Lewis Miller’s, “A Napa Valley Christmas,” class was an all-day class filled with the flowers and fragrances of the yuletide season in the Napa Valley. It was a natural for Lewis who hails from the Modesto, California area, known for its rich farmland. His sensibility for designing parties is informed by his deep affection for nature – which he demonstrated by putting together a centerpiece that was an explosion of deep, dark, sensual colors and textures. He created a container out of a simple pine box by affixing magnolia leaves to the structure and then using grapevines to decorate it. The flowers he used were fiery red Amaryllis, Free Spirit Roses, Ranunculus, Hypericum, black Privet Berry, Juniper, Hedera, Christmas Bush, Nandina and a collection of pomegranates, persimmon and clementines.
In the afternoon we created a wreath using a base of grapevines. Each of the students was encouraged to do something individually satisfying and was given various elements such as pine cones, lichen branches, juniper, cedar, acorns, ribbons and ornaments in order to adorn their wreaths.
We paused for a refreshing break to enjoy a festive Buche de Noel with a choice champagne, sparkling apple cider and pomegranate soda which made it feel as if we had indeed, experienced a real Napa Valley Christmas.
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