At this time of year I wander round the garden, secateurs at the ready, to snip foliage for decorating the house and somewhere else. Of course it is the good old standby evergreens and gold that are being cut. Usually laurel, ivy,euonymous, pittosporum, mahonia, choisya, fatshedera, cornus, next door’s Leylandii (sh!) and of course, anything else that looks good enough to cut.
The back border is a good place to start as I can cut from all these bushes, I usually try to take from round the back so that it isn’t obvious that I have been snipping. The fir has a lovely blue tinge to it which contrasts nicely with the variegated laurel and then of course the cotoneaster contrasts with both of them. Decided not to pick the berries as there weren’t very many of them left, thought the birds need was greater than mine! While wandering around we noticed that a rhododendron and a japanese azalea were flowering, we also had to be so careful where we were walking among the plants as so many bulbs were up already.
The choisya is flowering for the third time and looking really pretty, the flowers will look nice in the decorations.
I know that lots of people don’t like this variegated laurel, but I find it invaluable at this time of year and also when flower arranging at church.
I can always find lots of green ivy at the backs of my borders but sometimes I need a touch of a lighter colour.
My Fatshedera is still only small, maybe because I cut it too much ! but I think I can spare a bit.
Mahonia leaves are so architectural and form a lovely contrast.
Pittosporum always needs a trim, I can be quite ruthless here!
Yes, it’s my favourite cornus again, just cutting 2 or 3 stems from each of my 14 shrubs means that no-one would know that I have been snipping.
Euonymous “Emerald and Gold” gives contrasting colour to whatever I am arranging. Also snipped some Bergenia leaves, they’re so useful for hiding the oasis.
I think that is enough now, time to leave them to have a really good long drink before arranging them tonight. I must tell you that I am definitely not a flower arranger, I would rather leave plants and flowers in the garden but at certain times of the year, needs must. When doing these foliage arrangements I always try to place the leaves so that there is a contrast of colour, shape and texture, I feel it makes them more interesting.
It is now Thursday 22nd December and the mantlepiece is now decorated and ready, doesn’t the house smell wonderful when cut pine is brought into the house, it adds to all the other Christmas cooking smells. We stopped having a tree and decorate other areas when we had our dog, she was a retriever X, so looked like a very tall thin retriever with a very long , strong, waggy tail, one wag and she would have had any tree over !!
The cornus make a very simple arrangement just placed in a plain white vase, simple but effective I hope.
The other arrangements are now ready but they have a journey to make first.
Off we go, have to remember to drive carefully round corners and not brake suddenly!
I think of the foliage arrangement as a frame for what should be the centre of attention, the Christmas Crib. Everything is in place now at church, ready for Midnight Mass on Saturday.
I wish you all a very happy, holy and peaceful Christmas.
If you have enjoyed this post about foliage, please go to Christina@myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com to see what others are doing with their foliage at this time of year.