I'm a huge fan of using items from my garden, like crumbling statuary or weatherworn planters, in my interior decorating, especially during the holiday season, when their rustic beauty provides a provocative contrast to all that glitz and glamour.
I'm a huge fan of using items from my garden, like crumbling statuary or weatherworn planters, in my interior decorating, especially during the holiday season, when their rustic beauty provides a provocative contrast to all that glitz and glamour. Here are a few garden staples you might want to bring inside, too, to make your holiday displays a bit fresher and more intriguing.
Weathered garden statues are one of my go-to tools when creating designs. I love them woven into formal displays because they offer an element of surprise and balance. During the holiday season, I often use the curling end of my banister as a stage for an attention-getting display. This year, I placed a garden figurine on this prime spot, surrounding her in a swirl of pine garland. Since I'm anything but stuffy when it comes to decorating, I like to have a bit of fun with these regal statues. So I twisted a togalike ribbon around my garden beauty and made a little bouquet out of an evergreen pick for her to hold. In the past, I've placed evergreen wreaths around statues' heads and dangled ornaments from their hands.
I have had a lifelong love affair with topiaries because these intricately sculpted plants seem to defy nature. How can they survive all this pruning and shaping and still look so amazing?
When I envisioned the mantel display for my holiday open house, I wanted to create a botanical look that was as fresh as the garden. So I included several faux three-balled topiaries in the display to give it height and splashes of green.
In contrast, the topiaries I used for the holiday display on the side table on my screened porch are a bit wild and unkempt. I think they are just the right pick for this almost-outside spot, poised against the backdrop of my garden.
When I decorate my courtyard for my open house, I like to make a big splash on the occasional table that nestles up against the wall of my screened porch. I don't want anything too heavy in this in-between place because I don't want the tabletop display to block the view from the screened porch. Yet, the display needs to be tall, full and gutsy or it will get lost in the vastness of the courtyard. This year's display struck the perfect middle ground. I started with a garden statue to bring in some charm, then filled in with a little forest of pine topiaries. To infuse the display with drama, I added in a trio of trellises. Slight and slim, the garden trellises gave the display much-needed height without taking over. Small trellises are also a great addition to a mantel display because they are slim and tall.
When I remake my home for each new season, I don't have the time or desire to rework every single display. So I focus my efforts on a few key, highly visible spots. A wall-mounted garden planter is one of my favorite places to change out seasonally. This winter, it's cradling a natural ball covered in faux frost, and a bouquet of red winterberries and pine. I ground the displays on a bit of moss, which you can find at hobby stores, because it helps hide the ends of faux greens and gives a nice, finished look.
A cast-iron planter is the perfect container for a seasonal bouquet on the side table on my screened porch. I really like a topsy-turvy grouping, where a potpourri of natural elements appears to be haphazardly mixed together. If floral arranging isn't your thing, take the easy way out, like I do, and just fill your garden planters with pine cones or green apples.
If you are in a hurry and don't have much time to decorate for the holidays, bringing the garden inside will not only give you a fresh seasonal look, it will take just seconds. Grab a pair of garden pruners and head outside, snipping bits of plants and trees to tuck into your year-round displays.
The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.