir wreaths, hand-made by me, Cathy T.  If interested, call me today, supplies are limited.  Bow color based on your preference.  Supplies are limited so don’t hesitate to contact me.  Hope to see you soon.  And Happy Holidays…Cathy T
See my “HOLIDAY” board on Pinterest
Like my Business Page, Cathy T’s Landscape Designs, on Facebook to get a freebie item at your registered hands-on session