Holiday Decorating for Gardeners 2009

Holiday Decorating for Gardeners 2009
There are many ways to decorate for the holidays. Nothing beats the beauty of plants and decorations made with plant materials.

Some of the easiest decorations comes from fruit trees or fruit plants. In addition, there are some wonderful choices in the produce department of grocery stores. Cranberries add a festive touch to the holidays. Place these in crystal bowls, clear vases, or other beautiful glass containers. Set the filled containers on tabletops or mantles.

Use apples, oranges, kumquats, and calamondins in wreaths and swags. They’re also great for mantles.

Create two-tiered planters. Place these on porches, decks, or other entry points outdoors. In the base, plant a small hardy evergreen tree or shrub. Fill the upper basket with assorted branches of cut greens and evergreen boughs. If you select quality greens and spray them with Wilt-Pruf, they can last for several months. For color during the Christmas season, add a seasonal bow and ribbon to these planters. These holiday touches can be removed after
New Year’s Day, so the planting can be displayed throughout the winter.

For outdoor container plants and indoors, use colorful seasonal pot covers. Cache pots can be slipped right over flower pots. There are also holiday and seasonal-themed plastic pot wraps, such as Mod Pot. Both cache pots and wraps should be removed before you water the plant.

If you have broadleaf evergreens, use the foliage to create exquisite leaf wreaths. Start with a wreath base and cover this with leaves. For a final touch, add colorful holiday baubles.

Create miniature twig wreaths for drawer pulls, door knobs, and the like. Use twigs from the garden and shape these into a circle. Tie the ends in place. You can also buy readymade wreaths from craft stores. Attach a stem of greens and a cluster of berries, such as holly, ripe rose hips, etc. Loop a ribbon around the top of the wreath. Then, wrap the ends of the ribbon around the door knob or drawer pull. Tie the ribbon ends into a bow.

Decorate bird houses with miniature wreaths. If you have an old fashioned glass cloche or terrarium around, use these for holiday displays. Place a layer of moss in the container. Then, add some stems of cut greens and berried branches. A small painted metal bird cage, decorative or functional, can also be decorated. I buy these containers at rummage sales and thrift stores.

The focal point in most homes is the Christmas tree. I prefer a real Christmas tree to the artificial. Today’s trees are actually a bargain since the price over the past 30 years hasn’t kept pace with inflation.

To help your tree last longer, pick out a high quality tree and keep it well hydrated. If the cut trees are exposed to sun and wind on the Christmas tree sales lot, they won’t last as well. So, shop carefully. The best trees are the live ones that you can plant outdoors after the holidays. Both the container-grown and the balled-and-burlapped trees are available. Keep the live tree indoors as little as possible. Heat isn’t good for them.

Create outdoor containers filled with cut greens and evergreen boughs for the holidays. Place these near doorways and walkways. Select a decorative container. Urns as well as decorative metal and wooden containers work very well. Examples include miniature wheel barrows. Fill it to the top with cut greens and evergreen boughs. Include pine cones and berried branches as well.

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