Your garden can help provide a very merry Christmas, if you know what you’re looking for and how to use it. And, with the pressure on to use less plastic, replace tinsel et al with foraged materials you can compost afterwards and your home will take on a more natural look, whilst remaining festive and stylish. From ivy garlands to baubles made with hazel and crab apples, there are so many creative ideas to choose from to decorate both the home and garden. Below, you’ll find a selection of some of the best natural Christmas decorations that you can easily try making yourself.
In damp places you’ll find branches of trees covered with the most magnificent lichen. Choose a particularly good-looking specimen to bring into the house to decorate with other natural Christmas decorations such as these bright orange crab apples, Malus ‘Evereste’. Two types of ribbon have been used to add a little more interest and colour. Create the look.
Clematis vitalba (old man’s beard) seedheads are very versatile when it comes to creating natural decorations for Christmas. Their fluffy exterior has a beautiful habit of catching the light and emulates the affect of snow or heavy frost. Here, ivy flowers and mistletoe berry clusters have been added in to break up the seedhead base and the yellow ribbon finishes it off. Create the look.
Perfect for hanging indoors or out, this easy to make hanging chandelier uses moss, berries and fresh flower heads to create a bright, fresh-looking Christmas decoration. The red berries of black bryony (Tamus communis) grow in hedgerows and look wonderful against the lime-green moss but be sure to hang this one out of reach from children as the berries are poisonous. Create the look.
Dried artichokes are incredibly architectural. This wreath design celebrates the structure and texture of artichokes and uses Iris foetidissima berries to add a little Christmas colour in between each one. Create the look.
These Christmas baubles may look quite detailed in appearance but are actually really simple to make. They look very effective hanging from a mantelpiece or shelf. The bauble on the left is made using moss and old man’s beard on chicken wire. The bauble in the centre uses Nigella seedheads on wire and the bauble on the right uses crab apple and rosemary, again on wire. Create the look.
Old tree stumps and gateposts are the perfect place to find mature ivy with clusters of fantastically architectural berries. To show them off to their best advantage they need a structure. Here that structure is provided in the form of thin ends of hazel branches to make a ball that is light enough to hang from a pin. A collection of these globes in varying sizes look great as a Christmas decoration hanging from the ceiling. Create the look.
A simple Christmas wreath packed with just one plant material is often more striking than a mixture of colours and texture. The shiny leaves and dark purple and green berries of mature common ivy are so fulsome that they need absolutely nothing else. Here’s how you can create the look.
Again, another Christmas decoration that highlights the beauty of lichen on wood. These atmospheric stars celebrate the season and a bright strip of ribbon adds a little colour, right at its heart. Create the look.
This simple Christmas garland made with trailing ivy and crab apples can decorate a painting or a mirror, or form a ring on the Christmas table, hung festoon-like over the top edge of a cupboard, or twisted around the banisters of a staircase. Here’s how to create the look.
Ah, succulents. The plant of the moment. If the previous designs are too country-living for your taste, this wreath offers a solution to those wanting to add a more trendy, millennial touch to their Christmas festive get-up. Soften the look by incorporating herbs, ivy berries and blackberry leaves amongst the succulents. Used here are rosettes of Sempervivum ‘Rubin’ and Echiveria elegans. Here’s how to create the look.
Create simple, thoughtful table decorations by adding scented foliage to glasses or napkins. To transform your wine or champagne glasses, use soft, small-leaved stems of Eucalyptus or choose sprigs of scented, winter-flowering shrubs such as Christmas box (Sarcococca). Create the look.
Lighting up an entrance, whether it’s a gateway that leads to the house, or one that takes you to another part of the garden, is not only about the practical illumination of a point of arrival. It’s also about the welcoming of guests and building a sense of anticipation for what lies ahead. This design uses seed heads and a wreath of rose hips to decorate a vintage-looking hurricane lantern on the top of a gate post. The idea is a simple, but effective and looks just as good in the light of day as it does in the evening. Get the look.
While crystal chandeliers splinter light, scattering it with refraction through the facets and bevels of the crisp, cut surfaces, the fluffy seedheads of Clematis vitalba (known as old man’s beard) catch and diffuse light in an opposite but equally magical way. Every seedhead has about 24 individual seeds, each of which has a wiry tail called a style, delicately feathered with the finest silky hairs that capture light in their gauzy grasp. Here you can find out how to make this enchanting Christmas light catcher yourself.