Incorporating horticultural items into your indoor holiday decorations is quite easy and adds a touch of the summer garden to your holiday theme.
Wreaths, ornaments, swags and even potpourri made with ingredients from your own garden add a one-of-a-kind personal touch to your decorating that you just can’t buy.
Queen Anne’s Lace flowers make really interesting ornaments for the Christmas tree. In the summer when they are in bloom, pick several nice ones, put a string through a thick area of the plant material and then press them in a flower press or even between books. Once they are dry you can add some spray on glitter or paint them a different color. Be sure to use a clear sealant on the pressed flowers once you are finished decorating them.
Wreaths are a fairly easy project and a decoration that almost everyone uses during the holiday season. Wreaths can be made during the summer when the herbs and flowers are still fresh. This will give the materials plenty of time to dry before the holiday season. Make sure the wreath has plenty of air circulation so the fresh materials do not mold.
You will want to make sure the materials you choose dry well before adding them to the wreath. Sweet Annie, celosia, dusty miller, strawflower and roses are all excellent choices. A quick online search will reveal other flowers and herbs that dry well.
If you did not get a wreath made during the summer and want to use natural materials, grapevine wreaths are readily available at most craft stores. Simply add some pinecones and look in your garden for dried plant materials and berries. You can top that off with a nice bow or even a small cornhusk angel.
Potpourri can be made using either fresh or dried materials. However, if you want a potpourri that is pretty and can be displayed, use dry materials.
You will need a fragrance or essential oil to add additional scent to the mixture. Items such as pinecones, dried leaves, berries and dried flowers should be added to the herbs so the potpourri is festive looking.
Decorating candles and holiday ornaments such as plain Christmas tree bulbs with dried herbs and flowers will add a special touch to these otherwise common looking items.
This brings us to the next point. Why not use some of those fresh herbs for aromatherapy? Many books explain how to get herbs to release their essential oils into various oils or alcohols. You can make an aromatherapy inspired potpourri to create the mood you want.
For example, let’s say you would like everyone who visits your home to feel cheerful, refreshed and uplifted. Use lots of lime scented materials. Use lime mint, a few drops of a lime essential oil and some dried lime slices for additional scent, color and texture. Toss in a few pink, red flowers and yellow flowers, now you have a very festive looking potpourri.
If you feel really stressed out during the holidays try lavender.
Another great idea is to slice apples and oranges as thin as you can, then lay them on a cookie sheet in your oven at the lowest setting possible or you can use a dehydrator. Once the slices are dried, string them together so they make a garland which you can then hang on a fireplace mantel, trim your tree with or use as a swag.
These one-of-a-kind decorations from your garden can make great gifts for people on your holiday list. The choices for holiday decorating using products from your garden is only as limited as your imagination.