In the summer a tomato cage is an unassuming garden tool that supports growing tomato plants, but in winter, it can transform itself into a holiday decoration. Simply turn the cone shaped wire cage upside down, wrap it with evergreen garlands, add lights, fruit and ribbons and place it in a container. Viola! A holiday accent for the garden is born!
Wire tomato cage cone
Needle nose pliers with wire cutting feature
Outdoor holiday lights
Green pipe cleaner
Start by selecting a container that is slightly larger in diameter than the wide end of the tomato cage. Fill the container with soil to within about 2 inches of the lip.
Now, turn the cage upside down and place it in the container on the soil. You will begin to see the classic conical evergreen shape taking form.
To steady the cage in the container you will need some u-shaped pins. You can make your own out of wire clothes hangers. Just cut a length of the hanger with wire cutters and bend it into a U. Position the pin over the bottom ring of the cage and push it into the soil.
Flush out the tree shape with evergreen garland. Connect the garland at the bottom with pipe cleaners or light wire and wind it upwards around the cage, securing the end to the top. It may be necessary to attach the garland to the cage with pipe cleaners as you go along to prevent it from sagging. Alternatively you can use evergreen boughs as your greenery.
For a night time glow wrap the tree with a string of lights. White will give you a classic look, but you can also opt for whimsical colored lights.
Apples and wild berries will add visual interest during the day. First add the apples. Simply pierce the fruit with an ice pick and run it through with a pipe cleaner. Now tie the apple onto the tree. Repeat this process until you have an even distribution of apples.
Create “bouquets” of wild berries such as China berries, nandinas or crabapples and attach them to the tree with pipe cleaner.
If you are feeling especially festive and also want to benefit wildlife make some pinecone bird feeders and hang them from the tree as well.
As a finishing touch, tie a holiday bow at the top of the tree.
It’s just amazing what you can come up with a little imagination and a few things around the garden.