When asked to adorn Canterbury Hill Winery’s massive stone mantel, Leana Fitzgerald, floral designer and store manager at Busch’s Florist, was inspired by the rustic vineyard flair.

“I wanted to keep with the essence of nature and the beauty of the surroundings here, yet I also wanted to incorporate the shimmery trends this year,” Fitzgerald says. “This magical lodge-like setting reminds me of winter in the country.”

Fitzgerald chose soft, warm colors and enjoys mixing different textures and greenery for depth and interest.

Vineyard Wonde Fire Place Mantel“Combining fresh greenery with artificial is a good thing because while fresh greenery does have staying power, you can easily change it out when necessary,” Fitzgerald says. “The artificial gives you a constant base, and the fresh gives you all the wonderful scents of the season. In this instance I used western red cedar and princess pine because both do well with holding shape.”

Grapevines, mossy twigs and ice branches, berries and pinecones are scattered about. They’re also indigenous to the area.

“My idea was to keep this design green and use lots of natural objects,” Fitzgerald says. “Instead of electric lights, I used metallic balls with gold and silver accents, gold and copper plaid ribbon and glittery ice branches that bring out the light without having to use electricity.”

 Vineyard Wonde Fire Place Mantel

Unexpected objects such as an amply sized potted urn and peeking Santas hold interest and give wonder to what might be next.

“My first priority is to create a balanced design and a look that is complementary to the setting,” Fitzgerald says. “I also believe that the element of surprise is a must.”

During the holiday season, Busch’s Florist decorates hundreds of homes and businesses. Several have been regular clients for more than 20 years.

“Many people do not realize how reasonable it can be for us to come and decorate for them,” Fitzgerald says. “When we go into a home, I tell our clients to lay out all that they have, and often they are amazed at the end result. We might place their heirloom Santa in a wreath or on a mantel in ways they have never thought to use it.”

Fitzgerald strongly recommends that when taking down decorations, you keep each design in a separate plastic bin. “I tell clients to keep their mantel in one bin, tree in another, and be sure to label,” Fitzgerald says. “You can always add to and take away each year, but keeping specific designs together will make your life so much easier.”

Canterbury Hill Winery is located in Holts Summit, Missouri.