Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let Nature Inspire You; DIY DECORATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let Nature Inspire You; DIY DECORATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS

Article excerpt

Byline: Pattie Barron

Weave foraged finds into a wreath LET your creativity run riot by decorating a wreath with your choice of foliage, flowers or fruit, wired on to a plain fir base, and tie on a big red raffia bow. Forage before daybreak at newcoventgardenmarket.com for the best selection of jumbo cranberries, purple Brussels sprouts, crab apple stems and other seasonal gems.

? CREATE A MINI FOREST IN WINTER, silver birch trees make magical silhouettes outdoors and their effect is just as striking indoors. Rather than dragging in a tree or three, settle on a small-scale birch forest, less than 1m high, which sits comfortably in the average fireplace.

The five-strong birch cluster is dotted with soft white LEDs and the weatherproof coating means that this birch forest can light up the patio for Christmas and beyond. It is priced at PS85 (coxandcox.co.uk).

? LET IT GLOW BRING small garden lanterns indoors to decorate the tree or line the hearth. Copper tea light lanterns, only 18cm high, can also be hooked on to shepherds' crooks pushed into the compost of evergreen containers on either side of the front door to add a warm, glowing welcome, even when unlit. Lanterns are priced at PS9.95 each, while metal stakes are PS4.95 each (worm.co.uk).

Natural gift wrap's so much nicer PUSH aside the shiny paper and ribbon for more natural gift wrappings. Gardener and forager Louise Curley, in her book The Crafted Garden (Frances Lincoln), suggests a base of plain paper and string, then getting creative with seed pods, grasses, berry sprigs, larch cones or bay and rosemary leaves. Her delicate flower decorations comprise honesty seed pods centred with a poppy seed head, secured with a dab of glue.

Star shapes make the cut METAL star-shaped cookie cutters form the base for a simple, effective table display, left, when each holds a plain white candle secured with garden-centre sphagnum moss and decorated with rose hips. Use cookie cutters, too, for tree trims, right, that will feed the birds after the festivities. …

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