EARLEVILLE — Mount Harmon Plantation is bringing the beauty of their nature preserve inside their doors with decorations fashioned by the Greenfingers Garden Club for the annual Yuletide Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2.
Paige Howard, executive director of the Friends of Mount Harmon, said the Greenfingers Garden Club will be decking the halls of the manor house with greens found directly on Mount Harmon’s campus, such as holly, boxwood, yew and magnolia.
The decorations are inspired by colonial Williamsburg’s tradition of festooning the Virginian town’s historic district with wreaths, according to Howard.
“Each historic building in Williamsburg has a wreath and they all try to outdo one another, so the wreaths are really exquisite,” she said.
In the spirit of the Williamsburg wreaths, Howard said the Greenfingers Garden Club is going all out to decorate Mount Harmon with wreaths embellished with bright colors, fruits like apples and lemons, and even some items reminiscent of the Chesapeake region like oyster shells.
“Each one’s a work of art and a wonderful treasure to bring home to decorate your home and deck the halls with,” she said.
Bundle greens, boxwood wreaths, centerpieces and other decorations will be on sale starting at $10, according to Howard. The garden club will sell grab-and-go items that are ready to take home the day of the festival, as well as the decorations hanging in the manor house that can be arranged for pickup after the festival.
New this year, the festival will feature two gift shops: the museum shop in the manor house and a special holiday gift shop in the visitors center with more Christmas-themed items.
‘Tis the season of giving, and Howard said the Yuletide Festival is the perfect time for people to get some of their holiday shopping completed with gifts that were grown, crafted and sold right here in Cecil County.
“We think it makes it extra special that the materials are coming from Mount Harmon’s grounds … You’re not only getting a beautiful decoration or wreath, but it’s actually from Mount Harmon,” she said.
In addition to getting to see and purchase decorations inside of Mount Harmon, attendees will also be able to sample hearth-baked treats like gingerbread, ginger drops and shortbread in the colonial kitchen as well as Wassail punch, a traditional, colonial holiday beverage that is cider-based and flavored with seasonal spices.
Howard said that traditionally grownups would spike the punch at parties, but that the Wassail at Mount Harmon’s festival will be non-alcoholic for people of all ages to enjoy.
Children — and craft-makers of all ages — will also have the opportunity to participate in Christmas-themed crafts such as ornament making, decorative weaving, and creating boxwood crafts.
Howard said the multitude of things to do and see at Mount Harmon will keep attendees entertained as they enjoy the start of the holidays.
“It will be nice for folks who want to bring the whole family,” she said. “There will be something for everyone.”
In the midst of the sometimes hectic holiday season, Howard said it’s nice to take a breather from the running around and stop to enjoy what matters most this time of year: the company of family and friends.
“We’re all so busy,” she said. “It’s nice to step back in time and gather with friends and family to take part in this longstanding tradition of holiday gatherings and celebrations. There’s nothing more festive than getting away from the shopping malls and modern distractions and stepping back in time, and being in a beautifully restored historic home full of good cheer and decorations inspired by nature done by some very talented folks at the Greenfingers Garden Club.”
Whether people know Mount Harmon well or have never visited the historic site, Howard said they should take advantage of the opportunity to visit the plantation and preserve for the last event of the year.
“If you haven’t been to Mount Harmon or haven’t been in a few years, it’s really worth making the effort to come to this event,” she said. “It’s such an incredible time with so much going on at Mount Harmon.”