As the days shorten and nights become cooler, our outdoor garden activity winds down. At the same time, indoor holiday activity begins to fill the calendar. Now�s the time for you to reap the benefits of all your hard work by bringing cuttings from your garden inside for your celebrations. Here are a few ideas to get your creative thoughts going.
Create a Miniature Holiday Tree
Select a boxwood plant as tall as you can find. Bring it home and give it a good soaking with the hose, spraying the leaves and branches well to eliminate any hitchhikers. Shake off the excess and let moisture drain. Now locate your pruning shears and a yardstick.
Using the yardstick as a guide for a smooth line, prune the bush into a cone shape. Place a watering saucer under the base and wrap with colorful florist�s foil or holiday fabric. Decorate your mini-tree with tiny ornaments or tie bits of ribbon on the branches.
Make a Living Wreath For the Table
Purchase a wreath made from florist�s foam. Select a size that will fit on a large plate or pot saucer that you have available. Place the wreath in a large tub or sink and immerse in water for at least 24 hours. Weigh the florist�s foam down to ensure it becomes wet to the core.
The next day, harvest a selection of aromatic evergreens � juniper, bay laurel, rosemary, pine. Using a knitting needle or a bamboo skewer, drill holes in the wreath and insert sprays of evergreen interspersed with cuttings from herb plants. Work in a circle starting from the base up. Keep all the plant material low enough so it will not obstruct the view. Use the middle to place a large decorative item � fat candles, figurines, whatever takes your holiday fancy. Water the wreath twice weekly to keep the greenery fresh.
Decorate With Rosemary
Use large branches of rosemary as decoration on the mantle or near the entryway. For the fireplace, have on hand bundles of rosemary stems tied with twine. Once you start the fire, add a rosemary bundle occasionally to scent the room.
At the dinner table, combine a folded napkin with a 4-5 inch stem of rosemary and tie a length of holiday ribbon around it. Place the bundles on each dinner plate. Place small branches of rosemary around the edge of the platter holding the holiday turkey or ham. The aroma will stimulate the appetite of everyone at the table.
Give A Kiss for Joy
One of the fun holiday traditions is kissing under the mistletoe. Mistletoe is easy to find and gather once the leaves have dropped in the fall. In cutting off the branch where mistletoe is growing you�ll be doing the tree a favor. Be sure to ask permission when attempting to harvest away from home.
Once you have the mistletoe, clip the stems from the base and tie them in a bundle. Hang them over the center of a doorway where guests are bound to walk. Happy holidays to you and yours.