Gardening Magazine

Christmas Arrangement Ideas

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Like everyone, Mrs McGregor and I have been getting ready for Christmas. Presents have been wrapped and cards sent, so now our thoughts turn to the tree and what to use from the garden to make the Christmas arrangements.

We have a small Scot’s Pine that I grew from a mixed packet of seeds about 15 years ago. It has outgrown its space and so we are using the top as a Christmas tree in the lounge. I don’t like cutting trees down but it has grown too large, too near the house and blocks sun from the sundeck in the summer so it has to go. To make us feel better about losing it, we are giving it pride of place during our Christmas celebrations, after which it will be shredded and composted down to use as mulch in a few years time.

Mrs McGregor likes to make table arrangements to give as presents as well as decorating our sideboard, hall table and dining room table, so we have visited our local garden center for a number of red and white candles and a lovely selection of wired ribbon.

The upright, bare twigs of Dog Woods are worth their weight to give height without making the arrangements heavy and competing with the candles. One is Christmassy red and the other olive green, which complements the fresh silver and green variegation in the Holly that we grow. Big branches of Viburnum tinus are always in demand for church arrangements and the clusters of pink tinged white flowers also play their part on a more diminutive scale, lasting well in the warmth of the house. The scent of the Bay Laurel, with its bold, dark green leaves is another winner and we will hang it in bunches on the banisters, interspersed with white lights.

Another plant to give a silvery color is Teucrium fruiticans, the Shrubby Germander. The narrow leaves are gray green above and silvery white beneath. Our plant is trained on a trellis in a warm, sunny part of the garden and so far has survived even the worst of the winters that we have had. Royal blue flowers are produced throughout the summer and are a great favorite with bees. Flat growing pieces are ideal to give overall length to arrangements and look great as a contrast with red candles.

We have accumulated a great number of glass baubles over the years and bringing them out each year brings back memories of where and when many were purchased. To show off some of the ‘special’ ones, we are having a twig tree in a corner of the dining room that is also coming from the garden, courtesy of a Birch tree that needs a lower branch removing!

My writing desk also gets some adornment but that is down to me and it is always the same. A sprig or two of variegated Holly and some of the first Daffodils of the season from just outside the dining room window – spring is not far around the corner!

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