Tips and tutorials for Christmas colour in the home
When we think of Christmas and the festive season, there are a couple of plants and shrubs that will surely spring to mind. Vibrant red poinsettia, spiky green holly and elegant amaryllis are all as quintessentially Christmassy as mulled wine, mince pies and carolling!
But there’s more to festive flower arranging than this samey (if striking) trio. What if you want to get a bit creative, and put together your own display of beautiful plants and shrubs that will brighten up your home, and that visitors will coo over? The abundance of rich, dark evergreen foliage on display at this time of year, coupled with structural branches, fir cones, seed heads and berries make for some really interesting arrangement options. With a bit of thinking outside the box, some metallic spray paint and coloured ribbon, you’re cooking with gas – and the best bit? Most of the trimmings you’ll need are easily found in your garden, or out there in the wild.
Itching to get started? Here are some quick-fire tips to get those creative juices flowing – and read on for some more detailed tutorials below.
- Bunch some white hyacinths together in a glass bowl and surround with evergreen sprigs for a pretty table centrepiece.
- Gather bare branches and jazz them up with some silver or gold spray paint (or matte black, for something different!). These look great in a glass vase with some white fairy lights.
- Tie a variety of evergreen sprigs together with metallic ribbon and hang around windows or over doorways.
- One colour scheme gives a chic, understated finish. White roses, cyclamen or calla lilies look stunning complemented with matching baubles, ribbons or candles, or in groups of slim white vases – though avoid lilies if you have pets.
Need a bit more guidance?
- Foliage sphere – in Japan, sprigs of pine or conifer are arranged into ‘pom-pom’-like spheres and hung outside sake breweries to let punters know the latest batch of spirit is ready. Simply stick your floristry foam with densely-packed branches of evergreen foliage, rosehips, herbs like bay and rosemary and even miniature silver baubles to form a fluffy round shape. These look striking suspended together in groups, or even placed on a stake, woven with pretty twinkling lights and potted outside the door like a bay tree or topiary. Let your guests know the festive spirit has arrived!
- Traditional wreath – first, you’ll need to purchase a frame, found cheaply at garden centres or online. Don your gloves to protect against prickles, and use wire to secure fronds of fresh evergreen to the frame, wrapping around the stems three times. You may want to consider yew, pine, boxwood or fir for their rich, dark greens. Introduce some interest with rosehips, dried fruits or yellow Mahonia, and a ribbon, raffia or hessian bow. Finish with a wire loop to secure to your front door, and voila! Finish with a wire loop to secure to your front door, and voila!
- Something a little bit different – if your tastes lean towards the modern, you’ll find some amazing ideas on sites like Pinterest, where contemporary arrangements make the best of some of winter’s unsung garden heroes. My favourite? Take some elegant branches of rustic witch hazel, perfumed wintersweet or papery silver birch, and let them stand out in a wide vase or wire bucket. This simple arrangement brings nature indoors, and can be illuminated with delicate lights or small baubles. Perfect!