Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Colonial Williamsburg Decorations

One of our favorite places to visit is Colonial Williamsburg.  It's been over two years since our last visit.  Since we would be outside, we felt safe to spend a few days walking around the Colonial Historic area viewing the lovely decorations that grace the homes and public buildings there.  


Walking in Colonial Williamsburg is so joyous for us!  Viewing the decorations that volunteers fashion for the buildings is quite inspirational to me.  I adore using dried and fresh greens at Christmas.  In my younger days I tried very hard to do this in our home.  As I'm sure you all are well aware, it takes a lot of time! 



In 1937 The first Historic Area Residents Doorway Decorations Contest took place.  They wanted to encourage residents to go for a more old fashioned appeal than the modern.  


The use of dried materials, peacock feathers, oyster shells and fruit make gorgeous wreaths for windows and doors.  Colonial Williamsburg landscape employees and volunteers begin making decorations for over 200 public buildings and unoccupied residences in November.  They use all natural materials harvested from the Historic Area gardens.




 

The huge old Compton Oak always bekons me.  It is a hybrid between a live oak and a overcup oak.  It was planted by C. Justus Brouwers during the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg sometime between 1932 and 1936.  He transplanted it from the Pungo Woods area of Va Beach.  It is the largest known Compton Oak in the United States.  Standing over 70 feet tall and 97 feet wide, its trunk circumference is 14 feet.  It's one of the most beautiful trees I've ever seen!


Residents decorate their homes with the same care that the foundation does.  They have discovered over the years that the homes and buildings that are in direct sunlight should not use fruit as it will rot quickly on warmer days in Virginia.



















If you have looked at all of the decorations, congratulations!  I couldn't leave any of them out.  Do you have a favorite?  I can't possible single one out, for me they are all works of art.




 

22 comments:

  1. This was the post I was waiting for! Oh, I can't get enough of these wonderful decorations! Like you, I love each and every one! If I had to choose a favorite . . . hmmm . . . I am drawn to the oblong one on the black door that has dried fruit and some wheat. But I'd better not look again, because I might change my answer!

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    1. Cheryl, I knew you would enjoy our visit to Colonial Williamsburg. I do think of you when we are there as you love its period style that you so lovely reflect in your home. It is hard to pick a favorite, isn't it?

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  2. Love all of your photos. I think I like the seashell wreath the best. Pomegranates second. In those early days I was told the fruit wasn't used as it would have been to precious to waste, but it sure is pretty to see. I need to go back. Good you got out and saw some pretty decor. I love the colonial Williamsburg look.

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    1. I really like the use of shells in the decorations too, Betsy! Anything that comes from the sea is beautiful to me. Yes, fruit would have been way too precious to use so frivolusly in Colonial times. I'm sure your grands would enjoy a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Maybe in the Spring when everything is in bloom!

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  3. Like you, my friend, I cannot pick just one favourite. They're all special, each in it's own unique way, and such hard work. I've patiently waited to return to Colonial Williamsburg with you, and it's been oh! so worth it. The Compton Oak is magnificent. Do we know how old it was upon transplanting from Pungo? Glad to see Grayden walking about, and hopefully without that cumbersome boot by now.
    Waving, Deb in Wales xoxo

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed our trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Deb. My research on the Compton Oak only said that Mr.Brouwers transplanted the small tree he found on a walk in Pungo Woods.
      Thank you for asking about Grayden. He is without the boot and doing well and walked all over Williamsburg without a complaint. I hope you are doing well, my friend. Enjoy a cozy day. xoxo

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  4. How fabulous! Well, I lingered over all the beautiful wreaths. WOW! They really do it up right! Beautiful place to visit, especially for the holidays!

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    1. Diane, we are very fortunate to be able to visit Colonial Williamsburg often. Well often under normal circumstances. It is lovely at Christmas.

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  5. I enjoyed seeing all the wreaths and decorations made out of greenery, Martha Ellen. They look like works of art. What a delightful time you had walking around the Colonial Historic area. And a grand old oak tree that is. The coffee, tea, and sugar bags are creative. All the wreaths are charming, but if I had to choose, that Pomegranate one made me smile. It's wonderful. : )

    ~Sheri

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    1. Isn't that pomegranate wreath a beauty? The creativity is wonderful in Colonial Williamsburg, Sheri. It's never the same which is so lovely. I hope you are staying warm and cozy this morning!

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  6. Looking closely reveals lots of surprises. A turtle shell? Interesting. Yes, my favorite is the one with the cornucopia mounted on the wreath. As for using fresh fruits in decorating...never smart. I once used two pineapples on either side of my mantel. Turned out to be a huge mistake. 😏 So glad that you were able to have some time away at Colonial Williamsburg.

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    1. The turtle shell was a surprise to me as well, Vee. The cornucopia is so lovely and I hope to recreate that one day. I made an apple fan many years for over our mantle using apples and a pineapple center. It really should be an outdoor adornment as inside it rots quickly! Seems we both figured that out.

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  7. Thank you for this, Martha Ellen! I've been to Williamsburg, but in the spring. I had no idea they had such gorgeous outdoor displays for Christmas. Favorites? So many, as you said, but the ones with the peacock feathers are especially eye-catching!

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    1. Colonial Williamsburg does a wonderful job of celebrating Christmas. They kick off the celebration by having the Grand Illumination. They light the candles in the windows and the night sky with fireworks!

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  8. Just beautiful. I visited there years ago when my son's navy deployment was over and I met his aircraft carrier in Norfolk. We drove there and I fell in love.

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    1. Colonial Williamsburg is quite special. I'm so glad you have visited there. Thank you for stopping by my little space, Debby.

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  9. Just beautiful, Martha Ellen! Williamsburg is one of my very favorite places to visit, though we’ve never been at Christmas time.

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    1. Nellie, Colonial Williamsburg has so much to offer, no matter the season!

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  10. That was a nice tour! Lots of beautiful wreaths! I fancied the one with feathers. I haven’t been there in years but want to visit again.

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    1. Liz, I hope you are able to visit again. We are only a couple of hours away and love to just go for an afternoon.

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  11. They really are all lovely. I do enjoy the doors that have the extra garland draped around the doors. Glad you could make the trip and enjoy all that Williamsburg had to offer!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed them, Ellen. The use of swags around the doorways is a nice touch.

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