Creating Your Own Winter Wonderland
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means decorating your living space to match your festive mood! Whether you’re decorating your front porch with holiday greens or you’re creating a dining room tablescape for your holiday dinner, Avant Garden Décor is here to help you every step of the way. Let’s explore a few ways to make this holiday season a little brighter!
Live or Artificial?
Holiday décor varies for everyone – some enjoy simple, some like the more extravagant. One of the larger debates is whether to use live or artificial greens and trees for decoration. According to the National Christmas Tree Association there were 24.5 million live trees sold in 2012. The same year there were sales of 10.9 million artificial trees.
There are pros and cons to each, and deciding whether to use real or artificial greens generally comes down to personal preference. Artificial trees don’t require the maintenance that live trees do – watering, needle shedding, proper disposal. Artificial trees are easily transported, set up, and stored during the off-season.
Live trees offer a different experience, as you’ll need to select your tree, bring it home, and maintain its health through the holiday season. Animal habitats and green space are supported by tree farms, as is local economic health. An added bonus to using a live tree is the delicious evergreen aroma that will fill your home.
Using a Live Tree to Replant
When buying a live tree there are two primary options – a cut live tree or a live tree with its roots intact. Consider purchasing a ball-and-burlap or container tree this year to be planted in your yard after the holiday season. This practice creates less waste and contributes to the environment. A live tree can be successfully kept indoors for about a week and a half if kept near a cool window. Although you may want a large tree it is important to remember that root balls can be very heavy and you should choose a manageable size. You’ll want to dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball in the late fall or early winter, as that is the best time to plant your tree.
Once you have the hole formed you’ll want to fill it with loose mulch and cover with a tarp to protect the space until you’re ready to put the tree out. The tree can be prepared for the indoors by spending two to three days in a shed or garage. This will help acclimate the tree to the warmer temperatures inside your home. Keep your tree in a cooler place of your home to not completely shock it from its normal cool temperatures. Place ice cubes on the root ball to keep the roots hardy, moist and cool. Decorate your live tree as you normally would and enjoy Christmas knowing that you will be contributing to the environment! After Christmas you can move your tree back to the garage or shed for a few days to familiarize it with cooler outdoor temperatures.
On a mild day you’ll want to move the tree to the pre-dug hole. Remove the burlap from the roots or the roots from the container and place in the hollowed out hole. Fill in the open space with soil and water heavily. Mulch your new outdoor tree to maintain its water levels. You may want to consider creating a windscreen to protect your tree from the harsh winter elements. Observe your tree closely within the first few weeks of being placed permanently outside to make sure it is settling in well and contact your local nursery if you see signs of disease or sickness.
Save money and spend time with family by making your own ornaments. Take your holiday decorating to the next level by creating ornaments that outlive the holiday season.
Pinecone Bird Seed Ornaments
Pinecone Bird Seed Ornaments are perfect for decorating your outdoor holiday tree and make awesome gifts for garden lovers!
Collect the following items to create your own!
• Paper plate
• Butter knife
• Smooth peanut butter
• Gardener’s Blue Ribbon Twine
• Using Gardener’s Blue Ribbon® Twine, tie a knot around the pinecone 3 sections from the top.
• Create a loop of twine and attach to the same spot on the pinecone.
• On the paper plate place a large glob of peanut butter.
• Using the butter knife fill in the spaces of the pinecone with peanut butter.
• On the paper plate pour birdseed and roll the peanut butter covered pinecone around.
• Cover the pinecone in birdseed and sprinkle extra over it to fill cracks and crevices.
Your Pinecone Ornament is now ready to hang outside or to be given as a gift!
If you plan to gift these ornaments you will want to place it in a cellophane bag and secure the top with ribbon.
Seed Paper Ornaments
Seed Paper Ornaments are the perfect holiday tree accessory turned garden planter!
• Take colorful scrap paper and tear into pieces.
• Place the paper pieces in your blender and cover with enough water to create a pulp.
• Blend the paper using a pulse setting.
• Remove the pitcher from the blender and add wild flower seeds.
• You’ll want to use a large spoon to blend the seeds in, not the blender itself.
• Place a fine mesh colander in your sink and pour the paper pulp to drain.
• On a flat service place a towel underneath a large piece of felt.
• Pour the drained paper pulp on to the felt, using your hands, spread evenly into a thin layer.
• Take a second towel and lay it over the paper pulp. Dab gently to soak up excess water.
• Remove the towel and allow the layer of seed paper to dry over night.
• When the seed paper is dried and ready to be shaped, choose desired shapes.
• Cut the seed paper into stars, flowers, and other shapes to be used as ornaments.
• Punch a hole in the shape and create a loop for hanging using twine.
To distribute, place on Christmas trees of friends or family or add it to a holiday card with instructions to use!
Seed paper ornaments can be placed in the ground in spring and watered to bloom wild flowers in the garden!
Decorating for the holiday season using houseplants is a festive method to add life and décor to your home. Houseplants benefit the home by adding moisture and cleaning the air – both which benefit those living in the home. Plants like the amaryllis, paper whites, poinsettia, or Christmas cactus are seasonal reminders that blend well with every holiday atmosphere. Poinsettias can be great gifts for others, too. Check out this information on caring for your poinsettia! Place your holiday houseplants in tall planters to create height and visual interest. If you set them on a surface in your home, be sure to put a Gardener’s Blue Ribbon® Cork Mat between the planter and the surface material to prevent water damage.
Create a Festive Tablescape
Add flair and zest to your holiday meal by creating an environment that embraces the season! Your dining room can become a winter wonderland that will be enjoyed by guests while eating and socializing. Using textured table linens and items from around your home a table can become a visual centerpiece in your home. Place a cloth on your table that will be the base of your décor. In the center use candles, greens, and holiday themed knick-knacks such as ornaments, crystals, or plants to adorn the table. Stack dishes for each person to save space and place cutlery and glasses in their respective positions. Fun place cards can be made using the seed paper recipe above, or place a pinecone ornament labeled with each guest’s name on their plate.
For an added wonderland feel, look beyond the table. Place motorized wind spinners above your table to create a feeling of sitting below a falling snow. Guests will marvel in the scene as they enjoy their holiday meal! Enjoy this holiday season by filling your home with a festive and seasonal vibe. Using the ideas above and your own personal touches you’ll be creating a holiday space ready to entertain in no time!
Your one stop resource for a beautiful outdoor living space. Find CobraCo™ flower planters, plant stands, fire pits and more! We have everything you need to decorate your patio, yard, porch, deck and garden.