Christmas garlands are an intrinsic part of the decorations, says florist, Nik Southern, founder of Grace & Thorn, in her second guest post.
With roots similar to the wreath (a Christian symbol of eternal life and love), the Christmas garland is traditionally made with evergreen foliage.
Plants bring a home to life, so along with other forms of greenery, garlands are having a moment. The current trend is to drape a gorgeous garland over the banister, mantelpiece or along the dining table for a beautiful festive setting.
The foliage we tend to use at Grace & Thorn is pine mugo, blue spruce, pinus, olive, laurel and eucalyptus (all available from the your local florist or flower market). Typically, this is attached to a piece of rope with florist’s wire. If you want to use the garland year after year, mix it up with dried flowers and preserved foliage and it will last for a few years.
This is where you can add a touch of luxury and opulence to your garland – more is more. We use different types of pine to create different textures and layers and attach the evergreen pine to some rope (using florists reel wire). This creates a base and skeleton for the garland and we then attach other items using florist gauge wire and reel wire.
You can’t go wrong with golds (we used gold sprayed asparagus fern here), pine cones, dried oranges, cotton, grasses, mottled hydrangea, rosehip, dried white bougainvillea, cinnamon sticks, dried apples and lavender.
If you want to involve some baubles, we find grouping them is effective, again using gold, green dark blues and red. Mix up the textures of your baubles. Adding red velvet always ramps up the luxe factor and feathers can work really well here, too.
Nothing beats an open fire or wood burner, so the idea is to accentuate it – not take away from its own beauty. We used a simple three pine garland here (again, the pine is attached to a rope using reel wire).
Simple brass candlesticks with white candles set it all off, but if you want to add anything else – such as oranges, sprayed asparagus fern, feathers and dried flowers – they can can be attached easily.
Mottled hydrangeas work well too. These can be dried upside down, or a speedy tip is to put your hydrangea head upside down on the radiator, it will crisp up in about 10 mins.
The great thing about the mantelpiece is that you can include vases of flowers, potted winter plants and candles.
Christmas Table Garland
Garlands make beautiful table runners, too. Make this garland smaller and more delicate than you would for your banister or fireplace (remember the ton of food that’s going on the table).
All that’s needed to make the garland more festive is some rosehip and pine cones. Add a few dried oranges in the mix and you’ll have a wonderful festive and fragrant setting.
Wrap the garland around a candelabra or tea light candles like we have here. And if you prefer more colour, add in small vases of Christmas flowers too.
See these Christmas decorating ideas.