Decorating for the Holidays

Decorating for the Holidays
Holiday plants play a crucial role during Christmas. It simply wouldn’t be Christmas with the poinsettia and the Christmas tree. Gardeners can find many ways to use the plants as well as their images as part of their holiday decorating scheme.

Different species are used for Christmas trees in various areas of the country. Here in western North Carolina, it’s the Fraser fir. This year, keep that cut tree watered by using an automatic watering device. There are special ones made specifically for Christmas trees. This will limit the need for watering during the holidays.

If you sew, it is very easy to make ornaments for the tree. In her new book, “Joy Joy Joy,” designer/artist Debbie Mumm has simple and easy patterns for various ornaments, including ones shaped like trees. Published by Leisure Arts, this book is brimming with wonderful ideas on displaying and using holiday plants. A special section is devoted to decorating with botanicals.

All in all, this useful title features 50 quick and easy projects, many of which feature plant and garden motifs, such as pine cones, acorns, berries, leaves of various sorts, and pine trees.

Among the projects are ornaments, table runners and place mats, wall hangings and banners, pillows, quilts and throws of various sizes. For each project, there are easy to follow, color illustrated, step-by-step instructions.

Also from Leisure Arts comes “Donna Kooler’s Ultimate Stocking Collection” by Linda Gillum et al. This has 15 of Kooler’s favorite cross stitch designs for Christmas stockings. Any number of these stockings features garden themes and holiday plants. One called Welcome to My Garden depicts Santa wearing his gardening apron while he doing some indoor gardening on a snowy day. With few exceptions the other designs also feature holiday plants. For each of the stockings, there are complete color charts, including alphabets for personalizing the stockings, and a list of everything you need to complete the project. The introduction features all the basics on making and finishing the stockings.

With the holidays being such a busy time, gardeners will find that a new journal organizer from Ryland Peters and Small will be of tremendous help. “My Christmas Organizer” is a hard cover journal with a hidden wire-o binding and elastic closure. This is illustrated with inspiring color photos, which offer ideas for decorating and celebrating the holidays. There are blank pages in the back to put photos of those decorations. Easy to use, this organizer devotes a section to each subject, such as decorations, with spaces where you can record ideas as they come to you throughout the year. There are six tabbed sections with pockets for storing clippings, etc.

Christmas is all about traditions. When gardeners are looking for information about Christmas trees and the like, the best source by far is “Christmas Cyclopedia” from Running Press. This compact title is a comprehensive, enjoyable source. It devotes a whole section to Christmas crafts and tips, and Christmas plants, including the poinsettia. It explains how to choose and decorate the tree. Many of the entries deal with how-to matters, including recipes, as well as the low-down on Christmas traditions around the world.

“Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader—Christmas Collection” from Portable Press is a fun-filled way to learn about mistletoe, Christmas wreaths, Christmas trees, and so much more. It provides background and origins of pretty much everything that is associated with the holiday. In this anthology, the entries are arranged by topic, such as tree trimmings. There are crosswords and quizzes. But, don’t worry for the answers are i

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