As we all know, Christmas is all about plants – holly, mistletoe and Christmas fir or pine trees just for starters. We decided to drop in and chat to both our gardening and our events teams to gather some great (and more unusual) decorating tips that incorporate some natural vegetation and plants and flowers for your home and table this festive season.
- Get creative with flowers from your garden: As we all know, at times like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, the prices of cut flowers rise because of the sudden increase in demand. Either choose flowers and foliage from your own garden or combine smaller bunches of bought flowers with greens and grasses from your garden and you’re sure to have table and home decorations that will create special memories.
- Create a festive season garland or wreath: Make these to either hang on your front door to welcome guests or to lay flat in the centre of your Christmas table. Either tie together a loop of thick rope or buy a readymade twig garland. Then secure some ever greens to this using florist wire. Cover the whole wreath with greenery and then add pine cones that you may have collected or glass baubles, tinsel and ribbons. If you want your creation to last, you can buy green oasis from a florist supply centre, cut it into a ring and then push the greenery, twigs and decorations into this. Soak in a basin every now and then to keep your greenery well-watered.
- Go twiggy: If you don’t like artificial trees and haven’t got space to replant a small sapling in your garden after Christmas, try collecting a bunch of small branches or twigs and then standing these upright in a pot or large vase using pebbles or gravel from your local garden centre. Depending on your colour scheme, you can either leave them as they are or spray them silver, gold or white before adding baubles and hanging decorations.
- Branch out: Again, bunches of twigs, small logs or even driftwood can make the perfect base for memorable table decorations. Arrange these along the centre of the table and then add baubles and tinsel, small vases or jars with a few flowers or even tiny lights. If you are dining outside, you can even hang some branches with baubles and lights for a natural chandelier!
- Leaf it this Christmas: Encourage your kids to gather different shaped dried leaves. When spray painted different colours, they make wonderful decorations either placed along the centre of your table or tied with cotton and hung on your Christmas or twig tree.
- Create a Christmas float: Create a magical festive table decoration in a large shallow bowl by cutting away the stems of large flowers such as ranunculus or proteas and letting them bob in the water. Add floating candles and even baubles for extra sparkle.
- Go festive with flowers: A beautiful decorative bowl is ideal for displaying a low arrangement of blooms in seasonal colours. A great choice is stalky amaryllis, which look dramatic when cut short and partnered with other vivid shades. Use some oasis from your florist supply store or some chicken wire moulded into the inside of the bowl to hold the flowers in place. You can also buy plants like bright potted chrysanthemums, orchids and poinsettias and slip them into festive containers and then position them on the dining table, side board or in the hallway to make a striking and low maintenance festive display.
- Festive season succulents: You can use these fascinating plants to make table decorations, wreaths and even mini Christmas trees. Whether you are using succulents from your garden or buying some from your local garden centre, simply snip off the heads, leaving as long a stem as possible. (If you put the stalks and roots that are left behind in a sunny spot, they’ll probably shoot again over Christmas). Using floral wire or oasis, push the succulent “flowers” into place and add any additional decorations if you’d like a little more sparkle. You can use different succulents or a cluster of the same ones, depending on your décor and taste. To make a mini Christmas tree, shape chicken wire into a cone and fill with moss. Spray with water and then insert your succulents. The beauty of using succulents as ornaments is that you can pop these hardy little plants in pots afterwards and add water so they can root for use in container gardens. You can even place small succulents in individual pots at place settings with name tags and give these to your guests as gifts to take home.