A SEASONAL GUIDE: WINTER LAWN AND LANDSCAPE CARE
Protect your plants and trees from the cold and ice
With winter’s early sunsets and temperatures that often dip to unpleasant levels across the country, many of us long for a taste of the outdoors, a re-connection, of sorts, with nature. If the season’s seemingly endless darkness and dreary cold have left you longing for the great outdoors, consider bringing the outside indoors. Check out these six ways to carry bits of your landscape into holiday decorating and winter décor to add radiant cheer to the season.
Let there be greens! Decorating with fresh greens is a wonderful way to add warmth and beauty to your home in the winter. Fill your mantel with an array of greens and intersperse candles, picture frames and other personal, ornamental touches. Add greens to chandeliers, staircase banisters, and as accents to tables and windowsills. There is no right or wrong way to decorate with greens; just play with a bounty of fresh greenery in varying textures until you get a look that pleases you. Consider magnolia leaves, juniper, cedar, boxwood and holly for starters. Look around your backyard and see what you have to work with. If you need additional items, most garden centers stock up for winter decorating.
Personalize your winter decorating. Custom décor offers a warm welcome to your home and provides a reflection of your hobbies and interests. Like skating? Turn a back-up pair of skates into a planter for Christmas greens. A tennis enthusiast? Decorate an old racket with holly and ribbon. Place a wreath around a childhood rocking horse or fill an heirloom bowl with homemade potpourri.
Make potpourri. Create your own potpourri using plant material from your backyard. Pine cones, dried flowers and herbs, various barks and woods, peels from citrus fruits, and dried plant pods are some of the backyard treasures that can be used to create your personal potpourri recipe. Ideally, the selected items will have natural scents but if not, add essential oils to create a pleasing aroma. As a rule of thumb, a few drops of essential oil should be used for two cups of dried plant material. Let the mixture sit for several weeks in an airtight container to build its scent. Not only will you enjoy this treat that draws upon the outdoors, but it makes a much appreciated gift as well.
Make a Pomander ball. If you have ever smelled a Pomander ball, the mere mention of one will likely transport you to happy place. Quite simply, these citrus atomizers smell like a combination of gingerbread and grandma's cookies. They can be added to a decorative mantel, hung on wall sconces or placed in a bowl for an ornamental touch. To make your own, create a pattern in an orange peel with a sharp tool and then fill the holes with whole cloves. For a magazine-ready look, crisscross a satin ribbon around the orange and tie it off prior to piercing it.
Make a pine cone wreath. Not all wreaths need to be green. Pine cones (and other dried plant materials) can be used to create eye-catching wreaths that welcome the season and visiting guests. You can create an elaborate wreath with layers of pine cones or a simple one with a round ring, a glue gun, plant material and decorative accessories like ribbons, cinnamon sticks, citrus peels, etc.
Create packages that pop. Gifts of the season make quite an impression adorned with fresh cut plant material. Even simple brown wrapping paper pops with holly or a sprig of pine cut from your tree.