Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Holly Grail He of Festive Decs ; There's No Need to Spend a Fortune on Festive Floral Displays - Merrily Raid the Garden and Make Your Own One-Offs

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Holly Grail He of Festive Decs ; There's No Need to Spend a Fortune on Festive Floral Displays - Merrily Raid the Garden and Make Your Own One-Offs

Article excerpt

Ohere at Glebe Cottage is finding time to make a few simple flower arrangements to greenify the house.

There are all sorts of ideas you can employ on whatever you can lay your hands on! This way, you make unique arrangements that can look better than a costly Christmas bouquet.

We are luckier than most - the garden is bigger than average and there are a fair few evergreens - skimmia, camellia. We have a huge bay tree, grown from a cutting, close to the compost bins where it stands cheek-by-jowl with an enormous yew.

I wait till now to prune them both back and use their branches laid down on window sills.

Near where we live are several conifer plantations. These trees are destined for timber and pulp but their lower branches are often abandoned at the edge of the road and it's worth asking if we can take a few bits.

Sometimes they have been cut for weeks and needles are dropping but sometimes they are fresh and last right over the Christmas period.

If you want greenery like this to last longer, some of the stems can be stood in water or pushed into a potato or their ends wrapped in damp tissue with parcel tape around it. Unless your house is very hot, they should be fine.

If you're using them around a window, it's nice to make a corner arrangement using a potato or florist's foam.

You can use the same evergreen/ conifer as the background structure and build up and out with stems of berries or weighty evergreens.

We will have some of our paperwhites out over Christmas and will be able to cut a few stems, putting each one in a small glass or jar dotted among the foliage to introduce a sparkle of white. Daffodils of any sort should not be mixed with other flowers because they kill them!

There are lots of other elements you can introduce, such as seedheads of agapanthus and alliums. You can spray them silver - the same goes for twigs.

When we used to spend Christmas up north, my mum and I would often go to Rivington Pike, the garden on the moors above Bolton, searching for ornamental foliage and berries. …

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