The garden is missed when December rolls around, but by bringing details and aspects of Mother Nature into our homes during the winter holiday season, the temporary seasonal void of gardening outdoors can be brought inside and appreciated.
British interior designer Carlos Garcia shares in an article written for House & Garden magazine that decorating with foliage was traditionally done to ward off evil spirits. And whether or not that’s true, any reason to bring a touch of the natural beauty Mother Nature gifts us with is reason enough for me. ☺️ (Be sure to check out this article for many visual interior pictures of inspiration.)
Having listened to Sarah Raven and Arthur Parkinson share many creative natural items to include in your winter wreaths in a recent episode of their podcast Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange, I looked around my house and realized while I may not have all that is available if I lived in England for foraging, there is much I do have to welcome the outdoors in at minimal cost, provide oodles of fun and memory-making and of course, create a festive home.
Today I would like to share with you seven ideas of inspiration for welcoming what you have (or had) in your garden as well as what you may find outdoors in Mother Nature’s garden to adorn your home for the winter holiday season and celebrations.
1.Find pinecones for mantles, wreaths, tree ornaments and for filling pots on the porch
Years ago, I was given two sugar pinecones which run in length at least 12 inches. Using them each year in a handful of ways – hanging in windows, amongst garland over the mantle, tablescape vignettes – I have found them to be one of the simplest, yet most elegant winter décor ideas.
But the pinecones need not be sugar pinecones to be stunning. My neighbor found some wonderfully rotund pinecones scattered below a large pine tree near a roundabout on the corner of our neighborhood. The tree was on public land, so she suggested I too go pick up a bag and use them for my decor. I did tout de suite and now the pots on my porch that in the summer are overflowing with annuals are now overflowing with pinecones.
I also took time two years ago to forage for pinecones and turned them into ornaments for my tree. Attaching burlap twine and a simple green ribbon, these pinecones are now part of my tree decorations each December. (View pics and a detailed post here.)
2. Find your tree in the National Forest with a $5 permit
I have been foraging for my Christmas tree for the past three years by trekking into the local National Forest (Deschutes) and cutting down a tree. Upon purchasing the $5 permit, as I shared over the weekend on Instagram (check the highlights for the full journey, and in the IG post below), this annual tradition is one I thoroughly enjoyed as a kid with my family, and was excited to be able to welcome it back into my life recently.
~Stop by and visit this weekend’s Saturday Ponderings . . . post (explore becoming a TOP Tier Member) to see the tree – simple, but festive – in its final spot in the house.
3. Use beeswax candles
With no chemical processing, beeswax candles are the cleanest, as well as they share a natural scent from the nectar and honey that was originally stored in the honeycomb. As well, burning a beeswax candle actually purifies the air as they “emit negative ions which bind with particulate matter in the air, causing the floating particles in the air to drop to the ground“.
~Shop the brass candlesticks and the narrow candles (short and tall) here.
4. Incorporate Ornamental Cabbages into your bouquets
As a gardener, you may already have cabbages and vegetables that can be grown and used in decoration, especially for the autumnal holidays; however, don’t forget the winter holidays and using ornamental cabbages, as shared in this week’s Petit Plaisir into your bouquets to mix with eucalyptus, hydrangeas and other complementary floral choices.
5. Pick up pomegranates for tablescapes, and outdoor decor
While the seeds are definitely worth using for one of my favorite cocktails (see the recipe below), the entire pomegranate offers a burst of natural red to mix in with evergreen boughs on the mantle, on the table and even outdoors in your pots with the pinecones as mentioned in #1.
recipe for Pomegranate Royal
Pomegranates themselves look like holiday ornaments.
6. Make your own wreath from evergreen boughs, dried fruit and pinecones
I mentioned in last week’s This & That that I spent the Thanksgiving weekend with my parents and my mother showed me how to make a wreath and garland. Prepped and ready with fresh cedar of different varietals, pine boughs, magnolia leaves, dried slices of oranges and apples as well as pinecones in a variety of different sizes, we created one of each for Le Papillon. Now adorning the garden porch, I learned a lot and enjoyed the process.
Here is my wreath hanging just after it was finished in the shop where we worked.
7. Use dried flowers from your perennial garden, rosehips and crab apples from your garden to add differing textures to your wreaths, garland and swags
From cone flowers that fed the birds this fall, hydrangeas that are now ready to be trimmed from the shrub, crab apples that provide the natural winter ornamentation on the tree, cut a few or many to add natural beauty to your fresh garlands, wreaths and boughs.
Wishing you a wonderful, light-hearted, love-filled and playful winter holiday season as you dance with what Mother Nature shares and welcome touches of her beauty into your sanctuary.
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