DECO GAR­DENS

Col­lect green­ery from your gar­den to cre­ate nat­u­ral dec­o­ra­tions this cel­e­bra­tory sea­son

Elle Decoration (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - Text MARY MAUREL

Ideas on how to use fresh fo­liage for your fes­tive sea­son dec­o­ra­tions

The South African fes­tive sea­son is cel­e­brated with long, hot sum­mer days, which are of­ten spent in the gar­den, around the swim­ming pool or on the beach. De­spite our unique cli­mate, many of the tra­di­tional ref­er­ences for dec­o­rat­ing at this time of year come from the Northern Hemi­sphere, with green wreaths, gar­lands or ta­ble sprays sprin­kled with touches of sil­ver and red. As holly trees are rare in our lo­cal gar­dens – and poin­set­tias are far too over­done– here are some ev­er­green al­ter­na­tives that you can use to cre­ate unique, fresh ar­range­ments this sea­son.

USE THESE VA­RI­ETIES OF GREEN FO­LIAGE AS YOUR BASE:

Vibur­num (Vibur­num ti­nus)

Bay tree (Lau­rus no­bilis)

Pine tree (Pi­nus)

Rosemary (Ros­mar­i­nus of­fic­i­nalis)

Pit­tospo­rum (Pit­tospo­rum tenuifolium)

Yel­low­wood tree (Podocar­pus henke­lii)

Moun­tain cedar (Wod­dring­to­nia nod­i­flora)

INTERSPERSE THESE PLANTS FOR SIL­VER/GREY DE­TAILS:

Kooi­goed or licorice plant (Helichry­sum peti­o­lare)

Slang­bos (Stoebe plumosa)

Penny gum or other gum va­ri­eties (Eu­ca­lyp­tus)

Olive tree (Olea eu­ropaea)

Wild sil­ver oak (Brachy­laena dis­color)

False olive (Bud­dleja saligna)

ADD RED ROSES FOR SCAR­LET POPS:

Much to the envy of our Northern Hemi­sphere cousins, red roses (Rosa) are in flower dur­ing our fes­tive sea­son. Hy­drangeas, com­monly known as Christ­mas flow­ers, are also in bloom dur­ing De­cem­ber, so we have the lux­ury of us­ing fresh spec­i­mens. There’s noth­ing quite as lux­u­ri­ous as a sin­gle white Hy­drangea flower head placed in a sim­ple glass con­tainer on the fes­tive ta­ble. In­cor­po­rat­ing sticks and twigs is also an easy and eco­nom­i­cal way of bulk­ing up an ar­range­ment and, for some­thing non-tra­di­tional, try adding suc­cu­lents to your decor scheme.

This year, I’m go­ing to at­tempt to recre­ate a wreath made from echev­e­rias that I saw re­cently, so the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less!

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