Here at Garden Planters, we love to bring some of the garden indoors for Christmas. The smell of pine as you brush past a real tree evokes the spirit of this special time of year. There are many other garden plants traditionally brought in during Christmas that not only have ancient meaning but can also make your home look and feel really special.
Decorate a bought wreath with ivy and holly collected from your garden. Make sure the holly has plenty of berries (you may have some competition from hungry birds)! You can also add pieces from pine trees with small cones attached, the blue pines make a lovely contrast to the deep green of the holly and ivy. If you are using a bought wreath simply wind the ivy and through the branches of the wreath until you reach the desired effect. Then add your sprigs of holly and pine by attaching them with florist wire. You can easily make your own wreath. I have had some success by using the thin but pliable branches of silver birch bent into either a circular or heart shape and then decorated as above. To finish why not add your own personal touch by attaching a few trinkets from old jewellery or a special bauble or two.
Another effective way to decorate your front door is with a swag. These are so simple to create and look stunning. Collect branches of pine, yew, holly and any other evergreen you have handy in the garden. Starting with the pine branches as they tend to be flat and splayed, make a slight fan shape and bind together with florist wire at the top. The add branches from other evergreen plants interspersed with sprigs of holly. The finished swag should be fan shaped with holly sprigs added last to show off those stunning red berries. Finish the decoration by winding some red florist ribbon around the top and make a bow with which to attach the swag to your door.
Decorating your tree
While I agree that every Christmas tree needs the sparkle of baubles and tinsel, why not also use some natural materials as well that not only look great but smell wonderful too. The orange tree in my conservatory has only managed a few fruits this year so I have used these along with a couple of cinnamon sticks to make some pretty decorations for my tree. Slice the oranges thinly and place on a baking tray. Blot the slices with kitchen towel to remove excess juice then place the tray into a warm oven and leave the slices for around 3 hours to dry out. Once they have dried and cooled simply make a small hole at one end and thread a coloured ribbon through to make a simple but delicious smelling decoration. If you want to try something a little more fancy, then try threading a ribbon through a couple of cinnamon sticks before adding the orange slice. Fresh pine cones also make great tree decorations. You can spray them silver or gold, but I prefer to keep them natural. I have even been known to decorate some of the ornamental trees growing in outdoor planters in my garden in this way. A few cones and orange slices look stunning on bare branches.
Decorating with holly and ivy
Ivy was traditionally brought into the home at this time of year to ward off evil spirits and creatures such as goblins. I have an abundance of ivy in my garden and there is nothing I like more at this time of year then to bring long strands of ivy into the house to decorate the beams in my rooms. To the ivy I add sprigs of holly, easily attached to the beams with the aid of a staple gun.
The only drawback to decorating with natural plants is the warmth inside our homes. If you have an open fire or wood burning stove, then it is best to leave the holly and ivy outside until the last minute to avoid it drying out too much. However you decorate your home at Christmas time, try bringing in a bit of the garden's winter bounty and I am sure you will find it adds a little something extra to this special time of year.
Garden Planters source unusual outdoor and indoor planters, and other garden related gifts - whatever your taste, be it traditional, modern or just a bit quirky, we will have something for you. Run by two qualified and creative gardeners, Garden Planters will also plant up your chosen planter with an arrangement of your choice. We believe garden planters are an integral part of any garden - they enhance the overall design and say a little something about the person to whom the garden belongs.