Decorating your home from the outdoors |

Decorating your home from the outdoors

In The Garden - December 2010 Lincoln, Neb.
Photo By Nebraska Statewide Arboretum - AaroGathering holiday decorations from your own yard can make for a beautiful display.

“At Christmas I no more desire a rose, Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled shows; But like of each thing that in season grows.”

– William Shakespeare

If you take more pleasure from a walk through the garden than a trip to the mall, try gathering your holiday decorations outside this year. Many of the things we enjoy in the garden lend themselves well to holiday decorating, and the details and textures will be even more noticeable.

As you’re cleaning up the fall and winter landscape, set aside some of the things that draw your attention. Once it’s inside, you can decide if you want to string it from a ribbon, gather it in a bowl or group it on a table or mantletop. There are no rules here, no “decorating police.” If it’s beautiful to you, let it have its place.

Here are some natural elements to consider:

– Acorns, black walnuts or other nuts can be gathered in bowls.

– Berries. Bittersweet, coralberry, eastern wahoo, cedar, viburnum, and snowberry.

– Dried flowers can be used for bouquets or to make tree ornaments. Artemisia, hydrangea, statice, grasses, goldenrod, dried rose buds, strawflowers, ornamental grasses, gomphrena and many others dry well for indoor use.

– Holly or other plants with evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage: wintercreeper, periwinkle or leather-leaf viburnums.

– Indoor plants can be grouped together to make a table display.

– Outdoor plants inside for the winter. A low pot of succulents can have battery-operated votive candles added to it or a bow tied around it. Potted herbs can help fill out a tabletop gathering, etc.

– Pinecones can be grouped in bowls, tied with a wreath or attached to evergreen branches.

– Fruits and vegetables: Citrus fruit, pears, grapes, artichokes, eggplant, figs, pumpkins, squash, olives, dates, plums, and persimmons.

– Seedpods from yucca plant, black-eyed susan, wild beebalm, Chinese lantern, money plant, prairie bushclover, Siberian iris, Penstemon, poppies, love-in-the-mist, milkweed and okra can add detail and intricacy to arrangements.

– Urns or other large pots offer quick and inexpensive decorations, indoors or out, when topped with a flat wreath and filled with dried grasses or evergreens.

– Smaller pots can be filled with pinecones, nuts, and seed pods.

– Vines. Honeysuckle, bittersweet, Virginia creeper, winter creeper, grape or other vines can be used to make a wreath or bind up other arrangements.

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