Apparently Christmas is upon us . . . at least that is what the Mall was telling me! It used to be that Christmas music didn't make a comeback until after Thanksgiving. Now you can expect it to start piping while the employees are removing the Halloween goods from the shelves. Crazy!
But jumping the seasonal gun aside, now is the time to take a look at what you have in the yard that can assist you in reducing your holiday expenses and bring the beauty of outside inside. A few things to keep in mind when you are collecting your natural decorations:
- Trim judiciously and only what you need. Try to be even in your pruning. You don't want to harm your shrubs/trees nor leave them looking like frankenshrubs!
- On the flip side, do not fear cutting them!
- The aridity in a winter house can cause rapid deterioration of the cuttings. Try to cut them as close to the time to your events to have them at their best. Sometimes misting them can keep them from drying out.
- Protect your surfaces: if you are setting the cuttings on a table or mantlepiece, make sure that you put something down to keep your cuttings from damaging the surface with moisture or sap.
- Be creative! Make wreaths, centerpieces, and mantle arrangements from your generous plants
Some great things to look for:
- pine (beware of sap)
- magnolia grandiflora
- Harry Lauder Walking Stick & Corkscrew Willow for branches
- pine cones
- dry seed heads of interest
While you are hunting for decorations on your property, don't forget to slow down and appreciate everything around you.