Tuesday , April 23 2024

Christmas decorations from the garden

The garden is a treasure trove of opportunities for Christmas decorations.

  • Pyracantha berries alternating with popcorn make attractive garlands.
  • Oranges, lemons or apples sprinkled with cinnamon or cardamom and coated with whole cloves are wonderfully fragrant pomander balls.
  • Rose hips give green wreaths bright red and orange colors.
  • Grapes, honeysuckle, wisteria, willow or ivy grapes bend into many useful shapes.
  • Eucalyptus pods, pine cones, acorns and tufts of magnolia leaves provide many shades of brown. Buffalo holly, which grows better here than the traditional variety, gives us sticky leafy green with red berries.
  • And of course the mistletoe.
  • Herbs can also cut Christmas stems, season jelly, let branches or wreaths smell and scent the air in potpourris on the stove.

Living plants for interior colors are African violets, azaleas, begonias, Christmas cacti, Jerusalem cherries, cyclamen and Kalanchoe as well as the always reliable chrysanthemum and poinsettia. Be sure to give these living plants bright indirect light, keep them cool and free from drafts, and water them just enough to keep the potting soil barely moist.
Cacti and succulents are also a good choice, but they need direct sunlight and very little water when kept indoors.
Pine trees on Norfolk Island can become miniature Christmas trees with their own little lights and ornaments. Provide each room in the house with an individually decorated tree – like cookie cutters hung with red ribbons for the kitchen!

Houseplants need rest
Don’t worry that your houseplants don’t look too cheeky now – they rest, just like plants outdoors. Plants need this rest, so stop feeding them and water them less frequently. Also make sure that they are not blasted with hot air from a heater slot or fireplace.
Plants near windows can get too much cold air at night. Therefore, move them or provide protection between them and the window.
The most comfortable temperature range for houseplants is between 65 and 75 degrees with extremes between 60 and 80 degrees.

If it is not raining heavily, keep watering your hibernating plants outdoors to keep the soil moist.
Watering should be reduced and not stopped as the photosynthesis of the plants slows down and cold weather dries out the plants.
Plants that suffer from insufficient irrigation are more susceptible to frost damage.

Prune fruit trees and vines until mid-February, but only when all the leaves have fallen. This indicates that the plants are completely dormant and do not harm pruning living tissue.
However, do not cut off spring flowering shrubs, otherwise you will remove the color of the coming year. Wait for the flower to finish.
Also, wait for the fuchsias to be pruned outdoors until they peel off, and you can see what frost damage has occurred.

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