Tired of looking at poinsettias all winter long? It’s easy to feel like they’re the only non-greenhouse option for eco-friendly seasonal winter flower arrangements. But they’re not. It’s easy to freshen up Yuletide décor with cheerful greenery and flowering plants.
One option is to use flowering houseplants to provide seasonal color and style. Arrange small pots on a pretty tray as a centerpiece, or line them up in a windowsill. Options? Try cyclamen, amaryllis, or primrose. All will last well past New Year’s and bring a bright pop of color to dull winter days. Add height, texture, and visual interest to the pots with small tree branches and twigs (red or yellow dogwood are attractive) or use stalks of pussy willow, they’re pretty even when not in bloom and very flexible.
If you prefer cut flowers, or want to place a mixture of arrangements throughout the house, look to your yard for seasonal greenery. Those in southern climes may find magnolia an ideal green and blossoms for the holidays. Holly and holly berries are traditional, and seasonal, as are bay laurel, boxwood and ivy. Add textural interest with pinecones, moss, branches, and twigs pulled from the yard and even dried hydrangea blossoms. For flowers, carnations, gerbera daisies, several lily varieties, protea, Queen Anne’s lace, and mums should be seasonally available. Go outside the norm with rose hips, lavender, privet and helleborus.
Don’t overlook food stuffs when it comes to creating a seasonal arrangement. Citrus leaves and branches make beautiful greenery and small citrus fruits, apples, pears, persimmons, eggplants, and even artichokes are all attractive in an arrangement. One thing to remember, if using plants with inedible berries (like holly) you want to keep them away from the edible plants, and ensure that children can’t be tempted to pick and eat the berries. You could also create bundles of fresh herbs tied with pretty ribbon for natural (and very practical) décor; it’s an especially good look if you are also using an herb wreath.
Other attractive additions to your holiday arrangements include candles (make sure they’re tall enough to not cause a fire hazard, or are in glass hurricanes), cinnamon sticks, nuts, and sliced dried fruit. Consider making several smaller arrangements and grouping them together in place of one big centerpiece. The visual impact will be the same, and with several small arrangements, you can use them in other areas of the house after the big meal.
For added sparkle and a personal touch, decorate your mantle or side table with a grouping of seasonal plants and flowers, then nestle in small family photos in pretty frames.