The Holly and the Ivy
Holly, classic and timeless, this evergreen option comes into its own over the festive season with red berries and glossy leaves lending itself to being used decoratively. Now every year I see bunches being sold at Christmas markets and in garden centres, but if you are lucky enough to have access to some of your very own, why not take advantage of your own good fortune!! Home grown Holly can be used for homemade Christmas wreathes, to artistically drape around the fire place, hung in bunches from the ceiling or as table decoration on the big day, the list is endless (can you sense my enthusiasm?)
Similarly with Ivy – this could also not only be used in the Christmas tasks above but woven through banisters, used on the tree or around candles to soften and bring some of that evergreen glossy foliage inside.
I particularly love the way both of these materials are used in the wreathes shown, I think a good Christmas wreath is all about simplicity and repetition, the traditional wreath would have used all the materials that are readily available to us, so why not go outside and have a go at making your own?
Conifer – Use everything you have got!
We have all been there… you go looking for that perfect Christmas tree, get super excited, possibly a little carried away and end up going for the biggest tree in the place. You get your prize home only to realise it will come out to the centre of your living room rendering all pathways and seating options impassable – have no fear! By taking out a few of the lower branches at the back you are able to push the tree further into a corner without detracting from the main display. But what to do with these spare branches? Well what a wonderful opportunity to make a festive and lush Christmas mantel display. By securing the branches in place – cutting them down where necessary you can then weave other items through such as ivy, mistletoe, ribbon or fairy lights – this is a great way of creating a statement with something you may have thrown away.
Pine Cones & Branches – Getting Children Involved in Christmas Decorating
Pine cones or twigs and branches are a cheap and easy way of making your own Christmas decorations and a fun way to get children involved. They can be painted different colours, covered in glitter made into baubles or out in a bowl with fairy lights, the choices are yours. It really is as simple as going on a walk in the woods, collecting what you can find on the floor and turning them into something special for the whole family to enjoy.
It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…
With scent being one of the biggest stimulus for memory it is no wonder that there are certain smells that we immediately associate with the festive period. Why not add another layer to these fragrances of cinnamon, mandarin, pine and cloves with evergreen scented options that many of us have in the garden, by hanging bunches of Rosemary or Bay around the house or incorporating them within our displays these strongly scented herbs add an earthy scent to the rich tradition of the others.
Finding flowering options around Christmas is always a tricky one – so how to turn Cyclamen a relatively traditional option into something a little more contemporary. I love the way the red cyclamen flowers are used in these place settings to bring a fresh floral element to a festive Christmas table. This could be achieved with the purchase of only one or two plants – so why not experiment with some Christmas flowers at the table this year?
With all of these options to be creative – bringing a personal element to your Christmas was never easier, making your own decorations is so easy! Why not give it a go this year. Collect things whilst you are walking the dog, going out with your family, then together make beautiful things to make your house a home full of festivity and joy without breaking the bank.
by Trinity Spohrer