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Plants make ideal holiday decorations


Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is a popular holiday plant that brings a bright pop of Christmas red to decorations.

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to deck the halls.

Bring the garden inside by making wreaths, garlands, topiaries and other table arrangements to enhance your holiday decor. A look around the yard may yield some interesting results, not to mention being easy on the budget.

Supplement your garden treasures with a trip to a garden center.

Following are some plants that work really well to brighten the holidays.

• Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is one of the most popular plants during the holidays. Poinsettias come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, marbled, burgundy and cream.

• Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or winter cactus, is great for blooms and comes in different colors ranging from red to orange, white, yellow and pink. The succulent is a very hardy indoor plant that requires very little maintenance in the home or office. The thick, waxy, dark-green leaves with a cluster of flowers above the foliage make it a very attractive plant.

• Ilex opaca, American holly, boasts thick, dark-green leaves and bright-red berries. It’s the ideal accompaniment to many table decorations and holiday garlands.

• Evergreens, such as redwoods, Douglas firs and pines, are used extensively in garlands and wreaths. If you’re lucky enough to have them available in your yard, try creating your own this year. The trick is to wet the branches so that they become a little flexible and are easier to wire together.

• Another good candidate for the holidays is the red or white anthurium, not just for its color, but because its big, bold leaves are stunning and add a touch of the tropics to decorations.

• Amaryllis bulbs, usually sold in garden centers, are available now so that they bloom during the holidays. They make beautiful tabletop arrangements.

• Branches of trees and shrubs like manzanita, curly willow, coral bark maple, flowering plum, bamboo, sword ferns and moss make nice complements to holiday decorations.

• Add driftwood, seeds and pods, pine cones and dried fruits to your holiday decoration toolbox. Savvy decorators glitter it up by spraying gold, silver and/or metallic paint to create sparkling ornaments.

• Use herbs such as rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks as fragrant decorative materials.

Visit a craft store to purchase a simple wreath base, wire, twine, coir rope and a glue gun to style your own decorations this season.

If you’re not good at craft projects, simply collect some greenery, pine cones and berries and arrange them free-form in a decorative glass jar, bowl, plate, fancy basket or rustic box.

Laxmi Natarajan, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is founder of Bagicha Garden & Flora Design, an indoor garden/ plant design and maintenance company that specializes in creating custom living walls, floor plants and desktop arrangements. For more information, call 703-9756 or visit bagicha.com.

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