Why not do something different with your festive decorations this year? With colourful berries, striking seedheads and fabulous foliage, there’s a wealth of material in your garden to make spectacular decorations. We’ve put together our top tips to help you bring the outside indoors this holiday season.
Top tips to bring the outdoors inside this Christmas
Add a festive touch to your flower arrangements. Combine dried seed heads with fresh flowers, or use them on their own for long-lasting displays. Teasels, honesty, echinacea and ornamental grasses have beautiful seed heads, and red rose-hips and holly berries add a seasonal dash of bright colour. Coloured dogwood stems also make a spectacular addition to flower arrangements.
To preserve the gorgeous colours of autumn leaves, make up a solution of one part glycerin to two parts water. Cut sprays of leaves when the colours are at their best, tap the cut ends with a hammer to crush them, and stand them in containers filled with the glycerin/water solution for up to a month. Once the glycerin starts to appear on the leaf surfaces, remove the sprays, wipe the leaves and use them to decorate your home. They should last for several months.
If you want fresh flowers in winter, now’s the time to plant a winter-flowering shrub. Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ flowers from late autumn to spring, bearing clusters of pink flowers with a fabulous fragrance. Cut a few flowering stems and place them in a vase to perfume the whole room.
If you didn’t get around to planting prepared daffodils or hyacinths in pots indoors in September, buy ready-potted bulbs and put them on a sunny windowsill to give you beautifully scented flowers at Christmas.
Few plants say Christmas like poinsettias, with their spectacular crimson flowers. To keep your poinsettia looking good, protect it from draughts and put it somewhere warm and bright, out of direct sunlight. Don’t overwater it – wait until the surface of the compost is practically dry to the touch before watering.
Save autumn leaves with interesting shapes, like maple or oak. Put them between two sheets of paper and press them under a few heavy books for a couple of weeks until dry. Then spray them silver or gold and scatter them over shelves or use them as table decorations.
Make a change from the traditional Christmas tree this year. A Corkscrew hazel (Corylus contorta) in a pot is like a natural sculpture with its quirky, twisted branches, ideal for hanging baubles. Or why not drape a potted olive tree or standard bay in Christmas lights?
Get the kids involved in making Christmas pomanders. Tie ribbons around oranges to give them a festive look, then press cloves into the skins and hang the pomanders up to fill the house with fragrance as they dry.
Whether you’re looking for colourful winter plants or traditional Christmas decorations, you’ll find them in our centre. Let us help you make your house spectacular this holiday season.