Grow your own Christmas decorations
Going home-grown for Christmas makes the holiday a real celebration of your garden's abundance. And one of the nicest things you can do with all those delicious and beautiful things you can pick from your garden is to hang them in your home as very special decorations.
In our garden centre in Donaghadee, Bushmills, Ballymena and Ballyclare you'll find plants for pickable Christmas decorations, as well as pinecones, seasonal ornaments, silver and gold spray paint, tinsel and baubles – in short, everything you need to put the finishing touches on your fresh-from-the-garden Christmas. You're only limited by your imagination - so here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Home-grown baubles: The spherical flowerheads on the ornamental onion Allium christophii dry to starburst seedheads that look fantastic sprayed silver and hung from ribbons.
Christmas tree chains: a packet of red popcorn seed, available from our garden centre, grows just like sweetcorn: string the pretty pink kernels into long tinsel-like decorations.
- Tussie-mussies: pick spicily fragrant sprigs of witch hazel, viburnum or Christmas box and tie together with herbs into a little Victorian-style bouquet to hang from the ceiling.
Wreaths: for this you'll need berrying holly, ivy and a wreath frame, all available from our garden centre. Weave the greenery onto the frame along with pinecones, brilliant red chillies and perhaps some dried orange Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi) and hang on your door to welcome Christmas visitors.
- Banister garlands: just like wreaths, but this time wound around your banisters and bound in place with florists' wire. Add pine branches, berries, dried flowers and rosehips to complete the picture.
Golden bells: take three pinecones and spray them gold, then wire the stems together in threes to make a little bundle that looks just like bells to hang in corners or from the ceiling.
- Floating flowers: choose a shallow glass bowl from the range in our garden centre, fill it with water and float Christmas hellebore flowers and candles on it for a uniquely beautiful centrepiece for your Christmas table.
Please ask the staff in our Donaghadee, Bushmills, Ballymena and Ballyclare garden centre for more information and advice about using plants from the garden to decorate your home at Christmas.