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by Jo Saxton November 25, 2020
You know we’re huge fans of plants here at Ginger Mint. It's our thing. As well as having lots of houseplants to help clean the air, I also love having evergreen foliage in vases for an inexpensive way to brighten up a room. At Christmas though I go to town by adding some fresh woody herbs to naturally scent the house – a fabulous non-toxic way to add fragrance, right?
I’ve put together some of my favourite – tried and tested – eco and upcycling ideas for using herbs and foliage at Christmas, although they could also work well at other times of the year, or even for natural weddings!
On a safety note, please be careful if you’re using candles especially if you’ve wrapped them in decorations or foliage. Some evergreens contain organic volatile compounds which are easily flammable. Also, as always, do not leave candles unattended.
These square glass vases are simple yet sophisticated, but any glass jar would work well. Fill the bottom with cranberries, add water and then your chosen mixture of evergreens or winter greenery. Depending on the size of your table, you could have a row of them alongside tea lights or small candles, as shown below, or keep it to just one in the centre. They can be made a few days before Christmas as they’ll keep for a while, especially if you change the water regularly.
These make an excellent table centrepiece, or a statement on a hall or side table. Just add berries or branches to clear glass vases and top up with water. Holly, rose hips, pine etc would look stunning but just use what you have to hand. Add a floating candle for an extra finishing touch. They look spectacular on dark winter days and evenings. I don't know why but once they're immersed in water, the foliage and berries just visually zing! So pretty!
This is one of my favourites Christmas decorations – mason jar candle holders – which are similar to those above. Here, slices of fresh orange, sprigs of rosemary and fresh cranberries add a heavenly scent to the room. So Christmassy! Just remember to change the water regularly and it'll last for 3-4 days, no problem. When I make these, I tend to use a wide clear glass bowl for a large centrepiece, with 4 or 5 tea lights floating on the water. Great for popping small dishes of nibbles around when you have a crowd over, who will then gasp in wonder at your creativity!
These pretty plant pots are made from upcycled tin cans! You can play around a bit with these, or just add some rustic hemp ribbon and some natural twine to finish them off. You can always recycle the tin cans after Christmas if they’re no longer needed. You can even paint the cans too! They’d look great in a small group, planted with woody herbs such as rosemary (as shown), thyme, mint or even basil. They also make excellent gift ideas too!
These white candles with simple natural decorations are so effective, aren't they. You can use whatever natural materials you have in your home, such as cinnamon sticks or dried orange slices, or just grab some evergreen foliage from your garden. Perhaps use some rustic twine or ribbons – the possibilities are endless!
If you've chosen to have a living tree or a cut tree in your home this Christmas, you’re bound to have some small branches left over which you've snipped off to make the large tree into your small corner. We've all been there! Why not pop the cut branches into a large vase or planter for a unique display? You can do the same with large pieces of evergreen foliage from your garden too.
Which ones are you going to try? I’d love to hear how you get on. If you'd like to share your own natural decoration ideas then please tag us on your social media posts so we get to see them too.
Take care and stay safe.
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