Nandina, holly, cryptomeria, eucalyptus, pine, boxwood, juniper, cedar, magnolia, and privet – this list is your start to your Holiday’s fashionable, affordable, and simply gorgeous style for the season.
Here in the Deep South, we have a plethora of flora to choose from for our Holiday and decorating needs. Whatever the season, our native and landscape plants provide us a palette to pull from and “paint a canvas” of Holiday vistas for your mantel, table, and home in general.
I love to cut (I travel with my Felcos at all times) from the roadsides, woods, gardens, and landscapes all around me for my Holiday and seasonal décor. Clients’ homes notwithstanding either…I literally deck their halls with boughs of holly…and whatever else I can snip! Mantels are probably my favorite tableau to decorate. Something about filling that ledge with greenery, berries, stems, and even ribbon just transforms the whole room. If you don’t have a mantel, make a statement with your tree, tablescape or even front door – still keeping with the natural theme.
Start with verdant greenery. I like to use coniferous and evergreens like long leaf pine, cedar, boxwood, magnolia, and holly in contrasting textures tones of green…even using eucaplyptus and blue cedar for that blue green contrast. I don’t use much red in my décor during the year, but Christmas is just the time to bring it on! Holly berries, Pyracantha, and Nandina provide punches of radiant red. There too is just something classic about a deep green wreath with a red velvet bow I think…even Goldie and Georgia Brown, my Suburbans, get their own wreaths as well! Weave in those berries into the branches of greenery and arrange your mantle like it’s a trough like arrangement. Layer a base of greenery, add berries for accent, and highlight with a bit of embellishment like sticks, moss, or feathers.
I like to fill urns or containers with arrangements as anchors on the mantle. For example, use two glass vases or watertight containers as your oasis and fill these with stems of holiday themed florals and branches. Use a mirror or beautiful focal point as your centerpiece and build from there…lower from the center and gently arcing to the ends…even use an artificial garland to wire in your fresh branches so your garland can drape down the sides of your mantle a bit.
Feathers, pine cones, and candles are also great additions to your mantelpiece and tabletops. I like to pretend that my arrangements, as many of them are, are the products of my forages through the forest, walk through the woods, or gait around the garden…a collection or gathering from my journey…my souvenir.
Keep a sharp eye out for berries and greens for your Christmas décor…use fruit, dried hydrangeas, cut floral stems like roses, lilies, and amaryllis, and even sticks and branches to add some height and natural curiosity. Whatever it is you are decorating, put some love into it, ornament with passion, and simply have fun. Merry Christmas!